Spaulding Youth Center Hosts Dog Sled Demo Day During Winter Carnival Celebrations

March 08, 2017

Northfield, NH – Spaulding Youth Center celebrated its annual Winter Carnival last week as part of their Experiential Challenges Outdoors (EChO) program. This year’s Winter Carnival introduced a new element this year with a day of Dog Sled Demos in addition to the exciting sled challenges.

On Tuesday, February 28th, students enjoyed a meet and greet with the dog sled team. Throughout the day, each classroom spent time with the dogs and learned about the adventures of dog sledding, complete with a demonstration.

Winter Carnival Exploration Cardboard SledIn the spirit of this year’s carnival theme of Exploration, each class was encouraged to select an explorer or type of exploration and then design and build a cardboard sled based on their selection. The lack of snow and forecasted high winds was no problem for these enthusiastic kids. Activities were moved into Spaulding’s gym on campus and adapted to capture all the fun indoors. Carnival highlights included a cardboard sled contest and derby, obstacle race, a three-legged explorer race, tug of war, and hula moose. Class sleds were judged with prizes awarded based on sled designs and costumes.
Winter Carnival Exploration Cardboard Sled“The students and staff look forward to the Winter Carnival festivities every year,” said Jason Sterner, EChO Outdoor Education Coordinator. “Our EChO program provides our students with valuable learning experiences while enjoying the great outdoors available right on our scenic campus. The winter months are no exception and we are extremely proud to offer this unique curriculum that can only be found on the Spaulding campus.”

This year’s Winter Carnival theme Exploration ties into EChO’s planned Virtual Expedition this spring, which is John Wesley Powell’s epic first journey down the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon. During this unit, students will learn about packing, planning, camping, and navigation through the lens of Powell’s expedition. In addition, any exercise completed by the students during the next two months will count towards completing the 930-mile trip. The unit will culminate with each class building a cardboard replica of one of Powell’s boats, and then floating it in a nearby lake in June as the school year comes to a close.

The EChO program at Spaulding Youth Center was built on the belief that every student should have the opportunity for the kind of growth that comes from real adventure. With carefully-planned and designed activities as well as cutting-edge adaptive equipment and techniques, students learn to embrace challenges and take positive risks in a variety of year-round outside activities.


Spaulding Youth Center is a leading provider of services for children and youth with neurological, emotional, behavioral, learning and/or developmental challenges including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Services include academic, behavioral health, residential, foster care, health and wellness and family support. Spaulding Youth Center Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For information about Spaulding Youth Center, visit

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