This past Friday I was fortunate enough to be a part of planning and finally executing the 12th annual Champlain College Rail Jam. We have been in the planning process for this event since the Fall semester started, so we were all very eager to bring our vision to life. We had already recruited a list of sponsors including large companies like Burton as well as smaller business’s like Arsenic Apparel. All we had to do now was make it happen. If you have never been to an early season rail jam you may be wondering where on earth we would get snow for such an event, but luckily this was not our first rodeo.
In order to collect snow we spent Wednesday through the Friday of the event driving a rented Uhaul truck back and forth from ice rinks in the area. When an Ice rink gets resurfaced, the “snow” shaved off of the ice by ice skates is collected and dumped outside. All we had to do was take 10-15 volunteers with shovels to go pick it up and stockpile it on campus.
Of course that is much easier said then done, but after two late nights of shoveling we had enough snow for our good friends at Sugarbush Parks to work with. These guys are pros when it comes to setting up rail jams, in fact they had just done UVM’s the week before. By 5:00 on Friday the setup was complete and the attendance started to build.
The warm-ups kicked off around 5:30, and by 8:00 or so, the winners had been decided. Third place for snowboarding went to Will Muench who seemed to have come out of nowhere, Neal Cummings took second place, while Holden Barth surprised the crowd by taking first. For the skiers, Co-president of the club Taylor Bibaud took third which was especially victorious as it was his birthday. Second place went to Joey Favara, another senior at Champlain, while Christian Franchino took first for the third year in a row.
Being my third year and last year of involvement with this event, I can honestly say this was our best yet. When I first helped with one of these as a freshman, the event went so poorly that sponsors dropped out mid-event. Now the Champlain Rail Jam is recognized as one of the top collegiate rail jams in the east attracting more sponsors than ever. All I can say is thank you to everybody that volunteered their time to make this happen, as well as those who came out to have a good time.
Stay tuned for the recap video!