Big things are happening here in Plymouth, Vermont. The last of the spring ephemeral flowers are blooming, countless robins are guarding pale-blue clutches of eggs, and the mild night air is once again filled with the sweet sound of peepers. It can only mean one thing: after a long, chilly Vermont spring, summer is just around the corner!

Thankfully for us, the peepers and robins aren’t the only ones showing their faces around here. Nearly all the staff who will be working at Farm & Wilderness this summer arrived last Saturday. Over the course of this first week of pre-Summer staff training, we’ve been hard at work in trainings and workshops. We’ve been making fires and finding shelter in the Outdoor Living Skills course, learning how to set up a campsite with Trips Training, scaling rock walls safely with Rocks and Ropes, and honing our medical skills in the Wilderness First Aid Workshop, to speak of a few. Of course, with lots to do before the summer, many returning staff spent their days setting up their camps. At Flying Cloud, we’ve been putting up our canvas structures, cleaning out our kitchen, and getting every little detail ready for campers!

To begin the day, we all sit together in silence at Tamarack Farm’s Silent Meeting Circle. After the day’s hard work is over, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the evenings. We celebrated our diversity of talents with an Open Mic, learned from one another with a big Skill Share, and had a good laugh when all the week’s workshop groups put on skits to tell us about what they did and learned.  During meals and free time, groups of staff folks form happy clumps on the lawn and porch, drinking tea and chatting, throwing frisbees, and enjoying the natural beauty of the hills surrounding us.

This week has been particularly great for us Flying Clouders! A few days before Skills Week started it had looked like it would rain almost every day, and we’d have to try and do a large chunk of our work setting up canvas structures at Flying Cloud in the rain – an extra wrinkle in an already formidable task. But as luck would have it we’ve enjoyed not one, not two, but three full days without rain, and things are beginning to look ready for this year’s staff team to move up to our Summer home at the end of the week. Sunday kicked off the second week of Staff training and shortly enough, campers will arrive on Wednesday the 26th! Strap in for a great summer everyone!

 

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