This past weekend I had the joy of returning to the Green Mountain State. My reason for the trip was to meet with a new advisor for the Deerfield valley area and to conduct a training for four new PeaceJam Ambassador Programs. The Ambassadors curriculum is written for 9th-12th grade youth.
I love PeaceJam. I love Vermont. Allow me to go back to Vermont and teach PeaceJam, and I almost spontaneously combust with enthusiasm.
Nestled in the beautiful mountains of Vermont is a small town called Brattleboro. On Thursday I had the joy of meeting Ms. Patricia Mehlhop. Patricia will be working with elementary school students to implement the Juniors Curriculum. When I first talked to her on the phone, I was impressed by her desire to create a culture of change with the students at Deerfield. She spoke with clarity, love, and the desire to empower her students in a way that would help foster them into adolescence. We met for lunch and I happily listened to her plan for rolling out the program in the fall. I am excited to see what amazing things the youth from Southern Vermont will be doing as they enter into their school year!!
Next, I was able to have a meeting with SIT Graduate Institute http://www.sit.edu/. Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams attended the institute back in the 1970’s. SIT has a focus on International learning, and transforming lives. I met with an incredible man named Tony Drapelick who is the Director of Campus Life. This incredible man biked from VA to ME! (and I think I talked him into cycling from Brattleboro to Merrimack with us.. time to dust off that bike!!). Our stop in Brattleboro on September 22nd will be at SIT, and I am absolutely honored to do a public talk at the institute and have our new PeaceJammers from Deerfield join me!
On Friday I drove into Bristol, VT which is home to the Bristol Hub and Skate Park. The Bristol Hub is part of Big Heavy World, which is an incredible organization dedicated to VT musicians of all ages. http://bristolskatepark.com/.
Four new PeaceJam groups met at the Hub in Bristol for a day-long training. Montpelier, St. Albans, Burlington, and Bristol will all be starting PeaceJam!!! I was honored to have Erin Christiansen who was a former PeaceJammer join me to co-facilitate. Erin is a student at UVM, and embodies much wisdom and passion in everything she does.
After a wonderful two days of work, I was able to join some old friends for cycling, good food, lots of hugs, and even some berry picking before returning home to CT.