“Monday evening the PMOEC staff toasted the end of yet another successful season. We had spent the day doing staff development in Burlington, spending the morning at The Echo Center and the afternoon at the Petra Cliffs Climbing Center, before ending the day with a great dinner in Vergennes. And yes, I know that winter is far from over, but for us, the season is defined by kids. And when kids stop coming, the seasons change. Now, the focus once again turns to community events, work projects and personal rejuvenation. The staff will all be taking a furlough in the month of March and when they are on sight, the pace will be a little less frantic as when kids are here. We all need the break before the spring season begins, as our winter season ended with a long stretch of days worked by everyone. Even I worked 12 straight before having this past weekend off- and the next five days as well. But the seasons official end on Monday felt better than the end of any winter season before. Despite the sickness that is working its way though the staff, despite the tired eyes I saw behind the smiles as we all raised our glasses and despite the soreness that found its way into my throat yesterday, the moral continues to stay high throughout the entire community. After a few weeks of Nature Table development, wood game, general cleaning, construction projects, etc. we will be welcoming in our new chef and intern then hitting the ground running with Spring Break Camp in early April.
But between now and then, we do have a couple of events that we hope you will join us for. Thursday night we are as excited as we could be about a community event. Local farmer and author Kristin Kimball will be presenting a discussion about the impact of climate change on farming in the Champlain Valley. Anyone who has ever had the chance to read anything that Kristin has written, either in The Dirty Life (a book recognized by Oprah) or in her weekly farm notes for members of Essex Farms, knows of Kristin’s intelligence, her sharp wit, her passion for farming and her engaging aura. I’m not sure if there is one lecture that I am more excited about than this one.
Life has slowed down a bit today- I am off and watching Spring Training reports while writing this update- and we are thankful for the time. Until next week…” [Stites McDaniel: Making Learning Natural: A Toast to the Winter Season.]