TAMC offers winter Fit and Fun series
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — For the fifth year, The Aroostook Medical Center will offer its Fit and Fun Winter Challenge activities to families in Aroostook County starting in January 2018. All events are free or low cost and will include old favorites as well as some new additions to the seasonal events.
“Our goals are to get children moving and to encourage families to have more active lifestyles. Fit and Fun allows us to provide them with different opportunities,” said Jamie Guerrette, TAMC community health specialist. “If some families enjoy skiing or snowshoeing, that’s available to them, but if others like indoor activities like bowling, then they could do something that the whole family can enjoy.”
The first Fit and Fun Winter Challenge activity will be a TAMC Free Skate at the Presque Isle Forum on Sunday, Jan. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. The facility allows two-hundred skaters, not including spectators, on the rink at a time and organizers encourage family members to come and watch their skaters. TAMC will provide free skate rentals as supplies last.
Fit and Fun continues the next day with a free Snowman and Sliding Day at the Presque Isle Housing on Birch Street from 1 to 3 p.m. TAMC will award prizes for the best snowman and United Way of Aroostook will distribute free children’s books.
The remainder of the Fit and Fun winter season includes a snowshoe hike and a Youth Nordic Day at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle, TAMC Day at Bigrock Ski Area in Mars Hill and Quoggy Jo Ski Center in Presque Isle, bowling at Northern Lanes in Presque Isle and UMPI Family Night at Gentile Hall as well as other events. People can view the full schedule at www.tamc.org.
TAMC will also offer a Fit and Fun summer series beginning in April. Guerrette said that splitting the series into seasonal activities gives families even more incentives to stay active all year and find healthy activities in which they can participate together. The TAMC Free Skates and Snowshoe Hikes have been two of the most popular winter events. They will offer bowling at Northern Lanes for the first time in 2018.
Another new feature to Fit and Fun is the passport punch prizes. When families attend their first event for the season, a TAMC official will give each person a punch card that will earn them prizes. People who have three punches in their card from attending three events will receive a TAMC headband and those with five punches will receive a drawstring sports bag. Seven punches gives people a travel mug for hot drinks, and when they reach 10 punches they receive a Fit and Fun hoodie or sweatshirt. The summer Fit and Fun series will feature different seasonal prizes.
Most Fit and Fun events are free, but those with a cost for attendance are at or below $5. Guerrette said that TAMC has kept costs low or free to encourage more families to attend and eliminate a barrier that often keeps people from trying outdoor and fitness activities.
“Fit and Fun used to focus more on competitive races during the summer, but there was a cost to participate, and those events were geared more toward athletes,” Guerrette said. “The cost of the races limited how many people could participate, so we wanted to allow more families to be part of the activities and see them become more active and healthy.”
TAMC’s sponsorship of venues such as Bigrock, Nordic Heritage Center and Quoggy Jo and partnerships with Aroostook State Park, UMPI, the Presque Isle Forum, Northern Lanes and the Presque Isle Housing Authority makes Fit and Fun possible. Many activities during the Winter Challenge depend on weather or snow, and Guerrette encourages people to follow TAMC events on Facebook for more up-to-date information on possible cancellations or postponements during the season. Those who want more information on Fit and Fun can contact Guerrette at (207) 768-4008 or firstname.lastname@example.org.