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“I think that showed me that you often could miss much of life that is right in front of you when you’re worried about other things” – Finn Higgins, intern

May 3, 2021 | Internships, Programs: Winter, Telling Stories

Hello, my name is Finn Higgins, and I was a part of the 2021 winter season with Vermont

Adaptive. I am originally from Norwich, Vermont, a place that I will always call home. I am

currently studying Food Systems with a Public Communication minor at the University of

Vermont, and I am set to graduate in May of 2021.


Over this past winter, I had numerous responsibilities throughout any given day. One of

the biggest responsibilities I had was to be a lead or assist instructor throughout the day, helping

progress athletes’ skiing ability. This involved doing drills, showing athletes examples both on

and off my skis, or simply going skiing and having fun. If no lessons were occurring, I was in

the office helping out with paperwork, Covid forms, and ensuring our volunteers who would be

out on the hill with athletes had everything they needed and were ready to go when lessons



I learned a great deal from this internship and grew as a skier a fair amount as well. The

biggest takeaway from my internship was just to enjoy the simple things in life. All my athletes

were so happy to be out on the hill and could care less what was going on outside of that given

moment, and I think that showed me that you often could miss much of life that is right in front

of you when you’re worried about other things. But less philosophical and more practical, I

learned time management, managerial, ski instructing, and personal skills that I have already

added and used in my professional life as well as in my academic life. I am grateful that through

this internship I learned several new skills and built on my pre-existing skills as a student, skier,

and person.


One of my favorite memories was with one particular athlete. It was a blustery and cold

winter afternoon at Sugarbush, and we had just dropped into the middle section of a run called

Elbow. A fresh two inches made the skiing quite good, and he was making significant

progress. The clock struck three-thirty, and he was determined to continue his progression, so

at three fifty five, we caught the last chair to the top. With a bone-chattering wind to our back,

we discussed what he should focus on the way down to the bottom, and off we went. He did

everything perfectly, and by the time we got to the bottom, all the lifts had stopped, all the

employees were packing to go home, and the sun was going down. This didn’t stop him,

though, from asking if we could do one more, which I think shows just how hardcore all of these

athetes are and the love of the sport no matter the condtions.


I want to continue finding ways to support and teach the adaptive community how to ski.

I got so much joy seeing how much fun it was for my athletes to be out there shredding, and I

want to continue to help bring that joy. Whether that means pursuing my certifications with PSIA

or just volunteering, I don’t know, but I do know that I will continue to look for these



My supervisor did a great job explaining what my duties were and what she expected of

me on a given day. I think it is important for new interns, especially in the winter, to understand

that it is all not just skiing and there are managerial aspects. Also, I would have something to say

about long days in the elements. I was used to it, but for somebody new, this may be a shock.

Felicia was great to work with and was easy to approach which made the work environment fun

and easy to work in.

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