Meet All Around Athlete: Candice "Corc" Raines

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I have had the pleasure of shooting with Corc aka Candice Raines since I first started attending USA Archery events. Her counsel and friendship helped me through many a tournament and serve as a testament to her love of sport and teaching. Corc is accomplished in so many different disciplines from archery, to nordic skiing, to orienteering and golf! On top of all of this, she and her husband, Thayer, owned an overnight summer camp for boys for 35 years—while actively competed on the USAT circuit!

You have a long history in sports and recreation.  What are some of your other interests outside of archery?

I have many interests outside target archery, with most involving competitive sports and outdoor recreation. For competition, I participate in nordic ski marathons, ski and foot orienteering, archery biathlon and alpine skiing. My outdoor activities include backpacking, hiking, winter mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, rock and ice climbing; and mountain biking. For overall fitness, I power walk, swim, lift weights and play golf. Music is important to me. I have played guitar and violin since I was young.  Community service organizations I serve include: Medical Reserve Corps, Community Emergency Response Team, Vermont State Guard, American Red Cross Instructor Corps and the National Ski Patrol. I enjoy living in Vermont. We have four distinct seasons, with ample snow. Changing activities by seasons keeps thing fresh.

What has being a multi-discipline athlete taught you that helped your archery game?

Playing other sports has prepared me for the rigors of a long shooting day and helped me stay physically strong. Many of my sports involve snow or the woods, but there are thousands of other sports one could play that would give the same benefits. Nordic marathons require long periods of training and races push the athlete to their physical and mental limits. A skier must exhibit the ability to “will” their way forward for 50 kilometers over a grueling course in harsh weather. This helps develop what is popularly known as “grit” or the ability to endure and be resilient in the face of adversity. Ski and foot orienteering; and archery biathlon are dual sports. They require speed, but are tempered by the need for mental acuity. They require athletes to balance their pace with reading a map or shooting a small target. A day on the target archery field can last over eight hours. One has to be able to stay focused, at least while on the line. While each of my other sports also increases balance, cardiovascular fitness and mental acuity, alpine skiing develops strong leg and core muscles and balance.

Fitness activities are designed to get athletes ready for the archery season. I lift heavy weights in rotation for specific body parts. I don’t listen to music when I walk. I use the time to solve problems, come up with new ideas or just mentally relax. Playing golf is also very form driven. Outdoor sports are my profession, so I get to practice them often. They also build muscle, require learning new skills, test your mental capacity and enhance your “grit.”

In addition to being so active, you also studied Recreation Science and earned your Doctorate degree from Indiana University and your Masters from Penn State.  What counsel do you have for athletes balancing school and sport?

As a university professor, I am often asked about balancing schoolwork and practice/playing time. There are more than enough hours in the day to be productive, but only if you adhere to a schedule, stay focused when you are doing schoolwork AND get off social media/streaming services. While in school, your main focus must be schoolwork, not athletics. You must put together a schedule of schoolwork just like you put together your yearly archery training/competition plan. All assignments must be mapped out with a start and end date with specific hours listed for working on them.

Most importantly, you have to stick with the plan. Find your own place to do your work. While in school, I always used the deepest recesses of the library to complete assignments. If you become more organized with schoolwork, you will find more than enough hours left over for exercise and socialization. Adding physical training does not have to involve long hours or special equipment. Using body exercises, simple weights and stretch bands works. Short periods for exercise during the day can be just as effective if you do not have an hour to exercise. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is best if time is limited.

Sleep is one of the most overlooked and important element of success in school and athletics. I sleep 8-9 hours a night. It allows my body to recover from work and training. I keep track of my resting heart rate. If it has not recovered to my goal of 49 BPM, I pull back on training for the day and focus on breathing and stretching instead.

The biggest problem I see with athletes today is the constant use of digital devices. I have had to dismiss students from class when, so addicted to their devices, they actually refused to put them away.  I have my students track their use of these devices and then formulate a plan for getting off them except for specific times. After a period of high anxiety, students, to the person, have reported being more productive AND happier/less anxious.

You and your beloved husband, Thayer, recently retired from owning Roaring Brook Camp.  What advice might you have for parents about getting their children exposed to the outdoors and involved in sports?

 Sports participation can also benefit children from a young age. Much has been written about the negative aspects of youth sports. There are so many sports to choose that create a positive experience for children. I think early childhood team sports should only be operated as all play, everyone learns, no one keeps score leagues. Individual sports allow children to develop skills sat their own pace and not be left out of competition. The benefits of sports participation are strong. Friendship, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, enduring failure and being a gracious humble winner, fitness, skills and cognitive development are developed by athletes. The development of self-esteem, confidence, resilience and grit are also part of athletics.

I would like to make the case for participation in overnight summer camp. Yes, I was the owner of a boy’s wilderness camp for 35 years, so I am biased. But I am also a university professor who gets to see the abilities of incoming freshmen. Overnight camp teaches children to make friends, socialize in acceptable manner, solve disputes amenably, chose their schedule and navigate the camp property. They learn new physical and cognitive skills and develop positive leadership qualities. They learn to trust adults outside the family and meet children and adults from across the US and the world. They grow in their self-esteem and self-confidence. The more years and the longer the weeks spent at camp, the stronger the positive values they develop. I know immediately when one of my students has had significant away from home experiences. They are ready for college. They can set their schedule, know how to seek resources to help them, make friends quickly, can live with others in a dorm and set their priorities. They do not get homesick, and they do not end up dropping out of school. Most long-term campers see college, as I did at 18, as a big summer camp. They already know how to be successful because of their years of experience away from home. Choosing the right overnight camp that fits with your values and goals you have for your child’s development is critical. The American Camp Association can help parents with this process.

I would like to leave you with one last thought. A major study by Harvard University of young people’s needs and desires accidentally revealed what youth and teenagers need and want the most. Not on the questionnaire, youth, even older high school students, wrote in an open comment box “I want more time with my parents.”  At camp, my staff (young adults) and I had many quality hours to spend with children and youth, especially on backpack and canoe trips. It broke my heart that they often commented that they could not get enough attention from their parents because they were always on their digital devices. It made them sad, and they felt as though they were not important to their parents. Just think on that for a bit.



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