Saturday, October 17, 2009

Organized Sports on Frenchboro!

Our very small school held it's very first Cross Country Running meet today.

Those of you who live in the real world cannot understand the importance of this event for us, having multiple opportunities to expose your kids to sports and classes.
One of the things we sacrifice in order to live on this island is the ability to participate in dance, karate, or gymnastics classes. Football, baseball, softball, hockey...we try, but in order to make a 'team', all ages must play. Most times, we don't have enough kids in grades k-8 to make a whole team, let alone two.
And lets face it, an 8th grader playing baseball against a 1st grader isn't much of a sports challenge. (Unless it's Elijah!)

So we do what we can, with what we have.

This year, our teachers focused on running. Awesome!

It was a huge hit with the kids.

So our teachers asked a school from a neighboring island to join us on Frenchboro for some healthy competition. There were five students from Isle au Haut.
The Sunbeam, a boat belonging to the Maine SeaCoast Mission, brought the Isle au Haut kids over through some nasty weather.

The first race was k-2. There were three kids (all Frenchboro's), and they each won a medal. They did a great job!

Here is the second group of racers lining up, the 3rd and 4th graders.

And they're off!

They ran .8 miles. It didn't take them long.

Coming in for the finish...
You just know he's saying "No WAY I'm gettin' beat by a GIRL!"

But he did.

Thing One was in 4th place!


She was a little bummed not to medal, but took it well. (Ah..the importance of competition:learning to lose gracefully. Something Frenchboro has lacked for a lot of years.)

The big dudes: grades 5-8. Should be some competition here!

Lining up:

These guys ran 1.8 miles. They were back in 13 minutes. I couldn't do that with a snot-spraying bull hot on my heels.

But this guy could. And did.
lookit him go!

After all the runners caught their collective breath, Mr. Finn presented awards.

Little Miss was proud as a peacock to have placed 3rd. Ten bucks says she sleeps in that thing.

There they are: the K-2 team. Pretty darn happy.
(Thing Two would have run with this group, but he is off with The Big Guy on a moose hunt!)


You'll have to take my word for it, but that's Thing One under that hood, receiving her ribbon for 4th place. We've hung it in her room.


The 3rd and 4th grade Team, in all their glory. Miss P on the right took first place.

Speedy Gonzalez, who placed first in the 5-8th grade race.

Our twins were 2nd and third, respectively. I'd tell you their names, but I can't tell you which is which. They routinely switch hats to trip me up. One had a cast on recently, so I was really 'on my game' for a bit...but he got it off the other day. I'm sunk; they'll be back to their old hi-jinks.

Little Sister wanted in on the action!

Following the awarding of medals and ribbons, Mr. Finn had trophies to bestow.

Frenchboro won the trophy for Most Medals. They won first, second, and third place in all three races. Way to go kids!


You think he had a good time?

Isle au Haut won the Sportsmanship Trophy. they did a great job, too.
They were blown away by our three very steep hills! We had an edge we didn't know about!


We all headed to school for a celebratory lunch.

And, hopefully, later, there will be a little nap! (I can dream.)

Next week, we will do it again with Isleford school.

Many thanks to the Sunbeam for providing transportation back and forth between the islands. It is a nightmare of planning to coordinate ferry schedules and car rides.
We are so very thankful to the Mission for helping us gather the island kids together!

This guy hasn't made it to Kindergarten yet (much to his chagrin), but was right in the thick of things.
Today, he was hunting moose.*
With a bow, no less.

Oh, be still my achin' uterus.
I can only take small doses of this kid, because I start taking a mental inventory of baby paraphernalia in my attic, and thinking things like, 'if I conceive in March, I'll be due in....'

If he goes missing, you should probably check my house first.


I don't remember what I did as a city kid at this age.
Here's what our kids do. They build forts, and teepees.
This one is right across from the Post Office, so I see them working on it a lot. It used to be composed of discarded metal, old lawn chairs, sharp, nasty things.
They were instructed to find other, less tetanus- inducing materials.
This looks way more authentic.

Any day now I expect I'll look out to see a moose hide thrown over top of it and them living in it.
Better than drugs, I say.

*While we do currently have two moose visiting the island, we are not able to hunt them here, season or not. You must have a special lottery-drawn moose permit, and hunt in specified zones. Our moose have nothing to fear from this particular bow!


  1. do moose "visit" the island? Are you close enough to main land for them to swim?
    The teepee is great! We grew up out in the country building those.....lots of fun, and better for a kid's brain than video games for sure!

  2. Thanks for such a great story on the first ever XC meet. Hope it is just the beginning of many.