By Autumn St. Pierre, Contributing Writer
In collaboration with the Farmington Outing Club (FOC), students of professor Clyde Mitchell’s Alpine Operations Leadership and Management class organized and carried-out the first Titcomb Challenge; a day-long community event hosted at the popular local ski-hill, Titcomb Mountain. Held over February break, the event attracted mostly community members, and the organizers of the Challenge are already evaluating both its success and room for improvement in future seasons.
The Titcomb Challenge originated from a project assigned to Mitchell’s class. The students had to think of an event that they wanted to create and organize in conjunction with the FOC.
Mitchell explained that the Challenge was comprised of eight different events throughout the day. According to Mitchell, the project provided good “practice for students to gain event planning and to serve the community at the same time,” he explained.
Awards were held at 8 p.m. where participants were given prizes including a $1 raffle, give-aways, skiing apparel, donated lift tickets from Sunday River, and donated t-shirts from Sugarloaf. “Any surplus goes to Titcomb, this year it will just go to prizes,” said Mitchell.
Because this was the first year the Titcomb Challenge was held, it was new to the public as well as the people organizing it. “We weren’t really sure what to expect because it was our first season ever trying something like this,” said Maria Noyola, a member of the class and FOC.
The challenge lasted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Students who planned it were tasked with different jobs such as working the registration table, supervising events, and overall coordination and making things run smoothly. “We were definitely aiming towards the fun aspect versus the competitive aspect,” said Connor Dunn, a member of the class. “More music, fun events, etc.”
The recent snow days created a delay in communication and planning. “We’ll market it a bit better next year,” said Mitchell.
“I would start the planning months in advance to allow more room for fundraising, organizing, and marketing, getting the word out more and notifying people ahead of time so we can preregister for events,” said Noyola. “I think something like this has a lot of potential at a place like Titcomb to involve the kids and the community.”
Having the event over winter break caused an absence of UMF students. “I think having it over February break was good and bad. If it was during school I think we would have had more students,” said Dunn.
Though not many college students made an appearance, the timing of the event made it possible for school-age participants. “We were thinking about getting more younger kids,” said Dunn.
“I think we should stick with break and give the families something to look forward to in the town,” said Noyola.
The Titcomb Challenge is a convenient experience for people. “I think this is a great event because it will give kids the opportunity to participate in small and playful events with their peers while being challenged with their skill of riding,” said Noyola. “It has a variety of different ways to challenge the kids in a very laid back and fun environment.”