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Ski jumping, scary? Not to these youngsters!

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) sponsored a two-day ski jump camp for boys and girls on Dec. 29 and 30 at the SWSA jumps at Satre Hill — although on the smaller of the jumps.SWSA Director Jack Phelps said that 30 young people from ages 5 to 13 attended the camp, which ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. Campers learned the two essentials of ski jumping: safety and control. Lunch was served each day and all participants were given a T-shirt. Tuition for the two-day camp was $40 per skier.Reginald Lamson, another SWSA director, said man-made snow is usually created on nights when temperatures are in the teens. “It can be done in the 20s, but we get better results in the colder weather.” Man-made snow usually produces an 18-inch base.Of all the campers who were interviewed for this story, including a 5-year-old, not one said he or she was scared to try the jumps.Campers came from near and far. Dona Dedjino, 11, from Burke, Va., was visiting relatives in the area and said, “I’m doing this as a sport. Coming down the hill, I love the wind in my face. It feels good!”Missy Bancroft, an eighth-grade student at the Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, Conn., attended the camp with a specific mission. Last winter she broke an arm and wanted to prove to herself that she could ski again. “I ski for recreation, but if I find I enjoy it enough, I would take it up as a sport,” she said.Sharon resident Lauren Paine, 9, said this is her second year at the camp. When asked if ski jumping was scary, she quickly responded, “No, it’s not scary.”In addition to the 30 campers and the SWSA volunteers, Quinnipiac University journalism professor Richard Hanley was on hand for the first day of production of a television program “The Jump,” that he is producing for regional public broadcasting stations. “It will be a good, solid story of life in small-town America and will provide exquisite visuals,” he promised.Hanley has produced many television programs and has been nominated for seven Emmy awards. One of his projects was a video history of the last days of the New Haven Coliseum sports and entertainment center, which opened in 1972 and was demolished by implosion in January 2007.For information on SWSA and the upcoming February Jumpfest weekend, go online to www.jumpfest.org.

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