Kilimanjaro Cardboard Sled Derby at Spaulding Youth Center

March 15, 2013

The highlight of Spaulding Youth Center’s recent winter carnival was a good old-fashioned cardboard sled derby. The annual carnival is part of the EChO (Experiential Challenges Outdoors) winter program, so the theme was integrated with this year’s virtual expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro. A lot of thought went into the creation of the students’ colorful and carefully crafted sleds and masks. The derby sleds included elephants, an alligator, a jeep painted with a camouflage motif and a dynamite red airplane with a stuffed bear in the cockpit. There was much laughter and delight when a surprise entry arrived on the scene. Spaulding’s membership team under the leadership of CEO and President Susan Calegari had secretly worked on an entry called the Kilimanjaro Express with an engine, a caboose and three cars. Everyone had a great time racing down the hill and amazingly enough most sleds were so well duct taped that they held together for numerous rides.

Students and staff enjoyed many activities at the carnival including cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoe races, sledding and snowball and hoop throwing contests. They munched on delicious cookies made in our own dining hall and sipped hot chocolate to stay warm. For those less inclined to participate in winter sports there was an indoor drumming circle. The students ended the day with great memories and a fistful of ribbons for participating in various activities.

Spaulding Youth Center leverages professional expertise to help young people with autism or other developmental and/or behavioral challenges learn the academic and life skills needed to be successful in their homes, schools and communities.

For information about Spaulding Youth Center, contact Gail Mayhew, Director of Development at 603-286-7500 ext. 532; or visit

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