Monthly Archives: July 2015

Day-20: Shader Croft School At WMS 2015

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This land is your land . . .

The time has come to say goodbye!  It is bittersweet every year to say goodbye to our Shader Croft family.  We will miss everyone who is leaving us today and we can’t wait to see them again next summer.



One of my favorite activities was when we sang together, and everyone’s favorite song was “This Land Is Your Land”.  We sang it at least once a week.  Today was our last opportunity, and boy did we let it rip!  There are a few kids that do not like to sing and avoid it at all costs, however that was not the case today.  Everyone gave it there all, and it truly was a beautiful sight to behold!



Along with the singing came our last trip of the summer.  There was no doubt where we would go.  Bay-side beach!  We didn’t go just for the swimming, basketball, and nuke em; we brought our lunch too.  Mr. Gabriel fired up the BBQ and we all had a great lunch.


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If our day wasn’t packed enough, we had our closing ceremony as well.  We’ve had a wonderful time together, diving fully into program, more adventures, and an overall festive atmosphere. It was great to have Ms. Francis our site coordinator, and Mr. Hyde the director of SCS there for the ceremony. They added so much laughter and vibrancy, insights on life and their many other wonderful contributions to our community.


Check out the photo I created


Farewell for Now. . .

We had an incredible program. We learned, ran, sang, hiked, skated, laughed, smiled and enjoyed the summer like never before. While we’re sad Shader Croft is over, we choose not to say, “Goodbye”, but rather, “See you next year!”


Day-19: Shader Croft School At WMS 2015

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Get into the groove!


The trips yesterday and today have been all about the fun!  Yesterday the crew hit the Ben & Jerry’s factory and loaded up on some sweets.  Today the gang paid a visit to Skateland in Essex.  After we were all exhausted from flying around the track, Mr. Gabriel gave us a tour of MetroROCK indoor climbing center.  Totally rad.






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Day-18: Shader Croft School At WMS 2015

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Lifetime Friends

One of the best things about Shader Croft is the network one may build within a single summer.  Unlike most teaching environments, SCS attracts staff from all over the world who posses a multitude of talents.  A successful Shader Croft site requires the expertise of artists, accountants, and achievers; but mainly a successful SCS site has a good team of teachers.  Because SCS is such a dense community, staff members can form very close bonds within the short window of time.  Shader Croft creates a sense of family, which is exactly why, for many staff members, goodbye at the end is rarely goodbye forever.  This Summer is no exception; and I can safely say I now have three new friends for life.




Part of the team . . .

Setting up our kids for victory demands a welcoming environment where they feel comfortable.  Those who are a self-conscious are markedly challenged when tension is high.  The spirit of Shader Croft School is one of direction, adventure, and safety more than the struggle to see who wins.  The victory is all about making students feel like a valuable part of the group.  In short, the SCS setting is a team based environment.  We really are all a part of the team!


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Camp Ethan Allen Training Site

IMG_1789[1]This week we visited the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site because Ben is interested in robots. His dad Les Urban showed us a robot, the parts of an IED, Army vehicles and VBS3, a battlefield simulation program. We learned that an IED needs a trigger, main charge, power source and container. We were surprised to find out that you can make an IED for about $7 that can destroy something worth a million dollars.

The students enjoyed VBS3 because they got to drive tanks and Humvees and it seemed realistic. It felt like Call of Duty, one of their favorite video games. They also loved going inside the Army vehicles. Some of the students felt like giants inside the huge vehicle, and some said it made them realize how small they were. Casey and Damon especially liked sitting in the gunner seat.

Les showed us a trailer with a tent that can unfold to become larger than a large parking spot. We also saw other expensive equipment like devices that can detect IED’s.

We enjoyed meeting Les and Billy, who have both served multiple tours in Afghanistan. Les emphasized that their focus was safety, not destruction. They are very committed to keeping their men as well as civilians safe. We thank them for their service for us and our country, as well as for hosting us on our fabulous trip!


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Vermont Institute of Natural Science

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Last Thursday we visited VINS in Woodstock. VINS stands for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. This was Dylan’s trip because he’s very interested in nature and animals. Here are some of the things we learned and experienced:

– A raptor is a predator, which hunts other animals, and it’s a large bird. Raptors’ beaks have specific shapes, and they have very sharp talons.

– Turkey vultures aren’t raptors because their beaks don’t have the right shape. The turkey vulture we saw there was over thirty-five years old!

– Volunteers pick up birds who are injured and bring them to VINS, or they are transferred from another facility.

– When you capture a bird, you should wear gloves, wrap it in a blanket (so it’s not nervous and calms down), and put it in a box with holes. If it’s a baby bird, you should put it back in the nest.

– Most birds have a horrible sense of smell.

– Birds who are taken care of by people sometimes think that they are pets or people. This is called bird imprinting. When they go in the wild, they don’t know what to do or how to take care of themselves. This was a reminder to be careful how we treat animals who are born in the wild.

Day-17: Shader Croft School At WMS 2015

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We believe in ourselves . . .

Working together during the Summer in a hot classroom with a group of friends and teachers for five weeks — with hardly any time alone — is not easy everyday.  Everyone must share and compromise.  Students and teachers alike give much and take little.  There are even stressful days when we have to cope; some of our academic trips are heavy on the brain and are not very fun.  These are all tremendous aptitudes we can put to use at home with our families, at school, in college, at work and beyond!



Beach Days are the Best!

Our summer program is almost complete. It goes by quick, so we should enjoy every second.  I cant believe its almost over. At SCS, there is a unique adventure every single day. Sometimes I know what it is, but most days are a surprise; Ms. Greene is our trip planner.  I guess it’s good not knowing everything in advance.  Today was no different.  We all went for a last big beach blowout!  We played an all site game of Nuke EM, basketball, and there was hours of swimming.  Andy and I played a pickup game of hoops and he beat me 21 to 20.  Ouch!  Such a close game, and a ton of fun.  Beach days really are the best.




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Vermont Mountaineers



















We had a great time visiting the Vermont Mountaineers baseball organization this week. We toured their facility and met their manager Ryan Gallagher, who told us all about the team and its history. Ryan brought us up to the press box, which had a great view of the field and some cool equipment. We also got to sit in some seats from Fenway Park that were donated to the Mountaineers.



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Shader Croft Productions

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This week we visited VCAM (Vermont Community Access Media) and learned about what they do, including TV filming, editing and production. They have a lot of cool techie equipment that’s available to anyone for free who becomes a member, including middle school students. We saw some really impressive videos produced with their equipment. But by far, the best thing we did was to create and film our own TV show! Some of us were creators/actors, and some were on the filming/production crew. It was great to see what our team produced in a short amount of time. Shader Croft Williston sure has some creative, talented students!IMG_1617[1]IMG_1620[1]




Day-16: Shader Croft School At WMS 2015

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The Action Never Stops!


This afternoon we had three trips, that’s right THREE trips!  One group went sailing, another learned about animal rescue, and the third studied computer sciences with an 18 year old mathematics prodigy.  Shader Croft is a busy place!


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Week-4 was a great week, and the action keeps on going!  Sadly next week will be our last, but we plan on finishing strong.



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