When snow falls, spirits rise at the Mezitts' Richmond home. The family of four loves skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowskating — essentially skateboarding on snow. And they don't have to leave home for much of their outdoor fun. "We have four acres of land, and it's kind of a winter wonderland when there's snow on the ground," says mom Cara.
During the last two winters, she and dad Brian have built an igloo for their two boys — Will, 7, and Cullen, 5. Last year, they added a snow cave and a 100-foot-long luge track with five banked turns.
The Mezitts' terrain-park tradition started on a snowy day when their sons' plastic snow-brick molds caught Brian's eye. "He's a mechanical engineer, so he builds things," Cara says. He made snow bricks and lined them up in a horseshoe shape. With the boys' help, he added layers, leaning the bricks toward the middle so the final product was shaped like a beehive. It stood about 4-and-a-half feet tall.
A fallen tree in the woods behind the house inspired the snow cave. Brian laid pine branches against it, and the boys played inside. When snow fell, it became a cozy hideaway where the family sipped hot chocolate together.
The luge track, on a slope in their yard, was built entirely out of packed snow. "I have a blast out there, too," Cara says, noting that she had a hard time getting her sons to come in at night that winter. "They do the luge track with headlamps on," she says.
Parents: Brian and Cara Mezitt Sons: Will, 7, and Cullen, 5
When building an igloo, all you need is a snow-brick mold and good, packable snow. "It's got to be 'snowman snow'," Cara says. "Start small, because you don't want a huge structure falling on you."
Want to make a knockout snow creation? Sometimes all it takes is enthusiasm. When the first snow fell in early November, it measured no more than 2 inches, but Will and Cullen built a 4-foot-tall snowman. "They rolled every inch of snow off the lawn they could," says their mother.
At ECHO Camps, we insist that science is fun and that kids who love science, nature, and making things are the most awesome kids around. We love kids who are different, kids who imagine, and kids who care. We strive to ensure that every camper has a transformative experience at…(more)