The eighth annual fundraiser for Cedar Ridge Ministries found teams falling, slipping, sliding and laughing their way down the snow-tubing hill at Whitetail Resort.
A dozen young people from Cito United Methodist Church and SMA Youth Ministries in Fulton County, Pa., spent eight hours creating their sled. The “Jesus Did” sled resembled a Mountain Dew can.
“There is no method to the madness,” Jeremy Fletcher said of construction methods and design.
Fletcher, who works with the youths, has helped teams for several years. The one he assisted this year had trouble staying on course, but the members weren’t complaining.
“I just thought it was fun,” said Ali Gladfelter, 15.
Other team members included Kacey Hann, 13; Maranda Getridge, 13; and Alisha Gladfelter, 17.
Volunteers tracked times for 58 entries in the sled derby, according to Beth Schroyer, executive assistant from Cedar Ridge Ministries.
Funds raised, which have been as much as $4,500 in past years, benefit the adventures course in Williamsport, Schroyer said. That course is designed to encourage team building.
Schroyer said some families participate in the sled derby every year, and more youth groups are making it a tradition.
“Whitetail has special tubing prices after the race,” she said, saying the resort is a great partner.
Schroyer spoke highly of the creativity put into the sleds’ construction, which is limited to tape, paint and cardboard.
“The designs keep getting more and more elaborate,” she said.
Clear Spring friends Will Malcolm and Liam Sullivan, both 13, took a simply designed sled down the hill. They won their heat but did not have the speed needed to make the finals.
“We used the base of an old sled and duct-taped it together,” Will said.
Liam described getting sprayed in the face with snow while careening down the hill.
Rowan Chapelle, 14, of Sharpsburg, and Sienna Caselle, 13, of Sabillasville, Md., donned hats designed to resemble panda bear faces. Their sled had “Panda Girl Friends” written across the front.
“I just thought it was a lot of fun, and it’s fun to build the sled,” Rowan said.
“It went faster than we thought,” Sienna said.