80+ Kids attended the TD Bank Kids Ski Fest

Over 80 kids attended last weekend’s TD Bank Kids Ski Fest!

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It was so exciting to see all ages of kids skiing everywhere. There were mini lessons, games in the teaching area, Steve Swenson’s Awesome Obstacle course at the top of Moose Meadow.

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The relay races around the Caddiddlehopper Cabin and Tubing Hill were a blast! Being able to see most of the course gave an Olympic Stadium feel to the race. There was even a lollipop race for the little ones.

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“It was really fun to have so many kids and their families enjoying the ski activities we offered,” said Sue Wemyss Event Coordinator and Ski School Director “Steve Swenson’s Obstacle Course was great, and lots of smiling kids made lots of trips through it.  Kids were having fun playing various games on skis, as did a few of us coaches that joined in on a highly skilled game of one-ski soccer.  It was nice to have the groups from southern Maine as well as throughout New Hampshire attend.  I hope we can make it an annual event, and continue to pull fun-loving cross country kids from both the local and more distant areas.

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Snowshoeing Adventure

Yesterday, as part of the Friday local school program, I took sixteen third graders and their teachers out on a snowshoeing adventure! It started with the fitting process and trying to learn names. Each student is assigned a pair of snowshoes for three weeks before they switch to cross country skiing for the remaining three weeks. They arrive dressed for the cold and super excited to be outside – well, that’s what we like to think but it may be because they aren’t in the classroom. Once the entire group is fitted they are ready for the adventure. After I explain a few rules and give some tips on how to walk with big huge shoes on their feet, I get a quick picture and we’re off into the woods.

We head towards the Glen Amble Loop and looked for animal tracks. We saw lots of snowshoe hare tracks and one set of deer tracks. A couple of fox prints wandered across the trail and we saw tiny prints we thought were from a little bird hopping on the snow looking for food. After all that walking they needed a break and just fell over on the side of the trail. I couldn’t resist a photo!

Next we climbed Blueberry Hill. It’s been windy here and the exposed snow varies; hard packed then soft and deep. It was fun not knowing if we were going to sink in a little or be held on the surface. The wind also created some beautiful features in the snow. I’ll call these snow islands.

Once we conquered the hill it was time for the descent! The goal was to stay upright but that didn’t happen, there were kids sprawled out everywhere and laughter bellowed out into the valley! We stopped back at the lodge for some water and then did some exploring on the main trail system. The last trail we snowshoed hadn’t been hiked since the last snow storm. I broke trail in about 17″ of snow and the kids loved it.

After two hours of snowshoeing, they were tired and ready for a snack. We finished our trek and headed back to the warmth of the lodge.

This program is excellent, it introduces kids to the exciting world in winter! It also shows them how much fun they can have while getting exercise during the months some people tend to stay inside. Hopefully it will help them to stay active all year round.

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Warming up the Nordic Body

Joan Benoit Samuelson, Dick Beardsley, Andy Newell, Sue Wemyss (flattery gets you everywhere!), Carol’s son, Kikkan Randall (2 votes), Randy Moss, Martina Navratilova, Victoria’s grandfather. These were the people that the folks in Great Glen’s Nordic Warm up class came up with, in answer to my request, “Name an athlete that you admire.”

I like to start my classes with a quick-answer question each week; as a way to learn a little more about the group’s participants. There’s not meant to be a right or wrong answer, though I was pleased to hear cross country skiers gaining our fair share of votes amongst runners, a football player, tennis player, ski jumper and sailor.

Then it’s onto our activities: on foot, on skis and even on the floor (core strengthening exercises.) We’ve been fortunate to get on snow for both sessions of our class this December. The first week we delved into skate technique, yesterday it was classic.

Undaunted by the damp weather, our group of ten skiers diagonal strided without poles, pushed themselves along the tracks with poles only, sought the timing and balance required for kick double pole, and found their positioning over their skis with a shuffling drill. I finished wet and happy with the group’s progress. We’ll start the New Year off right with our final session of the program, practicing sections of this year’s Nordic Meister course on January 1. Thanks for the tracks, Howie!  ~Sue

Posted in Cross Country Skiing, Great Glen Trails, Trails, Winter | Leave a comment