LACONIA — Gunstock Ski Club (GSC) members are involved in the Winter-Term Program at Lakes Region Community College, doing their schoolwork in a small private group while using most daylight hours to train for ski racing events in their age groups U14 (12-13-year-olds) and U16 (14-15-year-olds).
LRCC has made a classroom available for the participants to use in the academic portion of their program. Running from December 1 through April 1, the GSC is responsible for the race training portion of the program. Parents and private tutors are responsible for the classroom work.
"It is great that these GSC athletes are able to pursue their dream of full-time ski training in the winter while still being enrolled in their home town schools," says Turner McLaughlin, responsible for the 175 GSC members who train on weekends and vacations at the Gunstock Mountain Resort. "The winter is so short; these kids will have a leg up on the competition as long as they keep up with their schoolwork at the same time. The academic piece of the program, with the space provided by LRCC, has made this Winter-Term Program experiment a success."
Students must maintain stringent academic standards in order to participate in the Winter- Term Program. "I am so glad to see that LRCC facilities are able to be used by community organizations in whatever capacity that is needed," says Turner McLaughlin. "It sure fills a niche for us."
"LRCC puts community first," says LRCC Admissions Recruiter, Jessica Dade of Gilmanton, mother of participant, Kat Dade. "Everything is coming together superbly."
GSC President Turner McLaughlin remembers LRCC well when the College was opened in 1967. "I was amazed at how far the school has come from when the doors were initially opened," says Turner McLaughlin, almost in tears when she revisited LRCC for the GSC Mid-Term Program. "Everything has come full circle and my father would be extremely proud if he saw the College and expansions today."