The U.S. Toboggan National Championships kicked off Saturday with teams like Slush Puppies, Chowda Heads, Fast and Flurriest and Squid Pro Quo awaiting their turn on the toboggan chute at the Camden Snow Bowl.

All that’s required to enter the competition is some moxie and a toboggan like the one used by Calvin and Hobbes in the comic strip.

Camden Snow Bowl Assistant Manager Holly Anderson said the adult participants love reliving their fun memories from childhood.

“Having been kids, we all sledded whether you were on a saucer or a lunch tray or a wooden toboggan. We’ve all done it. You’re transported back to that, that good feeling you had,” said Anderson, who serves as co-chair of the toboggan organizing committee.

Participants are fired up that the event is back. Last year, it was canceled because of the pandemic.

Some racers are just out to have fun, wearing silly costumes, while others are out for bragging rights, with speeds reaching 45 mph on the chute before spilling onto Hosmer Pond.

There were nearly 400 teams signed up for the event. Most participants were from Maine and New England but some from as far away as South Carolina, Kentucky, Minnesota and California, Anderson said.

The competition raises money for the Camden Snow Bowl; a nonprofit, municipally-owned ski area on the 1,300-foot Ragged Mountain, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The toboggan chute has been rebuilt twice, most recently in 1990.

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