North Salem’s Charlotte Proctor, 11, competes in national snowboarding competition


Image courtesy of Karen Proctor

This week is spring break for North Salem Central School District, and one North Salem Middle School student is spending it competing for a national championship in snowboarding. Sixth grader Charlotte Proctor is competing in the giant slalom and boardercross–two of the four events she qualified to race in at the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championship in Colorado.

This is the second consecutive year that Proctor, 11, has qualified for nationals. She has been riding snowboards since she was just 2.5 years old, learning first at Thunder Ridge before progressing to bigger and more challenging mountains up and down the East Coast.

As Proctor progressed in the sport, she and her parents, Tim and Karen, along with her brother Jack, 12, spent more and more time on the slopes in search of more challenging terrain. “We always put a lot of time on the snow. Last season we did seven races,” said Karen.

Charlotte Proctor holds up the 21 medals she won from 21 competitions this season as part of the 2023 USASA Catskill Mountain Series. (Photo courtesy of Karen Proctor)

This winter, Proctor joined a snowboarding team in an effort to level up her training. Of the eight kids on the team, Proctor and one other snowboarder are the only girls. The team rides every weekend, training and racing in places like the Catskills, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

“She had to give up her social life. She’d get up at 6:00 a.m. to be at the mountain by 8:00 a.m.every weekend since December,” Karen said. “She was committed. She had to miss a lot of her friends’ stuff, but she never complained. She was focused on her goals.”

For Proctor, snowboarding makes her feel invincible. “I feel like I can do whatever I want,” she said. This winter, Proctor mastered her 180s,  midair turns in which a rider spins their snowboard 180 degrees. “Last winter I was too scared to do them," she said. "Now, whenever I can, I try to do one wherever I am on the mountain.”

Image courtesy of Karen Proctor

Heading into this week, Proctor’s goal was to place in the top 10. “Possibly top 5,” she added with a hopeful expression.

No matter how Proctor finishes this week, it’s clear that she’s determined to pursue greatness. “I know I'm scared a lot, trying new things, but I know I shouldn’t be because no matter what you’re going to land it one day, possibly.” Her advice for other kids? “Don’t give up because once you tell yourself ‘I can’t do it,’ then you can’t do it. Never tell yourself ‘I can’t do it.’”

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