Spring 2012 Encounter Week Offerings - Vermont Commons School Skip to main content

Spring 2012 Encounter Week Offerings

Leadership Training

Have you ever thought, “Hey! I think I have what it takes to be a leader on an Encounter Week trip!” If “yes!” is your answer, join Heather Moore and Ruth Heindel for leadership training during Spring Encounter Week. We will start the week partaking in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training with SOLO. With our new-found skills we will venture into the wilderness for some gritty/fun/educational training on how to lead a successful Encounter Week. This trip is geared towards older students, as one needs to be 16 to be WFA certified. However, we may consider younger applicants who feel ready for this challenge.


Join senior Willie Strauser, professional photographer Matt Kiedaisch, Jasmine Walker, and Tom Schicker to spend a week learning about photography and its technical aspects. Over the course of the week we will build our own pinhole cameras, experiment with real studio lighting and backdrops, develop film and use the digital labs at Burlington City Arts, and take landscape photos out in the field at various locations. At the end of the week, students will create a small portfolio, which will be professionally printed. Photographers of all skill levels (especially beginners) are welcome to choose this Encounter Week. All that is required is a camera (preferably a DSLR with manual controls, but we can find ways to work with other types if necessary) and a desire to learn how to take beautiful photos.


Join Cara Simone and Ben Patrick for a week of fun on the Island of Nantucket! Activities will include visiting whaling, shipwreck and life saving museums; strolling around local farms; a whale/seal watch and fishing excursion; and plenty of time searching for seashells on the beach! We look forward to investigating and discussing the historical, environmental and artistic aspects of this New England Island. This trip is open to everyone who is interested in history, coastal life, lighthouses, and fishing.

Rock Climbing/Gender Studies/All male students

Join Chance Cardamone-Knewstub and Ben Wang with student leader Joey Carrara for a week of yurt chilling, rock climbing, and gender discussion. This Encounter will feature rock climbing with petra cliffs as well as time at our very own “yurtle” in Huntington. This Encounter Week will be focused around questions of manhood and masculinity in American culture and is only open to male students.

Trapeze Course/Gender Studies/All female students

Spend the week with Christie  Beveridge and Sarah Judd exploring women’s issues and taking part in empowering activities! Each day we will spend time discussing ideas around self-esteem, body image, women in the media, healthy relationships, and more. We will also take part in many workshops and activities, including viewing Miss Representation and other films about women’s issues, a self-defense class, a tour of WPTZ with newscaster Stephaine Gorin, taking a trapeze course in Brattleboro, hiking Mt Hunger, and spending a night in the VCS yurt. Come prepared to take part in engaging conversation, to learn, and to step out of your comfort zone!


Acadia National Park (the name ‘Acadia’ was given to it by explorer Giovanni Verrazano in 1524 because the coast of Mount Desert Island reminded him of Greek shoreline, while Mount Desert Island was named by our very own Samuel Champlain in 1604) is one of the five smallest U.S. National Parks, but one of the top-10 most visited. This Encounter Week is a VCS tradition. We are switching back to the Spring Encounter Week slot so that we can actually see the new-born seal pups (baby seals are always a selling point for this trip, but the Fall trip, which allows us to see Whales & Whale Sharks does not coincide with the birth of the seals). This trip involves two long road-trips and a cruise on a converted Lobstah boat, so if you suffer from motion-sickness you should probably consider another, lesser, trip. We will be tide-pooling, enjoying the tropical north-Atlantic surf, cliff-climbing, hiking, caving, and working for the National Park Service. Jessica Redmond and Peter Goff will be your guides on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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.