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Sunday, March 23, 2008 -- Mc Henry, MD
Wisp Easter Bunny Jam (iPO Event Id#: 10744)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Easter Egg Hunt Photos]

Tap the barrel
Hold that thought, first we have an Easter Egg Hunt
The festivities on Easter Sunday at Wisp Resort got under way at one in the afternoon with their first ever Easter Egg Hunt. Scheduled to start at the same time was the Easter Bunny Jam, a freestyle snowboard and ski competition to be held in the terrain park. But first, back to the Easter Egg Hunt...

"Hunting" Easter Eggs:

Wisp's Lori Epp and her assistant had quite a job on their hands. Having no idea how to predict the turnout of children three to twelve years-old, they guessed that maybe 120 hidden plastic eggs would do the job.

The eggs were packed with sweets and prizes (including one egg containing a 2008-09 season pass!) and the job of spreading them out in the grass and trees just in front of the main lodge was complete. That, in itself, was quite a task. Now it was just 30 minutes until one o'clock and the official start.

Easter Baskets
Last minute instructions before they are off
Fortunately, although the weather was a little chilly with a breeze, the sun was out and conditions were great. With 15 minutes until the start time a few children and parents had gathered and the rules were being explained. One area was designated for children three to seven and another area was designated for those eight to twelve.

Ten minutes to go and the crowd is growing. With five minutes to go it seemed children and their parents or chaperones were coming from every direction!

Lori did a masterful job of getting the two swelling groups of eager children organized and set. Promptly at one the signal was given to start the "hunt".

As expected the mild chaos soon turned to full blown pandemonium. In no time at all the eggs disappeared from their obvious and some times not too obvious hiding places. The children's baskets, buckets, bags, or simply jacket pockets swelled with their Easter bounty.

Here's hoping that everyone enjoyed themselves and no one went home empty basketed. And kudos to Lori and Wisp Resort for pulling off the event. I'm sure they learned a lot from the experience and will prepare even more Easter treasures for the children next year.

Rail Jam
Now back to this Rail Jam stuff
I wasn't able to stick around for post-hunt interviews, I was already late for the start of the Easter Bunny Jam! Or was I...?

Easter Bunny Jam:

Trying to organize hordes of little kids is quite a task but I'm not sure organizing a group of young teenage freestyle (and free spirited) snowboarders and skiers is any easier. Herding cats is probably just as easy.

The scheduled start of one o'clock was obviously going to be postponed. But thanks to the hard work of Wisp's terrain park manager, Brian Shaw, and his park crew, along with Adam DeWitt and his Wisp Outdoors event staff, things would be ready to start without too much delay.

The rail jam format was simple enough, just spend an hour doing run after run down through the terrain park. You were limited to "rail" features so just launching off the big jumps wasn't going to help you. But getting a little air off the end of a picnic table, a slanted log, or a large corrugated pipe was certainly encouraged.

Air Board
Grabbing a little air where you can
Deciding a winner would then be up to three judges. The judges would spend the hour watching all the runs and scoring each one on a scale from one to ten. Each participant's final score would then be tallied by totaling their three best runs.

The skiers and boarders were suppose to take turns showing off their skills on all the park's features in a nice orderly fashion, one rider at a time. This protocol proved impossible to strictly enforce and often times the park had boarders and skiers throughout in the midst of rail slides, 360's, grabs, and all assortment of tricks.

Regardless, everyone was having fun as they gave props to their fellow competitors whenever an impressive stunt was thrown down (or when one went very wrong.) Meanwhile the judges did their best to sort out some scores.

In the end I'm not so sure these "competitors" really cared too much about who was going to be declared "first". When it was over and the scores were tabulated they certainly accepted their prizes. But when they were handed the goods there wasn't much excitement. It was almost as if they just wanted to get this "awards" part over with so they could get back out for more time in the park. I think some little league parents could learn a few things from these "punks".

Ski This
This is not the way your father skied
For the record thirteen year-old Austin Cosner was declared the day's 13 and Under Board champion with second place going to eleven year-old Daniel Tishman. When asked if they had any comments on their "victories" they humbly shook their heads to decline.

For the 14 and Over Boarders the top three awards went to Josh Zerkel, Cody Beach, and Bryce Taylor, respectively. I asked the sixteen year-old Zerkel if he wanted to give any props on his win. He responded with a shout-out to his friends seated around him. "To my boy Cooper, and my boy Zach, and the Corys of both colors," he bemused, smiling the whole time while getting encouragement and laughs from his pals.

And finally it was the top three Skier awards going to Nick Fiorini, Brandon Farmer, and Malachi Artice, respectively. As with the others I gave the sixteen year-old Firoini a chance to brag after besting his buddies. So I asked, "Anybody you'd like to give props to for your win?" He thought for just a moment and then quietly replied, "My dad."

Punks indeed.