CHANGING THE CULTURE AT CANNONSBURG
Over the past few seasons, I have been actively reaching out to the girls in my local community. Through hearing their stories, I’ve learned how alone many girl riders feel. I’ve noticed girls who use hooking up with other riders at our resort as a way to be accepted or noticed by the “top riders,” and I’ve noticed girls hanging out on the outskirts of the park wanting to progress but too insecure to fail in front of others. Girl snowboarders and skiers often find their identity completely in riding. When it is taken away from them through injury, bad weather, etc, they find themselves alone and wondering who they are without action sports. Through constant flirting, showing off, one-upping, being derisive or exclusive, or trying to be “one of the guys,” many girls in the community are seeking attention however they can.
This is the culture I am working to change.
I want these girls to understand that they are worth so much more than the opinion of others and the acceptance of their peers. The love and belonging they deeply crave can only be found through Jesus.
This year, through building relationships, making riding edits, gathering groups of girls to ride street, and helping each other progress, girls in the park community at Cannonsburg are starting to grow. This season, I created the goal to be humble and encourage instead of trying to outdo them and make them feel noticed and accepted. The response has been extremely positive. Through building deeper relationships, I have been able to learn their stories, listen to their insecurities, and share my faith.
There is a hunger for community and belonging, and I hope that Jesus will use our interactions to show that there is One who cares about them and knows them more intimately than any human ever could.
Hannah Mennega – SFC Cannonsburg – Grand Rapids, MI