There are 365 days in a year. The average person has about 12 days in a given year that they really look forward to. Today was one of my 12 days. No, it’s not my birthday (yet), it’s not Christmas or anything like that- but it is a holiday- the annual Cardigan Mountain School Ski Holiday. The annual ski holiday has been held at Loon since I started here six amazing years ago and it has morphed into quite the event.
This year, 275 teenage boys descended on Loon Mountain in a caravan of three large buses and eight mini-buses. They brought along 25 kids from a Finnish Hockey Team visiting from, well, Finland, to participate in the festivities. Every year, it’s tradition at Cardigan Mountain School that the entire school has a ski day, however, that day is kept in the dark to all of the students until that morning. On the morning of the ski day, all of the teachers wear yellow ties to signify that TODAY is the annual ski day at breakfast. Classes are cancelled and the entire school has 30 minutes to board buses bound for Loon Mountain for a day of FUN. Preparations for this day are done well in advance, and we have post it notes and e-mail reminders throughout the resort to alert the staff that this day is an ABSOLUTE secret. These teenage boys can be sneaky, of course they want to find out when their annual ski day is, but we all want in on the surprise. They will try anything to find out the date but they have met their match. We look forward to this day just as much as they do, and it really is quite the sight to see all of those Cardigan buses cross over the bridge to Loon and pull up in the turnaround in front of the Governors Pavilion.
We couldn’t have ordered better weather for them; high 30’s, even low 40’s at times, and bright and sunny skies. The kids flood into the Pavilion, get their tickets for the day, and head off to their activities; skiing/snowboarding, tubing, XC skiing, or lounging around in the Pavilion playing video games on their laptops. Our incredible rental shop staff, under the guidance of a very supportive and energetic manager, Meg White, set up all of their rentals in advance so they can maximize their time on the snow instead of in line at the rental shop. While they are in the rental shop gearing up, the amazing employees at the Governors Lodge are prepping pizzas for their lunch; 95 pizzas to be exact. It’s no small task feeding 275 hungry teenage boys, but we’re prepared.
Lucky for me, I pulled out my trusty running shoes for this event so I could descend and climb up multiple flights of stairs running pizzas from the Governors Lodge to the Pavilion. The job-sharing sales team had to call upon other departments to job-share and help us out this time- Lisa from Accounting was ready and eager to help get all of the boys ticketed and through the rental shop- our Krumptastic Marketing Manager, Katelyn, also stepped up for the challenge and did the same, then came back for more and was the “Pavilion Pizza Lady” dishing out slices and calling my cell phone for more and more and, YES, MORE pizza to feed these hungry boys. The fearless and hard-working Rental manager, Meg White, also couldn’t get enough, and she brought her running shoes as well- running more pizzas to the Pavilion than the average Dominos delivery guy delivers to college students at a major University on a Friday night.
Once the pizza craze subsided and the kids were full and trying to stuff down the 500 cookies allotted for them for dessert, Adam and I went back to the Governors Lodge to help out the phenomenal staff that helped make this pizza party/CMS ski day a reality. Adam scooped soup and I ATTEMPTED to wrap oatmeal/raisin cookies (I really should leave out the ‘cookie wrapping’ from my resume. I apologize in advance if you purchased one of these cookies. They are absolutely phenomenal, but the wrapping job is less than stellar, to say the least. Up to my elbows in saran wrap, Jackie then uttered the words, “we need pudding cups”… I don’t know what it is about those pudding cups, but they ARE popular. I ran down the stairs to get the pudding stash and Jackie lined up the cups. After a rather hilarious attempt to open the cans of pudding, we “divided and conquered” the task at hand. This is only my second attempt at mastering the pudding cup assembly skill, and I’m still a work in progress. Thankfully, Jackie has the ‘touch’ and can make my pudding mess look presentable and delectable. It’s an art – one of which I am having a very difficult time mastering.
After the kids were fed and the pudding cups stocked, it was time to venture back to the windowless office and do some invoicing. We had nine groups today, six of whom were on the larger side (50 or more). This takes time, but so does assembling pudding cups. Thankfully, while assembling these pudding cups, I was multi-tasking and thinking of the invoicing I was about to endure. A half hour later, the invoices were done, sent out, and it was back to the grind. Honestly, the 30 minute invoicing break could have lasted a bit longer; it was really nice sitting down for an extended period of time. We headed back to the rental shop to help with returns. The rental staff had processed more than half of the weekend rental volume on a THURSDAY with half the staff AND helped us out running pizza (they did wash their hands repeatedly before doing so, FYI), so it was the least we could do to help them. “Many hands make light work” is my philosophy, I’m not right about much, but I’m sure I am right when it comes to that. We helped hang poles, buckle boots, check in skis, and then we ventured out to the “adventure zone” (aka Governors Lodge turnaround) to park buses for pickup. It turned out to be quite the task, but the reward was just awesome. I have one heck of a tan… whoops – what I meant to say was that we had 275 very happy and FULL teenage boys boarding their buses to head back to the Cardigan Mountain School campus.
There are not many careers on this planet that can mix fun, bus lane management, ticketing, pizza delivery, rental boot fitting, ski pole hanging, even pudding cup fulfillment, but I have managed to find one. And I couldn’t imagine doing anything different! That’s it for now…my energy level has gone from ¾ of a tank to empty- if only AAA was able to assist with that refill!!!
More excitement and job sharing fun coming up starting on Saturday- the start of Vacation week and non-stop fun!!!
Until Next Time,