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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Things, They Are a-Breakin’

Home Front: Diaries From a Vermont Military Family

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Every book I've read and seasoned military wife I've talked to has told me the same thing: "Everything will break the day after he leaves." I scoffed at such a notion. Sure, something is bound to go wrong along the way, but let’s not get dramatic.

Life has a funny way of putting you in your place.

Just a few days before my husband, Matt, was set to deploy, a random, unexpected wind storm blew in. A tree fell on our house. I woke up to a loud crack, a boom and screaming children. Yep. A tree. On our house. I was thankful Matt was there in that moment and during the next day, when the tree was being removed. I was left to deal with insurance adjusters and roofers and that pesky hole in the roof.

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It had begun. And there was no stopping it.

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Home Front: Diaries of a Vermont Military Family

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

UseYourWords.jpg

The U.S. has been at war for more than 11 years now. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers from all over the country have been sent overseas to serve since October of 2001. Each one of them has left loved ones behind.

This week, Kids VT launches "Home Front: Diaries of a Vermont Military Family," a series exploring how one family is coping with an overseas deployment.

Tasha Lehman's husband, Matt, is a first lieutenant in the Vermont Air National Guard. He recently headed overseas, leaving Tasha and their three boys behind.

Tasha explains how she and Matt prepared for his departure in a "Use Your Words" essay in the February issue of Kids VT, which hits the streets today. She describes both the mundane details and the painful realities she faces as a military spouse.

"I got ready to take over all the chores Matt usually handles," she writes, "which include maintaining the house and the car, paying the bills, and filing our taxes, things I haven't done since I married him 14 years ago. We took care of all the legal aspects — for example, I needed power of attorney in Matt's absence. We wrote up our wills. He needed immunizations, specific uniforms, personal items to be shipped."

Tasha Lehman
  • Tasha Lehman

She says that she and the kids understood they all had a job to do, and they were ready to do it — until the day of Matt's departure. "We said tearful goodbyes and prayed that he would be safe," she writes. "Nothing can prepare you for the moment your husband walks away from you, out of the safety of your loving arms, on his way to a war-torn country."

Click here to read the rest of her poignant essay.

Tasha will be writing for us regularly about the challenges and triumphs of life on the home front until her husband returns. We're grateful, and honored, that she's sharing her family's journey with us.

When she's not blogging about military life, Tasha writes about crafting, parenting and home renovations at her own lively blog, MyHomemadeHappiness.com.

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Spotlight on Raised Jay Summer Camps

Meeting the exhibitors of the Kids VT Camp & School Fair

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM

COURTESY OF ANDREW LANOUE
  • courtesy of Andrew Lanoue

CampersWeek2.jpg
  • courtesy of Andrew Lanoue

Raised Jay Summer Camps are among dozens of camps and schools exhibiting at the 16th annual Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Burlington Hilton. At the fair, representatives from each exhibitor will present detailed information about upcoming offerings, and answer questions from parents and potential campers. Our “Spotlight” series offers a sneak peek at participating programs.

Most Vermonters know Jay Peak for its skiing. But the kids who head there each summer find plenty to do during the “off” season. From paddling to zip-lining, Raised Jay Summer Camps truly make the most of time spent on the mountain.

Seriously, where else in Vermont can you surf and ice skate in the same day? Daily programs take advantage of the Pump House Indoor Waterpark and Ice Haus Arena — not to mention the 18-hole golf course and aerial tram rides.

It’s not all about fancy facilities, though. Last year’s geocaching course was a hit with the campers, and this year brings a collaboration with Jeffersonville’s Peak Expeditions to introduce kids to a natural ropes course and rock climbing. They’re good team-building activities, says Jay Peak’s Bryan Smith. “We want to keep it very laid-back and fun, but also educational,” he says.

The camps seem to have struck the right balance. Of last year’s sessions, Smith says, “There were zero complaints and a lot of tired kids at the end of the day.”

Raised Jay Summer Camps are weeklong day camps geared toward ages 6-9 and 10-14. Stay tuned for possible sleepaway options. Sessions run from July 8-12, July 15-19, July 29-August 2, August 5-9 and August 12-16. Visit jaypeakresort.com for more information.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Choosing a Summer Camp

Tips from the American Camp Association

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Campers at Camp Abnaki in North Hero - COURTESY OF JON KUYPERS

Campers at Camp Abnaki in North Hero

This post was written by Kids VT contributor Erik Esckilsen. Check out his related camp story, “Summer Sessions: The pros and cons of day versus sleepaway camp,” in the February issue.

If you're planning to send your son or daughter to camp this summer, now is the time to sign up for a session.

How do you make sure you’re choosing the right camp for your child? Lucy Jackson Norvell, director of public information with the New England chapter of the American Camp Association, offers some strategies.

It’s all called camp — a simple, short word — but what that looks like programmatically and geographically can be drastically different, she says. “It’s so interesting to see the variety, but it’s also daunting as a first-time parent looking at camp,” she explains.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Spotlight On Summer Sailing Camps

Meeting the exhibitors of the Kids VT Camp & School Fair

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM

COURTESY OF NICK NEVERISKY
  • courtesy of Nick Neverisky

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  • courtesy of Nick Neverisky

The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center’s Summer Sailing Camps are among dozens of camps and schools exhibiting at the 16th annual Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Burlington Hilton. At the fair, representatives from each exhibitor will present detailed information about upcoming offerings, and answer questions from parents and potential campers. Our “Spotlight” series offers a sneak peek at participating programs.

Unless your family owns a boat, spending a summer by Lake Champlain can be such a tease. Sure, beach days are fun, but it’s hard for kids marooned on the shore not to envy the sailors and kayakers skimming the lake’s sparkling surface.

Enter the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center’s Summer Sailing Camps.

“We want people to get out on the lake and play on the lake,” enthuses education director Nick Neverisky. “It’s a shared resource and we want everyone to use it.”

Weeklong sailing camps get kids comfortable on the water, where they’ll master the basics of rigging, boat handling and safety. Multi-activity programs afford campers time for water recreation, as well as another focus — choices range from skateboarding to rock climbing, and tennis to cooking. And experienced students can sign on for the four-week Summer Race Program, which includes advanced coaching and an intro to keelboat racing.

Sound like fun? It is, says Neverisky. “We get rave reviews from our campers every year."

Hear from some of last summer's campers, and learn more about the sailing center's services, in Eva Sollberger's "Stuck in Vermont" video from August, 2012:


The majority of Summer Sailing Camps are one-week day programs for kids of all sailing abilities, ages 6 to 16. Early drop-off and late pickup options are available. Visit communitysailingcenter.org/programs/youth for more information.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spotlight On Davis Studio Summer Camps

Meeting the exhibitors of the Kids VT Camp & School Fair

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 2:34 PM

COURTESY OF DAVIS STUDIO
  • courtesy of Davis Studio

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  • courtesy of Davis Studio

Davis Studio Summer Camps are among dozens of camps and schools exhibiting at the 16th annual Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Burlington Hilton. At the fair, representatives from each exhibitor will present detailed information about upcoming offerings, and answer questions from parents and potential campers. Our “Spotlight” series offers a sneak peek at participating programs.

Art is everywhere — from treehouse architecture to graffiti. That’s the underlying lesson linking dozens of Davis Studio summer camps.

The day programs run by the Burlington art center are widely varied. Six- to 8-year-olds might fling and splatter paint in the style of abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, while 8- to 13-year-olds fashion “edible landscapes” from visually interesting foods. Thirteen- to 18-year-olds might envision their dream homes in an interior-design course, or improve their spray painting at an introduction to street art.

Exercising their imaginations helps kids develop their decision-making and problem-solving skills, no matter the program. “Just being creative has universal application in every area in life,” explains director Teresa Davis. “We’re trying to give them very authentic experiences that let kids be exceptionally creative ... We want them to use their own artistic voice.”

Like the keepsakes the kids create in every program, that’s something that will last a lifetime.

Davis Studio Summer Camps are weeklong day programs beginning as early as June 17. Kids camps for ages 6-13 run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; teen camps for ages 13-18 run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aftercare is available through 5:30 p.m. Visit davisstudiovt.com/camps.html for more information.

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Spotlight on BCA Summer Camps

Meeting the exhibitors of the Kids VT Camp & School Fair

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 11:20 AM

COURTESY OF ERIC FORD
  • courtesy of Eric Ford

courtesy_of_Eric_Ford_1.jpg
  • courtesy of Eric Ford

BCA Summer Camps are among dozens of camps and schools exhibiting at the 16th annual Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Burlington Hilton. At the fair, representatives from each exhibitor will present detailed information about upcoming offerings, and answer questions from parents and potential campers. Our “Spotlight” series offers a sneak peek at participating programs.

A fire station in a former life, Burlington’s BCA Center has become the city’s hot spot for contemporary art, exhibiting everything from quirky sculptural installations to cutting-edge computer-based projects. Aspiring artists couldn’t ask for a more inspiring day-camp setting than within these brick walls.

Dozens of BCA Summer Camps invite kids inside the gallery’s specialized rooms: the clay and print studios and the digital media lab. The weeklong courses offer campers ages 3 to 18 the chance to pursue their artistic interests, however specialized they may be. Little ones, for example, get a basic intro to crafting in Camp Tadpole: Movin’ and Groovin’, which allows them to make “noisy art,” such as rain sticks and drums. School-aged kids can explore everything from Itsy Bitsy Fashion Design to darkroom photography. And the Summer Art Institute for ages 15 to 18 takes teens from pottery to painting to printmaking.

In addition to offering morning, afternoon and full-day options, the programs have another advantage: small class size. Ranging from six to 16 students, each camp promises a hands-on experience where creativity is sure to flourish.

BCA Summer Camps begin as early as June 17. Morning camps run from 9 a.m.-noon; afternoon camps run from 1-4 p.m.; full-day camps run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 865-7166 or visit burlingtoncityarts.org for more information.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Home Cookin': Banana Bread

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM


I've yet to find anything more comforting on a chilly day than a warm, thick slice of banana bread with a tall glass of milk. This is my mom's recipe and it couldn't be easier: seven ingredients, mix, mash, pour, bake. You have my permission to eat it for breakfast or dessert — or both.

Banana Bread

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil or melted butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
cinnamon, to taste
4 very ripe bananas, peeled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar and oil (or butter). Add the flour and baking soda; stir until well combined. Add several shakes of cinnamon.

In another bowl, mash the bananas finely with a fork. Add these to the other mixture and stir.

Pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured bread pan. Bake for about 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out clean.

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Spotlight On FlynnArts Summer Camps

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM

COURTESY OF CHRISTINA WEAKLAND
  • courtesy of Christina Weakland

FlynnArts_camp_1.jpg
  • courtesy of Christina Weakland

FlynnArts Summer Camps are among dozens of camps and schools exhibiting at the 16th annual Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Burlington Hilton. At the fair, representatives from each exhibitor will present detailed information about upcoming offerings, and answer questions from parents and potential campers. Our “Spotlight” series offers a sneak peek at participating programs.

The CIA recruits its intelligence gatherers, but 6- to 8-year-olds can voluntarily sign up for Secret Agent Academy. Once registered at this FlynnArts Summer Camp, these youth sleuths go undercover to crack the many backstage secrets of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.

It’s just one of more than 30 different performing arts programs dedicated to helping kids ages 4 to 19 unleash their creativity. Themed programs for younger children explore the genre through the lens of a favorite topic, such as spies, pirates and superheroes. Older participants can pursue more specific interests, such as comedy, dance or radio. Cast members of the Summer Youth Theater program, for example, present fully staged productions of Shrek, the Musical and Into the Woods this year. Instrumentalists in the Summertime Jazz program work with Grammy winner Arturo O’Farrill.

In addition to helping kids hone their talents, the programs are frequently organized in partnership with other arts or education nonprofits, says education director Christina Weakland. “We have drama camps at the site of Shelburne Farms ... and Shelburne Museum," she explains. "We do partner camps with ECHO and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Parents know they’re getting two really great organizations in one.”

FlynnArts sessions start as early as June 17. All but the Summer Youth Theater program are one-week day camps for ages 4 to 19. Visit flynnarts.org for more information.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Burke Mountain Academy Senior Mikaela Shiffrin Featured in the New York Times

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Vermont ski academy students train at Killington Mountain

The next Winter Olympics are a little more than a year away, but skiers are already being identified as gold-medal favorites — and Mikaela Shiffrin, a 17-year-old Burke Mountain Academy senior, is among them.

An extensive profile in this week's New York Times highlights her accomplishments, which include setting a record as the first American under age 18 to win two World Cup races.

"This winter, the elite ski racing world has awakened to a startling reality: a 17-year-old who just obtained her driver's license is already among the best racers in the world," reported the Times. The article includes interviews with Burke headmaster Kirk Dwyer and Green Mountain Valley School headmaster Dave Gannet, who called her "a prodigy; she's Mozart."

Shiffrin is just one of the high-caliber competitors training at Vermont's ski schools. In addition to Burke and GMVS, Killington Mountain School, Stratton Mountain School, Mt. Mansfield Winter Academy, Mount Snow Academy and Okemo Mountain School have all contributed to the state's reputation as an alpine training ground.

Sarah Tuff surveyed Vermont's ski school scene in "Higher Learning: Vermont's elite ski academies teach kids on and off the slopes", which appears in the December/January issue of Kids VT. Read the story to find out more about how the country's up-and-coming skiers balance work, study and play in these intensive programs. Check out the sidebar to see what notable alums these academies have already helped to produce. And keep an eye out for Shiffrin at next year's Winter Games.

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camps central

TDI@Home 2020— now an on-line summer camp!

TDI@Home 2020— now an on-line summer camp!

Colchester, VT

Summer camp/academic program for advanced and gifted students entering grades 4-9. Now on-line, to be held M-F for two weeks: June 22-26 and June 29-July 3. Morning and/or afternoon options for one or both weeks; cost is $220 per morning or afternoon session.On-line classes—including Minecraft Circuitry, Myth-Making, Eggstronauts, Young Curators,…(more)

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