SENIOR TRIPS AND SERVICE – FACT 39 of 50
A big piece of the culture in the early years of GMVS was an annual spring trip of several weeks. The first trip, in 1976, was an 800-mile bike ride from South Carolina to the GMVS campus, then still in Moretown. Other trips, equally ambitious, would follow what was effectively Outward Bound, GMVS-style.
Any particular trip might have 20 to 25 participants, and running rivers became a common theme. Trips went to places like Big Bend in Texas, the Green River in Utah, and the Chattooga River in Georgia, where many scenes from the movie Deliverance were filmed. But, it wasn’t all about water sports, and an adventurous communion with the natural world. In 1985, Eugene Weiss, father of GMVS grad Marc Weiss, led a trip to Poland and Auschwitz. According to Alice Rodgers, who would arrive in 1984 as a teacher and coach before becoming the head of academics in 1990, the trips, as they evolved, aimed for a synthesis among education, community service, and adventure.
The destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast in the late summer of 2005 led the GMVS Class of 2006 to Gulf Springs, Mississippi to help the community there recover, and then this was followed by several years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s New Orleans chapter as the rebuilding efforts continued.
In recent years, as the GMVS lacrosse programs grew more competitive and the state playoffs became more of a focus, the window of time for the senior trip shrank, and the school began to look for more local opportunities, placing a greater emphasis on giving back within the state of Vermont. Since 2013 the seniors’ have partnered with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp’s farm program, based in Richmond, Vermont. Here GMVS seniors help the farm program staff at a crucial juncture in the year as they get the growing season started. The food produced on the farm goes to the VYCC’s Health Care Share program, a partnership with eleven different medical centers throughout the state, where healthcare professionals identify families that have food insecurity and/or issues with access to nutritional food. This year’s senior class spent two days working in Richmond, preparing vegetable beds and helping to hand plant over a thousand Shishito, Ancho Poblano and Jimmy Nardello peppers.