Thanks to local pro, teens have a mentor on, off slopes
SUMMIT COUNTY Brian Moon is a local pro skier who’s all about mentoring young people.The 27-year-old freeheeler works for Snowboarders and Skiers for Christ Colorado (SFC), a non-profit organization based in Summit County, where he oversees youth programs Team Grom and the Proo Team.”Team Grom is for whatever teens in the county want to be part of SFC,” Moon explained in a recent interview. “We’ve got ride days when staff and leadership hang out with them. We also have a group of specific kids that want to take it seriously and go further with it, so we put together an ambassador team as a representative of SFC. We’re sponsoring them on a spiritual mentorship level more than we are financially.”Moon, a fourth-year local who works as the director of youth programs at the Dillon Community Church, chose the name Proo Team for SFC’s ambassador program.”We joked around in the Midwest when we wanted to become pro and called it proo,” he said. “For some of these guys, this is potentially the start of a professional career.”In addition to riding with Team Grom every other Sunday at Keystone, the Proo Team’s 13 members meet weekly at Moon’s house for what he calls a life group.
“Some nights I do specific teachings on topics like accountability,” Moon said. “Sometimes I do training on, ‘How do I get to where I want to be in life?’ Because we’re centered on Christ, we also spend a lot of time on bible study. … Some nights are devoted to editing cover letters and resumes.”Many Proo Team members have pro skiing and riding aspirations, which is another one of the group’s focal points.”That’s a big part of it,” said 16-year-old team member Evan Seeling. “We get great feedback from Moon on how you throw certain tricks … he’s our leader, so it’s nice to be able to talk to him and be free-spirited about it.”Moon has more than just tricks to teach, however, as he knows the ins and outs of skiing professionally.”As an athlete, I’ve got connections to different companies in the industry from photography to video to sponsors and I have a unique insight,” Moon said. “Some of these guys want to become pro athletes and we want them to have a positive experience.”As Moon has learned, there are various ways to work in the skiing and snowboarding industry.”Some guys are more into photography and cinematography,” Moon said. “So we might tell them, ‘This year, why don’t you focus on generating video and media content so we can document the season?’ We’re taking areas of interest and passion and helping guys harness that. We try to make it be more than just a hobby – it’s more fruitful, more purposeful than that.”
Each member of the recently formed Proo Team completed an extensive application process which was designed, in part, to give them valuable experience in creating résumés and cover letters. They also signed a purity covenant, which prohibits them from using substances and breaking the law. Members also commit to actively exploring their relationship with Jesus Christ.When Proo Team riders are out on the mountain, they often reach out to others.”I like snowboarding and I’m Christian,” said Landon Bjork, who described himself as the videographer of the Proo crew. “I like to share the gospel with people on the mountain and on the chairlift.”Team Grom members often agree to pursue a specific topic of conversation throughout their days of skiing and boarding together.”It’s a really mixed response,” Seeling said. “Some people are really interested and some people don’t like to get into it. … Last week’s topic was pride and how it plays into your life.”
The right man for the jobDaniel “Floyd” Ralph, one of SFC Colorado’s co-founders, said the organization was designed to target a post-high school age population until Moon came along.”We met Mooner the first summer after we started SFC in Summit County,” Ralph said. “It became clear his passion was kids and teams. He stepped in and ran with it. … I wanted something to happen for youth, but I couldn’t put all my effort into it and Mooner could.”Ralph, who often rides with Team Grom on Sundays, has noticed a cohesion among Proo Team participants.”It’s gone beyond where I thought it could,” Ralph said. “The kids really feel like they’re a part of something. There’s also the accountability piece. Accountability of riding goes forth into accountability of spirituality on and off the mountain.”Team Grom is an open organization for boys and girls. Although the Proo Team is restricted to males, a female equivalent is in the works, according to Moon. To get more information, visit http://www.sfccolorado.com, or call Moon at (970) 393-2882.
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