This idea really is for the youth ministries which aren’t located anywhere near the snow. Running a snow slide at your church will be a big draw card if you live in an area where snow is a novelty, but in order to be able to pull this off, you need access to snow! You can get snow for your event in one of two ways.
1. Get it from an ice-skating rink. They shave the top off their ice a couple of times a day and normally leave it out the back of the rink to melt. If you ask nicely sometimes they will let you take a few trailer loads of it. Sometimes offering a small financial thank you gift towards their business might help you get this over the line if they seem hesitant. You could even ask the local ice rink to store up their ice shavings for a whole week so you have heaps.
2. Drive to the snow and shovel a truckload of snow into trailers (or literally a truck) and then drive it back to your event. You don’t want to be driving more than 3.5 hours though if the weather is too hot as the ice will melt and you would have driven all that way for nothing. Although if you are lucky you might be able to get access to a refrigerated truck (game changer!) then you could drive 6 hours each way and still be fine.
Once you have confirmed you have a way to get the snow for your event, then you can begin promoting it. Don’t promote it if you can’t deliver on the goods.
Build a ramp out of stuff you have lying around. A youth ministry in Melbourne Australia hired some scaffold for a few hundred dollars and then used old trampoline frames and pieces of wood to make the ramp. A lot of gaffa tape and zip ties helped make it safe….. And some nuts and bolts.
Once you have the basic wooden ramp you will need to start building the side rails for safety. The last thing you want is a teenager falling off the side of the ramp.
In order to keep the snow sticking to the ramp and not sliding down it, screw slats of wood horizontally onto your ramp 1 meter away from each other. Then screw pieces of old carpet over the whole slide. This will create different pockets for the snow to sit in and not fall down the ramp.
To help make the transition from the bottom of the ramp into the ground smooth use bark, sand, or dirt to build it up and make the angle less aggressive. Once you are happy with the angle cover it with carpet.
If you don’t have access to a lot of snow build a jump at the bottom of the slide and put mattresses after it. This will mean you don’t need to provide the extra snow for the runway at the bottom of the slide.
Have some shovels handy on the night and a team of 2 or 3 boys ready to make quick fixes to the snow on the ramp during the event. Sometimes if a kid drops their foot while going down the slide it can kick some of the snow up and it will need to be fixed.
Lastly, organise a bunch of things for teens to slide down the ramp on. Toboggans don’t work well because of the channels in the bottom of them but here is a list of things that work awesome.
1. Eski lids
2. Inflatable pool toys
3. Inflatable Toy Boat
4. Inner tube from a car tire
5. 44 Gallon Plastic Barrel (send a teen down inside of it)
7. Boogie board (without fins)
8. Wok / Large Frie Pan / Flat Oven tray
9. Cardboard Sheets
10. Skateboard with no trucks or wheels (just the deck)