By Natalia Asis, Staff Writer
The Fitness and Recreation Center (FRC) organizes different kinds of events throughout the
semester and for this fall term, many indoor and outdoor activities will be taking place. Some of them
are classes, such as scuba diving and a wilderness first aid class, while others are outdoor activities
like horseback riding.
“In the state of Maine, there are many recreation activities and resources available for people to
take advantage of. We want to get students, faculty, staff and community members active and
outdoors,” said Jim Toner, director of the Fitness and Recreation Center.
One of these activities is a high ropes course program on Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. “It should be cool.
I’ve been meaning to try the high ropes,” said Connor Sabia, a freshman at UMF, “The fitness center
offers a lot of trips and activities for us.”
Many other activities are also scheduled for November and December. “We have the Try Scuba
class in which people can sign up for it and see if they like it before they become certified and spend
the money to do that,” said Toner. “The Wilderness First Aid Class is for people who are interested in
learning more about what they need to know since there are different situations that could come up
while they are outside, in an excursion. Also, in early December [Dec. 1], we are taking a trip to
Portland to go to the Maine Rock Gym.”
One of the busiest outings will be the horseback riding trip, which will be taking place Nov. 4. “We
are doing in conjunction with the student life and that’s actually filled up,” said Toner. “It filled up
pretty quickly.” This activity seems to get a positive response every year. “It’s a very popular activity,”
said Toner. “There’s a stable in Bethel, an hour and fifteen minutes away.”
Valentine Desplat, an exchange student from France, has already signed up for this activity. “I’m
interested in this trip because I have been riding horses since I was three so this is a part of my life,”
One of the past trips the FRC organized was an excursion in Acadia National Park on Oct. 20. “We
had a bus that drove us around the Eastern part of Acadia and it took us all the way up the mountain. My
favorite part was when we went to Sand Beach,” Sabia said. “We saw the waves hitting the sides of the
cliffs and, actually, a couple of other people and myself took of their shoes and socks and we actually
stood ankle deep in the water. It was a little cold but we had a blast,” he said.
Not many people know that Acadia is host to the tallest mountain in the Atlantic Coast. “It’s the
tallest peak in the East Coast and it has wonderful sights to see. Lots to see, lots to do, lots to
experience,” said Toner. “We had not done any trip to Acadia through the FRC in the past and it’s more
or less in our backyard!”
“People may not get a chance to see it [Acadia]. It gives us a chance to take people there by
providing the transportation,” Toner said.
Desplat said, “I liked when we stopped at the bridge and we had the forest and the sea at the end.
Such different sceneries.”
“It was my first time in Acadia and it was wonderful. We went to the sea and I really liked it because
the weather wasn’t beautiful and I liked seeing the big waves crushing the rocks,” said Ophélie De San
Bartholomé, one of the French T.A.s at UMF.
The trip seemed captivating as Sabia wanted more time in Acadia. “I loved the trip. It was fantastic. I
wished we could have stayed more, but I really loved it. I’ll definitely go back to Acadia,” said Sabia.
Many other activities will be offered in the future. “In the wintertime, we’ll do things like
snowshoeing and country skiing and hikes and things like that. So even in the wintertime, we’ll have
things going on,” Toner said.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about the FRC programs can visit its web site at