Yo-Ho! Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show offers family fun
Jack and Jeff Weeks don’t always compete against each other, but when the twin brothers do, it’s on top of a Western red cedar log in a swimming pool in the woods.
As performers in Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack show in Trenton, the 2015 Ellsworth High School graduates are sometimes pitted against each other in lumber sports such as logrolling.
“Sometimes it just makes me want to win even more,” Jack said with a grin.
The family-friendly show is celebrating its 20th season. The nightly performance squeezes in 12 competitive events, including logrolling, ax-throwing, crosscut sawing, chainsaw carving and pole-climbing, into roughly an hour and 15 minutes.
In between the fast-paced matches, “Timber Tina” Scheer keeps the show flowing with informative explanations of the different skills and tools involved, descriptions of Maine logging history and enough tree puns to satisfy even the cheesiest jokester.
Four of the seven lumberjacks compete in any given show. Two are on the green team, and two are on the red team — clearly evidenced by the color of plaid flannel shirt they wear.
Scheer divides the audience in half, too, and encourages them to cheer enthusiastically for their assigned team by clapping and partaking in Scheer’s trademark lumberjack yell of “Yo-ho!”
“If the crowd gets into it, it’s more competitive, which is good for some athletes,” Jack said.
Scheer taught every one of her crew members the necessary skills, and she certainly has the “chops” to do so. She’s been logrolling since she was a 7-year-old girl living in Hayward, Wis., the home of the Lumberjack World Championships. She picked up sawing, chopping, ax throwing and speed climbing skills through her adolescence.
“Timber Tina” performed in her family’s show, Scheer’s Lumberjack Show, for 15 years before establishing the Great Maine Lumberjack Show. She also founded Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills, Chics with Axes, the first all-female group of logging sports entertainers.
Scheer was even a contestant on CBS’s “Survivor” in 2006 and National Geographic’s “Ultimate Survival Alaska” in 2013.
She loves lumber sports —both performing and teaching them — and is thrilled to share them with people who may not be familiar with the genre.
“I’m most proud just to have made it — 20 years!” Scheer said.
Despite having no lumber sports experience other than chopping wood for their family’s wood stove before joining the crew last summer, the Weeks brothers are no stranger to athletic exertions.
Jack played soccer, wrestled and ran track all four years of high school, while Jeff played soccer for four years, ran track for three, played basketball and wrestled for two years each and joined the baseball team for one season.
After training for a month or so before this summer and last, the twins now compete in all events. Jack’s favorite event is logrolling, while Jeff prefers speed climbing.
“Each member of the crew has their own favorite events, where they’re better at some events but not as good at other events,” Jeff explained.
The brothers, who Scheer affectionately refers to as “LumberJack” and “LumberJeff,” are quick to praise each other and to recognize their own imperfections.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Jack Weeks said.
At the end of the summer, the brothers will be off to Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. Both plan to study marine engineering.
But until then, they’ll be found swinging axes, revving chainsaws and trying to tip each other off of logs.
“We have a lot of fun here,” Jack said, Jeff nodding in agreement.
What: The Great Maine Lumberjack Show
Where: 127 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton
Season: Through Aug. 30
Performances: 7 p.m. daily, rain or shine
How much: adults, $12; seniors (63+), $11;
children (4-11), $7.50. Under 4 go free.
Contact: 667-0067, www.mainelumberjack.com