Snowboarders share life’s lessons with youth |

Snowboarders share life’s lessons with youth

About 300 students from schools across the South Shore took part in a spiritual outing aboard the M.S. Dixie that included two rock ‘n’ roll bands and pep talks from two professional extreme snowboarders.

The outing was sponsored by the First Baptist Church in South Lake Tahoe. Dubbed the Dixie Jam II, students from Lake Tahoe area middle schools and Lake Tahoe Community College spent a night last week dancing, singing and sharing their commitment to Jesus Christ.

“We’ve done this six times now as an outreach to all of the youth in our community,” said event organizer Sharon Morse. “It gives students the opportunity to have a positive, good time in a safe environment.”

Indeed it was.

With Reno-based Christian rock band Zero Theory as the entertainment, students danced for about two hours, and then took part in spiritual pep talks by snowboarders Chris Bartimioli, 21, and Jim Rippy, 31.

Both snowboarders, who travel worldwide participating in sanctioned events, spoke of how they find their power to perform though God.

“I gave skating up and laid it all down before the Lord and he blessed me as a snowboarder,” Bartimioli, of South Lake Tahoe, told the students. “I never gave up and God opened all the new doors in my life.”

Students said they enjoyed the outing.

“I got to see all my friends,” said Christine Richardson, 14, of South Lake Tahoe. “We had such a good time.”

Anna Buckly, 21, of South Lake Tahoe said the band and fellowship made it a rewarding experience.

“I knew this would be fun. I went last year and had a great time and so I came back again this year. I’m a fan of Zero Theory,” Buckly said.

Vernon Shuman, 19, agreed.

“I’m having a great time. The Lord Jesus took my life and made me totally different. I’ve done a 180.”

For Danielle Skiles, 17, attending Dixie Jam II had a significant meaning.

“My friends are here tonight from Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship,” Skiles said. “I know God put me here tonight for a reason. I think it’s so I can believe more in him.”

All youth, regardless of denomination or religious background, are invited to attend First Baptist Wednesday night youth group at First Baptist Church from 7 to 9 p.m. The church is located at 1053 Wildwood Ave. in South Lake Tahoe.

Jeff Munson can be reached at

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