Fall 2011 Encounter Week Offerings - Vermont Commons School Skip to main content

Fall 2011 Encounter Week Offerings

Vermont 101

Leaders: Adriana Comtois, Sarah Soule, and Ben Wang

Vermont 101 is a special Encounter Week designed for the Class of 2017 to tour some of Vermont’s historical and geographical places of significance.  The trip includes a hike up Buck Mountain, an overnight at Button Bay State Park, visits to museums, and culinary delights at local food festivals.

Champlain Cycling Tour

Leaders: Chance Cardamone-Knewstub & Jasmine Walker

This trip is just for 9th graders.  All 9th graders will do this trip. This encounter week starts and ends right in the VCS parking lot, and we transport ourselves with the power of our own legs.  Riding our bikes, we will head north out of Burlington and head up South Hero where we’ll camp on the beach of a VCS family.  The second day we’ll continue north until just shy of the Canadian border, where we’ll take a left on the bridge to Rouses Point, NY.  In NY we’ll head south to Cumberland Head where we’ll stay with another VCS family.  The third day takes has some hills as we continue south to Wesport, NY.  Day 4, we cross the Crown Point Bridge back to Vermont and camp in Button Bay.  Day 5 we should make it back to school by early afternoon.  This trip is challenging but not impossibly so.

Yurtle Raising

Leader: Mark Cline Lucey

We are all now proud owners of a yurt, to be henceforth affectionately known as The Yurtle, that needs to be raised the in age old Amish tradition of community barn raising.  This yurt will serve generations of VCS students who will come to know and love The Yurtle.  If you participate in this EWeek, you will forever be able to say with swagger, “Oh yeah.  I built that.  No brag.  Just fact.”  Your photo will hang from a Yurtle post as evidence.  In addition to the raising, we will be building bunk beds, a table and a cooking/cleaning area.  This will be an overnight EWeek, camping at the site in Huntington, and getting away periodically for some swimming hole plunging and general revelry.

Adirondack Canoeing

Leaders: Ruth Heindel and Brian Lynam

Come on an Adirondack canoeing adventure!  We’ll start our paddle in the town of Long Lake heading towards the Raquette River, spend two days traveling down the river, and end up in Tupper Lake.  Along the way, we’ll be listening to loon calls, soaking up the fall foliage, and swimming in the silky waters.  We’ll have plenty of time to lazily float with the current, but we’ll be working hard battling headwinds and completing our one-mile portage.  No canoe experience necessary, but you must know how to swim.

New York City

Leaders: Ben Patrick and Sarah Judd

This fall artists will be embarking on a trip to New Work City to visit the best museums in the world, walk countless fashion and bohemian avenues, and taste a variety of ethnic and local cuisines. The Metropolitan Museum of art, The MoMA, The Frick and the Whitney are a short list of the museums we will be visiting. Others activities include watching an international movie at the Film Forum; drinking espressos, eating cannolis and taking photographs at the Ferrara Bakery in Little Italy; and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria where you will experience the best slice of pizza in your life. Be prepared to see a lot of spectacular art, fill your stomach with plenty of epicurean delights, and return to Vermont with a new appreciation for the art center of the world!

Acadia National Park

Leaders: Peter Goff and Christie Beveridge

We will leave for DownEast Maine on Monday, ending the day by setting up camp and sitting on a cliff above the Atlantic, watching the Milky Way above the Lighthouses. On Tuesday, we will climb the Beehive, using iron rungs imbedded in the granite wall since the days of the Rockefellers. We will take our traditional plunge in the waters of Sand Beach before spending the remainder of the afternoon exploring the tide-pools looking for feeding barnacles, porpoises, and puffins. Wednesday morning we enter the submerged (at high tide) anemone cave to search for brittle stars, purple anemone, and green crabs. Wednesday afternoon we climb aboard the Lobster boat Miss Samantha to see, first hand, how the lobster fishery in Maine is sustained…as well as visiting puffin & eider-duck sites, and (of course) the famous harbor seal nursery. Thursday we work with the National Park Service and the Friends of Acadia for an morning of service, followed by a hike up bubble rock. The day ends with a lobstah bash in bah habah. Friday morning, we wake up and break camp in the wee hours before dawn and drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain to be the first people in the continental US to see the sunrise before our drive back west to VCS. Christie and I will be leading this Yankee adventure, and we’re looking for some non-motion-sick-prone Mainiacs to join us!

Plein Air

Leaders:  Mollie Hart and Li Liu

Join an outdoor adventure of learning the art of landscape painting “en plein air.” (En Plein Air is a French expression that means “in open air.”) This e-week begins at Shelburne Museum studying the work of Monet, Kensett, Cole and others.  We’ll also travel downtown to look at other artists’ work while we explore color, composition, and shape.  A majority of our week will be devoted to painting outdoors in the beautiful foliage of Vermont in September!


Leader:  Heather Moore, Laura Hall, and Student Leader Gabe Mantegna

Ever thought about being an archaeologist when you grow up?  See what this profession is all about on Archaeology E-week.  We will start the week on an overnight at Little Rock in Southern Vermont where we will meet up with the Green Mountain Club’s Director of Archaeology for a tour of some ruins (he has plenty of stories to tell!)  We will spend the night after a full day of touring the Forest.  The rest of the week we will “Sailing to Shipwrecks” with the Community Sailing Center.  Students will learn the basics of sailing and then we will sail to some of the best-known shipwreck sites on Lake Champlain.

Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

Students emerge from their time at Vermont Commons School intrinsically motivated to seek out their role for improving the world, with the skills and competencies to do so.