By Mary Kathleen Mehuron

This is Part 3 of an exploration of the way children’s programs in the Mad River Valley shaped the characters of some individuals, I return to the very first Diamond Dogs team of 1993.


Andy Woods:

“When I came into the team, it was already pretty established. I met Kasey, Roy and Bruce while doing some mogul contests, and we became fast friends. The whole team had a fun vibe that I was really into. Most of the teams in the region were hyper-specific on mogul skiing, but the Diamond Dogs weren't. I think that was really important to me, but I likely didn't realize it at the time. We didn't just "train" a mogul course every day but skied a lot of the mountain. So, when park and pipe skiing started to gain recognition, that was something that we really grabbed onto. My ski career (thankfully) ultimately migrated in that direction, and it wouldn't have if we had a team that only focused on mogul skiing.

“Since I've had a good amount of coaching experience in my life now, I can look back and identify what went well back then, and why we were successful. And to me, it was all about having a strong culture. Kevin and the rest of the coaches didn't focus on the competition and "moving up rankings" aspect. It was about skiing, enjoying skiing and not where we were nationally at the end of the year. At no point did I feel like I was competing against the other team members, and we all supported each other unconditionally.”


Anne Eberle Rhee’s:

“I have so many good memories of my time with the Diamond Dogs. I was homeschooled at that time, so it was most of my social life too. Before skiing with the Diamond Dogs, I mostly skied at Mad River Glen, either solo or with my family, so skiing with a whole pack of good skiers my own age was such fun! And it really pushed my skiing level too. I was always seriously competitive by nature, so I had to learn to jump in a hurry. Jumps were one of the guys' favorite things and were new to me when I started skiing with them. We were always building jumps somewhere. I particularly remember a massive upright aerial site just above the Valley House Lodge. 

“My skiing life through my teenage years revolved around the "Dawg Pound." We would often meet up there before 9 a.m. when the coaches arrived and the day officially started, or in the spring after the season had officially ended. It was great that Kevin organized that space for us. I think it was an old storage space before we took it over. On rainy days we'd hang out there and watch endless reruns of Good Will Hunting, with occasional dashes out for a couple of runs or trash bag and lunch tray sledding shenanigans. 

“We'd have a lot of fun on road trips as well, going to competitions all over the Northeast. We would count moose sightings, have "P-diddle" competitions and rank the Christmas light displays. At the events, we'd go out and explore the new mountain as well as checking out the competition venue and cheering each other on. 

“Kevin and Parki did a great job of encouraging and herding us all as well, coaching, teaching, building courses and jumps and organizing events, and always encouraging the fun! 

“Now I'm living in Raglan, New Zealand, with my husband Chris. I started my own architectural design company a couple of years ago, which I love!”

There you have it. Some original core members of the 1993 team give the program a grade of A-plus. Be sure to write to me about your own experiences of other programs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mary Kathleen Mehuron lives in Waitsfield. Her new novel will be out July 11, 2023.