Camden Braces For Toboggan National Championship
Folks in Camden are gearing up for the 21-st annual U.S. Toboggan National Championships. The event is scheduled for the weekend of February 11th at the Camden Snow Bowl.Around 425 teams from all over the world will compete in front of around 8000 spectators. The winning team will be crowned the 20-11 U.S. National Champion, and according to Jeff Kuller, the General Manager of the Camden Snow Bowl, they get more than just a title. “They get a beautiful wooden trophy and bragging rights,” says Kuller. “It’s not a professional event. It’s a purely amateur event.”All you need to compete is a toboggan. The idea for this event originated back in 1990 after the third time this chute was rebuilt a member of the crew had a vision. “You know we ought to have a race here and let’s call it the national championships for fun,” Kuller says. “The first year there were a dozen teams, all local folks.”Now, 21 years later, 425 teams from all over the world, will compete in front of around 8000 spectators for the title of national champion.Stuart Young has been the chute master here for the past 11 years and says he’s seen his share of rookies take on this toboggan chute. “It’s a rush,” Young says. “It’s a giant roller coaster ride. You can tell because we have to get their arms and legs in and you can feel them shaking and I say, ‘you alright?’ ‘Oh yeah, yeah they say I haven’t done this yet.’ I say it’ll be all over in 10 seconds.”This is the only organized wooden toboggan race in the country. The event is a major fundraiser for the Camden Snow Bowl. They’re in the process of raising around $6-million to completely renovate the entire complex. officials at the Camden Snow Bowl say they’ve already raised around $4-million.