Titcomb Provides for UMF

How a generous donation is helping students find new appreciation for the local ski mountain.

By Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer

     As the air gets colder and snow begins to fall, one Farmington location prepares for the winter season. Winter is nearing and Titcomb Mountain will soon be the heart of the town, the staff and all the volunteers’ hard work will begin to pay off. The mountain sits just two miles away from the university; a seven-minute drive. Throughout the years, the mountain has become a necessary asset to UMF. 

    Titcomb Mountain is fit to serve all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. The mountain has well-kept cross country trails and a terrain park. Titcomb was established in 1939 and is more alive and well than ever before. Night skiing is offered on select evenings throughout the season. 

  Thanks to a generous donation, full-time students at UMF receive free season passes to Titcomb. “When you pair the free season pass with MO (Mainely Outdoors) rentals, and free learn to ski lessons taught through the Alpine Operations Certificate Program, it really makes skiing accessible to all students here at the university,” says senior and class president, Isaac Seigle.

    “It’s impossible for Titcomb to go a day without the mountain being used by someone who is also a student at the university,” said Seigle. The mountain has a deep-seated integration with the university. 

    Seigle explained how Titcomb means more to him than just skiing. “Titcomb [has been] a part of my life since I was eight is what made me want to go to UMF for ORBA (Outdoor Recreation Business Administration),” he said. “I loved skiing, and I loved Titcomb, and getting an education that would help me do work addressing awareness of the barriers to equity in outdoor recreation was really important to me. Without organizations like Titcomb, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make skiing such a part of my life.”

    For the students in the ORBA program at UMF, Titcomb has been a great outlet to show off what the students have learned. “For me, this is a great opportunity to have a management position at a mountain as a student. It will help me later in life,” says Sam Scheff, an ORBA major and the terrain park manager at Titcomb.

    Both Scheff and Seigle started working at Titcomb through internships at UMF as requirements for their majors. “Titcomb sees a lot of students wanting to do their internship at the mountain. Once it came time for my internship, it just made sense to me to do it at Titcomb and give back to the mountain that gave me so much throughout my life,” said Seigle. “Being a smaller organization, an internship at Titcomb is also a great first chance for students to stand up and be in a position to take on more responsibility within an organization that is resource strained.”

    “The atmosphere is one of the best things about Titcomb. It is so family-friendly and accepting,” said Scheff.

    This small mountain operates with the slogan, “The friendliest mountain around.” That goal is embodied by all. “Titcomb is oriented around being a really friendly place that can feel like home,” said Seigle. 

    This mountain is an incredible resource to the community and our school. “Most know that the mountain is run by mostly volunteers, so it takes a whole community to get it up and running,” said Scheff. “Stop by and come see Titcomb. Come see what we’re all about.”

Farmington Outing Club Planning New Trips and Reaching Out

By Journey Bubar Contributing Writer

The Farmington Outing Club’s President Isaac Seigle and Vice President Kyle Joseph both agree that FOC is a great place to have fun with friends while enjoying the outdoors.

   “A lot of people don’t really get outside anymore,” added Joseph. “Growing up, all we were was outside, and now everyone’s got screens.”

   FOC does all kinds of activities from skiing to rock climbing to hiking. “It’s mostly just about getting people engaged in the outdoors,” explained Seigle.

   Both Seigle and Joseph are Outdoor Recreation Business Administration majors with certificates in Alpine Operations. They’re also involved with Mainely Outdoors activities, as well as regular skiers and teachers at Titcomb Mountain.   

   Seigle mentioned that people who are uncomfortable or not as familiar with the outdoors can join FOC and be surrounded by people that are. It can make the overall experience more enjoyable. “Sharing what we like to do with other people,” said Joseph.

   As a club, all of the members are friends and like to go skiing and hiking as a group outside of FOC events. “You can be like ‘Hey I’m gonna go do this thing’ and people can come with you,” said Seigle. “So I guess a lot of stuff that we do isn’t necessarily like through the University, but we use our club time together through the week to plan activities.”

   FOC likes to take at least one big trip a semester. Last year they went Nordic skiing at Maine Huts & Trails. They rented a lodge and some cabins for 40 people for a weekend trip. “That was what we spent most of our budget on,” Joseph added.

   Seigle said that this year is a building year for FOC and they are in the process of meeting with Student Senate to create a new budget. They do a lot of fundraising and bottle drives to earn most of the money for their trips.

   “A lot of us have decent connections with people in the outdoor recreation industry, so sometimes we can get a lot of discounts and stuff or make things happen for cheaper than they would if you were to buy it yourself,” Seigle explained.

   Some of FOC’s big attraction events are “Party in the Park” and ski trips. “Winter’s our busiest season,” said Seigle.  “We do a lot of stuff like every weekend.”

   “Party in the Park” is a collaboration between Titcomb mountain, a local high school ski club and FOC. The groups work together to build park rails and jumps for freestyle skiing in the spring, and provide music and food as well. “It’s a really good event, usually 70 people show up. It raised like $1000 for Titcomb,” Seigle said.

   Joseph and Seigle both said that the Poplar Falls trip they did last year was one of their favorites and they want to do it again this spring. “We have plenty of ideas for trips,” said Joseph. FOC also tries to do other types of activities like white water rafting, biking, and boating.

   “We need people to show up, that’s what gets the club going,” said Joseph. “If you have a good experience with us, share it. Spread the name, spread the word.”

   “Spread the vibe,” Seigle added. “Peace, love, positivity,” Joseph concluded.