BETHEL — Mosquitoes, and ticks, and poison ivy, oh my. It seems like there are a lot of reasons to stay inside – but not this summer. (That was an unintentional rhyme, but I can’t help but feel that it punctuates the point.)

Ultimate Frisbee, and disc golf, and gaga ball, oh yeah. Starting this summer, Bethel Rec Board has new activities for ya. (Okay, that was a stretch, but I couldn’t help but try and rhyme again there.) If biking, skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, kayaking, pickleball, snowboarding, rafting, basketball, fishing, ATV-ing, canoeing, rock climbing, ice skating, skateboarding, ice fishing, and dog sled racing weren’t enough, Bethel has even more, to offer now.

Starting in late June at the Ethel Bisbee School, Bethel is excited to introduce more recreational options for everyone. That means children, teens, young adults, families, and even the seniors here in town- a few simple additions to what Bethel has to offer, and everyone’s included- that’s something to have pride about.

Disc Golf, ultimate Frisbee, and gaga ball are all the newest addition to what Bethel Recreation Board has to offer. All three sports are age-inclusive, meaning anyone can play. They are also easy to pick up and play along with mastering … well, that’s an entirely different matter.

Disc Golf is just what it sounds; a combination of Frisbee and golfing into a sport that is not nearly as boring as it may sound. The basic gist is that you throw a Frisbee (all weighted to different densities for different purposes, just like in golf; driver, mid-range, and putters are the essentials) from the starting line to a metal basket some distance away; once you make it there, the next basket is the next throw away.

The fun thing about disc golf is, unlike regular golf, the most fun you can find is playing in the woods. The basket could be a short distance away, but around a sharp curve between crowded trees; you might go long distances on open plains, but if you stop short, you might be wading through water; uphill, downhill, rain and shine all have their own unique experiences.


The best at the sport gets out no matter what and has a blast doing it. You won’t find any references to this online, but in my travels, I have heard more than once that Mainers are among the best disc golfers. No pressure, but we have a legacy to uphold now.

Keep in mind when visiting the Ethel Bisbee school that the few disc catchers we have so far are just the beginning. If we see enough interest, we will gladly add more baskets in the future. Also, remember that these baskets are just the beginning, conveniently located for practice and short runs. Western Maine has plenty of courses available all around us for every skill level if you find you advance beyond what we offer.

Ultimate Frisbee is the ultimate college ice breaker game. Anyone with a Frisbee can play; you can have 2-on-2, 3-on-3, or any ratio you prefer. As with any sport, there are official rules, but the great thing is, as long as everything is pre-established before the game, ultimate Frisbee can be played anywhere. Think Uno. Have you ever tried to play Uno at someone else’s house? House rules must be established before the game commences, or arguments will follow.

The basic gist of ultimate Frisbee is that two teams face each other and try and catch the Frisbee in the opponent’s end zone. You can only score a point if it is your team’s turn, and depending on the rules established, once you catch the Frisbee, upon landing, you may only take a step or two before you must throw it on or be penalized. Of course, there is more to it than that, but it isn’t complicated, and teams can be mixed of all ages.

Gaga Ball is the one you will most likely be least familiar with. Think dodge ball in a small pit, but instead of teams, it’s a free for all. Okay, that might have scared some of you off, but it is wicked addicting and fun, I promise. It is also intense, so keep that in mind. In an octagon-shaped pit, with walls that come up to about the hips of an adult, one ball is bounced around and used to eliminate anyone it touches from the knees down.

One person starts, using their hands to fling it at anyone else’s feet, and that person attempts to jump over it or dodge around it. Once the ball hits the ground, a new person can use their hands to punch it towards someone else.


Be careful, though, because if the ball is caught mid-air, the person that sent it flying is now out. If you are hit below the knees, you exit the pit for that round; the last one standing wins. As with the other two sports, there is more to it than this article can articulate, but rest assured, they are all easy to pick up.

These newest additions join the ranks of the new Ice Rink that opened here in Bethel this past winter. People loved it so much that not only is it coming back this winter, it’s coming back bigger and better than before. Are you excited to hear more?

Well, that isn’t what this article is about, so you will have to wait to hear more. But, I can tell you that the more that participate, the more enthusiasm garnered, the more packed we can get these new sports, the more they will expand and grow.

While it may be tempting to try and find excuses to stay inside and hide from the bugs this summer, you will have far more fun joining the people yelling and carrying along down yonder, so come join. Wear bug spray, long socks, and tight-fitting clothes if you are afraid of ticks and such.

This isn’t a bug repellent marketing gimmick, do your research for the best repellent, but just get outside and sweat a bit. Games are always more fun with the more that join- don’t want to participate? Come participate in the peanut gallery and join in wherever you are comfortable. It’s summertime; let’s all spend more time outside this year.


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