By Ashley Lodato

You know those birthday candles that are giant numbers? Does anyone else save those to reuse from birthday to birthday? You know — first you have a 4-year-old, so you save the 4 because someone is going to turn 34, and then someone else will turn 14, and then there’s the whole 40s.

Anyway, I’ve had a 4 in our candle drawer for years (originally inherited from Nellie Casey and used for all four of our collective girls’ 4th birthdays) and have used it a solid handful of times, and assumed it would last nearly forever. After all, I only burn it for a few seconds each time. So when Jon turned 40-something last month, I trotted that 4 right back out and stuck it in his cake. But when it came time to light it, I realized we had a major problem on our hands.

Guess what, people? The wick doesn’t extend through the whole candle. Nope! It’s about a ¾-inch wick. The rest is just solid, unburnable wax. So once the candle does its duty for a couple of birthdays, it is completely useless. Imagine my disillusionment! (My privileged, first-world disillusionment, but still.)

Fortunately, hearing about some young athletes’ upcoming travels took my mind right off Americans’ tolerance for disposable products. Four Methow Valley Nordic Team athletes have been invited to join the National U16 camp in Sun Valley, Idaho, in late July. The NU16 camp brings together the top U16 Boys and Girls from across the United States for a week of intensive training and ski sport education as one of the first steps in the USSA National Development Pipeline.

U.S. Ski Team staff will lead the camp along with a selection of top regional coaches from across the country (including Winthrop’s Laura McCabe). Selection for the camp is based on results from this year’s U.S. Junior Nationals, held in Lake Placid, New York, this past March. In addition to the top 20 boys and top 20 girls selected via Junior National results, each USSA division is afforded two discretionary picks of one boy and one girl. This year, Novie McCabe led the U16 girls’ list with Gretta Scholz 15th in the ranking. Walker Hall was 12th in the boys’ ranking list and Travis Grialou is the PNSA discretionary choice.

In addition, Novie McCabe is invited to the Western Regional Elite Group camp. This is the Western Regional camp which is the next step on the U.S. Ski Team development pipeline where 16–19 year olds are ranked from Junior Nationals. The top 20 boys and girls are invited to their respective regional camps along with the top one or two upcoming U16s. Novie will be a U18 skier next year and was top-ranked after Junior Nationals, so she will attend the camp in Park City, Utah, next week. Way to go, skiers!

The Winthrop Library has some exciting summer programs coming up. They’re not at a consistent day or time each week, so make sure you check the calendar on the back page to see each week’s schedule.


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