Interested in a scholarship to AIARE Level 1 Class?
Hey all,

We hope you're having an awesome summer and enjoying the heat, cause it won't be too long until the snow starts to fly.  You remembered to wax the boards for the summer and drain the gas from the sled, right?

Anyway, we're gearing up for the 2013-2014 winter season with a new initiative that furthers our goal of promoting avalanche awareness in the Central Oregon region by sponsoring 4 AIARE Level 1 avalanche scholarships.  Check it out, and please forward this on to any friends who might be interested.

COAA Avalanche Scholarships
Central Oregon Avalanche Association has teamed up with Oregon Ski Guides and Three Sisters Backcountry to offer four (4) AIARE Level 1 avalanche scholarships. 

The way it works

The idea behind the scholarship fund is to increase avalanche awareness and safety in the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on the Oregon Cascades. The scholarship recipients will be given an AIARE Level 1 avalanche course for free from either Oregon Ski Guides or Three Sisters Backcountry. In return, recipients will “pay forward” what they learn by creating and implementing a program or tool designed to target a community chosen by them, or by supporting/bolstering ongoing avalanche awareness initiatives.  A “community” might be a group of snowmobile users, a girl or boy scout troop, an outdoor program at a school, or any other group of individuals the applicant wishes to address. Here are some examples of paying forward:
  • Presentations on youth awareness in schools
  • In-house awareness clinics at a snowmobile dealership
  • On snow avalanche awareness and rescue clinics with rider groups
  • Avalanche awareness presentations at several boy and girl scout meetings
  • Application / Social Media / Web Development to assist/bolster information gathering and dissemination
The more detailed and action oriented the application, the higher chance you will have of being accepted as a scholarship recipient. There is a current need to increase avalanche awareness amongst youth and snowmobilers and the scholarship fund is highly encouraging applicants to focus their efforts in these groups. In general, there are no guidelines set in stone for the successful applicant. So have fun with it, use your imaginations, and reach out to groups that could benefit from avalanche awareness education.

Application Details

To apply, please submit a one page (max) letter introducing both yourself and your idea for paying forward what you will learn in your Level 1 course. Focus more on establishing a timeline for something rather than an outline of material you don’t yet know. For example, you might say that by April 4, 2014 you will have taught two (2) awareness classes to 45 participants at two locations.  You might also list resources that you will need in order to carry out your plan. Beacons, a power point projector, cow bells, whatever. We want to work with you on this and will do our best to get you what you need, so don’t let a lack of resources get in the way of a good idea. The selection committee is less interested in the content of a plan at this stage than it is with the combination of excitement you bring to the table and willingness to carry out what you propose.
  • Eligibility: Anybody and everybody is eligible. No prior avalanche safety awareness is required. Applicants should most of all express a passion for snow and enhancing avalanche awareness.
  • Where to submit application: Please email your application as an attachment to:
  • Application Deadline: Applications are being accepted immediately. Submission deadline is November 24th, 2013. The selection committee will begin awarding the scholarships in December 2013.
Notice Of Award

Once selected, award recipients will receive further information regarding registration and scheduling of their AIARE Level 1 course. The course providers have offered a wide range of dates and locations, with some course beginning in early December. Some restrictions do apply.

Upon completion of the course it will be the recipient’s responsibility to carry out his or her project. All projects must adhere to guidelines established by the American Avalanche Association (see suggested links below). In some instances, the selection committee might wish to assign an experienced mentor to a particular project. Not to direct or guide the project, but rather to offer assistance when/if needed and to monitor the effectiveness of the program. An applicant may also ask for a mentor, in which case the selection committee will do its best to find someone suitable.

Award recipients will also receive a Feedback Sheet to distribute at their events. This sheet will serve as quality control and as a reference point to judge program effectiveness. Feedback sheets will be collected by the venue hosts, whom will be supplied with a postage paid envelope by the presenter. These feedback sheets will be sent to the selection committee in order to evaluate the overall effectiveness of
the program.

Our Program Donors

The following organizations have donated one-half of an AIARE Level 1 course each for the scholarship recipients for the 2013/2014 snow season. COAA has donated the remainder of the scholarships.  Please support them as they are supporting you!

Oregon Ski Guides
Three Sisters Backcountry

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Know Before You Go

Education Program

The "Know Before You Go" avalanche education program is offered free-of-charge by COAA to any backcountry user group.  This 60-minute presentation, originally developed by the Utah Avalanche Center, helps backcountry users develop a basic level of awareness about avalanches and the conditions that breed them.  COAA offers both snowmobile and skier-focused "Know Before You Go" presentations.  Please contact if you are interested in a KBYG program.

Upcoming KBYG Programs

2013-2014 is in the planning stages


"Just like people living on an island learn about shore breaks and riptides, winter backcountry travellers need to understand the factors involved in creating and triggering avalanches."

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