Skiing Isn’t Always About Competition

January 15, 2020
Maine Adaptive Instructor Junior Volunteers from Gould
Cammy Simard ’20 and former Maine Adaptive instructor Cecilia Mastroianni ’18.

Maine Adaptive is a really special program that is close to my heart,” says senior Cammy Simard. “I have met so many people with really inspiring stories. Sometimes I think I learn more than I can ever teach the participants!”

In her third season working with alpine skiers with physical disabilities, Cammy started by taking clinics in learning how to teach “Never-Evers,” people who have never been on the slopes, as well as clinics on how the equipment students use works.

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“I attempted to ski in a bi-ski clinic this year!” she adds. “It’s really helpful because as a volunteer you need to understand how the equipment works in order to assist them. What I do definitely depends on the skier and their disability. Some skiers can ski on their own, and others I am tethering. As a junior volunteer, I’ve skied with a different participant each day, along with 1-3 other volunteers.”

Cammy Simard working with Maine Adaptive
Cammy working with Maine Adaptive volunteers and a participant. Photo by Beth Gibson ’18

This year, she is excited to ski with elementary school students from Crescent Park who ski through the Rugrats program. “Which is especially exciting as I was a Rugrat myself,” she says. There is one Maine Adaptive participant in each grade from Rugrats.

In addition to her work on the slopes, she is getting a behind the scenes look at Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation this year, working with Deb Maxfield, the Director of Advancement at Maine Adaptive, for her Senior Four Point Project.

“I’m interested in a career in marketing and advertising,” says Cammy. “For my Fourpoint, I hope to learn how to advertise and fundraise for a nonprofit organization.”

Cammy had known about Maine Adaptive before she came to Gould, because her grandfather Chip Crothers was one of its founders.

“I first met her when she designed the image for our 29th Ski-A-Thon in 2014,” says Maxfield. “She is observant and has a demonstrated ability to read an audience all while displaying kindness. All of us are Maine Adaptive are honored to count her as one of our dedicated volunteers. I believe she’ll teach us more than she realizes.”

“I chose to be involved because I’ve been fortunate enough to have skied ever since I could walk, without any obstacles. And, as a Gould student, it is very easy to take for granted the opportunities we have.”

“But, I chose to be involved,” she explains, “because I’ve been fortunate enough to have skied ever since I could walk, without any obstacles. And, as a Gould student, it is very easy to take for granted the opportunities we have, especially being able to ski at Sunday River four days a week. There is no one happier to be out there than the students that I ski with. The students are so appreciative and are always living in the moment. That is how I strive to be.”

Learn more about Maine Adaptive and how to Join in the fun!

Maine Adaptive offers winter and summer adaptive sports lessons to hundreds of children and adults with disabilities every year. “Because people don’t want to be defined by their disabilities.”


One Response

  1. Avatar Gregory Gorbach says:

    I am class of 1972. I started skiing regularly at Gould. Then I went to Montana State where I spent a little too much time on the mountain so it took me a while to graduate and I continued to ski on and off until now. Three years ago, I woke up paralyzed one morning from a weird spinal disease. I have been struggling back and this year have been trying some adaptive skiing techniques including bi ski, slider and outriggers. At the end of this month, I am going to the National Adaptive Center in Park City, Utah to try out an adaptive ski bike. I am available if you want to talk about my experiences and might even take a road trip back to Maine if you need a guinea pig.

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