RUMFORD — Some Mountain Valley High School physical education classes journeyed to Carrabassett Valley for a chance to practice what they learned in class. They either snowshoed or cross-country skied to the Poplar hut, part of Maine Huts and Trails.

Freshman Abby Mazza said, “The purpose of this trip was to experience something new and trying to take what we learned in class and use it on the trail.”

Junior Kortney Chapman had a little different purpose. Her motivation was “to get out of school, into the outdoors and to have fun.”

According to physical education teacher Todd Papianou, the trip was a culminating activity after 10 classes of learning snowshoeing and Nordic skiing on a variety of terrain and snow conditions.

“Each semester we try to offer an extended outing experience as a field trip,” said physical education teacher Kristin Tyler. “The purpose is to not only offer the students an opportunity to apply their skills in an authentic environment, but it exposes the students to opportunities within reach of their communities to further pursue, enjoy and share the activities they have participated in in class.”

Chapman summed up the day, “We went to the Maine Huts and Trails and skied 2.5 miles into the Poplar hut which was pretty neat. It was all environmentally friendly and ran off solar power completely, including the heating.”

Along the trail, the students were treated to natural beauty all around them, including Poplar Falls.

For sophomore Katilyn Campbell, “seeing the waterfall was the highlight. It looked beautiful frozen.”

Chapman said, “My highlight of the trip was the nature. It was really pretty. I could see huge mountains from the mountain we were on.”

Freshman Ashleigh Stinson appreciated “getting exercise and exploring the woods.”

Nature wasn’t the thrill for all the students. Some had the need for speed.

Freshman Tyler Perry enjoyed “going down the steep hills.”

Senior Bryan Farrar had a long list of highlights. He said, “The hut was the best. It had a new, neat bathroom and beautiful wooden tables and chairs. I liked riding on the rescue sled.”

Lest the reader think that Farrar was hurt, Papianou explained, “I brought a mountaineering sled in case any of the students didn’t have the stamina for the 2.5-mile trek. With about a tenth of a mile to go, Bryan thought it would be cool to have a ride. Riding a sled behind the teacher on skis is always fun.”

Mazza added, “The highlight of this trip was getting to go outside and try something new. I learned how to ski in this class and I enjoyed it. I’m glad I decided to go.”

While learning to ski or snowshoe was important preparation for the outing, students got ready in various ways.

Sophomore Josh Glover said, “I learned how to cross-country ski and how to turn and stop. I brought layers to stay warm.”

With physical activity, food is important.

Senior Paul Merrill prepared by “getting my coat and gloves then my bag lunch.”

The students came back to school with rosy cheeks and stories to tell. Unanimously, they would recommend the trip to classmates.

Freshman Joey Smart said, “It was a blast!”

“The down hill is worth the climb up,” sophomore Kyle Lee added.

Sophomore Joe Morton said, “I would say this class is great! You should take it because it was fun. The bus ride (with lots of bumps) was great.”

Finally sophomore Dylan Gaudet said, “I would tell them it’s a great class with good people and you get to go on field trips.”

Participants in the trek included Kyle Bartlett, Katilyn Campbell, Kortney Chapman, Bryan Farrar, Isaac Gallant, Dylan Gaudet, Josh Glover, Marijo Kiley, Kyle Lee, Josh Mason, Abigail Mazza, Danielle Merrill, Paul Merrill, Joe Morton, Tyler Perry, Stacey Roberts (student leader), Joey Smart and Ashley Stinson-Curtis. They are students in physical education classes called Lifetime Pursuits, Adaptive Physical Education and Adventure Programming.

Teachers Tyler and Papianou planned and led the trip and substitute teacher Ray McKenna accompanied them. The trip was funded through the normal budgeting process. Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant earned several years ago paid for the snowshoes and skis.

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