Gold Award Girl Scout Helps Amherst with Trails Video

Rachel Mazur of Amherst spent nearly two years catching every season for project

      AMHERST – Who hasn’t wanted to get outdoors and breathe fresh air during the COVID-19 lockdown? Gold Award Girl Scout Rachel Mazur has made it easier to figure out the best path to take for anyone wanting to walk, bike, Nordic ski, and just enjoy the many trails within Amherst by creating a video that explores the 11 rail trails here. 

Mazur, 18, of Amherst, earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor for a 12th grader, the Gold Award, with her project, Amherst Conservation Trails Video, spending nearly two years shooting video in every season and under varying conditions, then learning how to edit video to create the final product. It is now posted on the Amherst Conservation Commission’s website at

      Mazur said she’s aware that people are spending much less time outdoors than in the past, so she wanted to educate high school students about trail conservation and inspire them to go outside. Once the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, she realized that she could reach a much wider audience of people eager to get outdoors. 

      Amherst Conservation Commissioner Jared Hardner, a neighbor friend of Mazur, told the Girl Scout Ambassador that the commission was setting up a new website and could use a video. He became her project advisor, helping her determine what was needed and how to present the idea to the commission.

      “When I previewed Rachel’s video at our public meeting, it was the first time I saw the entire membership of the commission agree on something, and with cheery smiles all around,” said Hardner. “Rachel delivered on her commitments as a volunteer, fulfilled the goal, and certainly made a genuine contribution to


our new website. On a frequent basis I stop to talk with trail users on our conservation lands,and I often get good feedback on the trails page of our website — and Rachel’s video is a component of that positive user experience. We are grateful for her efforts.”

      Mazur’s family has long enjoyed a trail near her home, whether by foot, fat-tire bike, or cross-country ski. They’ve also hiked some mountains when she was younger. The experience of exploring all of Amherst’s trails showed her that she can change her mood for the better by getting outdoors. 

      “The biggest thing I learned about myself is that exploring the trails in Amherst really helps me relax, and is great for my mental health,” she said. “I now know that if I am ever feeling stressed, tired, or even sad; a walk in the woods makes me feel so much better.”

      Mazur hopes others will also benefit from the trail experience after seeing her video.

      She has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, and said she feels very grateful for her troop, working together on highest awards, going on camping weekends, and traveling to places like the Seacoast Science Center and to Boston. She will graduate this spring from Souhegan High School. She is narrowing down her choice of college, but expects to stay near the Boston area for a future in business or fashion design. 

       The Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9–12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges. 

      Rachel Mazur has answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change, and her Gold Award is a testament to her remarkable dedication to improving her community and the world. The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable!

Amherst Man Expands Personal Training Business During Covid Pandemic

Offers 38 Years Fitness Industry Experience

      AMHERST – Tim and Anmarie Whitcomb love southern New Hampshire so much, they chose to make their home 8 years ago in Amherst along with their young twins, now attending Wilkins School.

      Whitcomb has worked in the fitness industry for over 38 years, and jumped at an opportunity in 1995 that brought him to New Hampshire to take over the Nashua Athletic Club. From there his dream came to fruition by opening his own fitness facility called Focus on Fitness on Second Street in Manchester.

      Membership grew quickly and with additional staff and services being offered, a name change to “Elite Personal Training and Fitness 24 Hour” seemed appropriate and timely. 

      In 2011, Whitcomb was on the move again and to better serve his Bedford and Amherst members, opened an all-new, custom built, fully outfitted gym with the latest cardio and exercise equipment at 384 Route 101, Bedford just five minutes from the Amherst-Bedford town line.      Each member had 24 hour security entry access and private dressing/shower locker rooms.


      During the COVID-19 pandemic, he took advantage of a unique opportunity and opened a second 24 hour Elite Personal Training and Fitness center November 2020 loaded with equipment and extra space for strength training and group classes, just off 101at 43 Constitution Drive, also in Bedford near the Fire

and Police complex. Membership is exchangeable at both gyms and serviced by 10 personal trainers.

      “We offer high-end service in a low-volume atmosphere,” said Whitcomb, explaining his gyms are safe, clean and spacious. “Area residents and commuting business people have always felt comfortable with us, and we continue to emphasize the message that it is important to build a healthy, safe and strong immunity in everyone’s lifestyle.” 

Elite’s clientele ranges in age from senior citizens to high-school students and everywhere between. In addition to personal training, they offer group classes such as boot camps, sculpting, cardio strength, and chisel and burn sessions.

      The pandemic has changed the way people think about exercise, according to Whitcomb, and said many had started exercising at home during the past year of social distancing and quarantine. They now want to get into a healthy routine, and thankfully, Elite has much to offer. 

      For more information call 603-471-0724 or visit:

MAY 2021