Outdoor skills students brave high winds and cold to fish at Roxbury Pond

Outdoor skills students brave high winds and cold to fish at Roxbury Pond

ROXBURY — Students and teachers in the District 9 Applied Technology School’s Outdoor Skills and Leadership Program hosted an outdoor winter ice fishing event Friday at Roxbury Pond for about 90 TW Kelly Dirigo Middle School students.

Middle School Principal Jason Long said the students caught at least four or more fish in the two-and-a-half hours before heading to their buses to return to Dixfield School because of the wind.

“We can control everything, but the weather and everything went well except for the wind,” Long said.

However, he said District 9 coaches John Longley and Jeff Rainey, who is also a master guide at Maine, did a “fantastic” job organizing the event.

“It’s a huge job to get the kids safely in and out of the lake, set up warm shelters, and train their (District 9) kids to be guides. We came here; all the holes were drilled, the traps were ready to set, and it was done really well,” Long said. .

Max Berg, a student at Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield, makes snow angels while waiting for a flag Friday during an outdoor winter ice fishing event hosted by the Applied Technology School District 9 Outdoor Skills and Leadership Program at Roxbury Pond in Roxbury. Ross Dillingham/Sun Journal

The first crew of District 9 students was dispatched around 7 a.m. and another group came out at 8 a.m. to unload the ATV side-by-sides, drill holes in the ice and secure the ice huts, Longley said. A different group came in at 9 a.m. to finish preparations in time for the middle school students to arrive at 9:30 a.m

The school was assisted with shuttle transportation, from the shore to the middle of the lake where they were ice fishing, by fire departments in Mexico and Paris, run by District 9 graduate students, Coach Rainey said.

Rennie said he and Longley created the Outdoor Skills and Leadership program around March 2020.

As the students prepared to leave the lake, “some lessons were learned,” Longley said, and the kids had a lot of success during the ice fishing event. “The weather wasn’t cooperating by any means, and it wasn’t supposed to be this stormy. But a lot of the guys had their way today with some nice little music.”

“I think we decided it might be best to call it ‘finish the catch’ at about 11, and there were some cold, but happy, happy students. I mean they caught some nice fish today,” Rennie said. “That’s why I’m doing this.” ; The big thrill I got out of this is that the young lady caught that fish, and she will remember it for the rest of her life.

Rainey also shared that although his ice fishing day was cut short due to the weather, he and Longley will go to the middle school to give away gifts of Jack Traps wooden jig rods to the four students who caught the fish, paid for through a program from the Department of Inland Fishing and Wildlife In Maine, they depend on fishing – not drugs.

Other participating students will receive fish and animal trail identification cards, Rainey said.

Students braced for strong, cold winds as they returned to their bus Friday after an outdoor winter ice fishing event hosted by the District 9 School of Applied Technology’s Outdoor Skills and Leadership program at Roxbury Pond in Roxbury. Ross Dillingham/Sun Journal


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