TechBoston Takes Vermont by (Snow)Storm

Last weekend, the girls of TechBoston Academy packed their bags for Harlem Lacrosse-Boston's first-ever annual spring overnight trip trekking to snowy Burlington, VT. Eight students were selected to participate in the weekend based on school performance, attendance, and overall behavior.

After braving the elements on the ride up, the students arrived on the UVM campus to be picked up by their awaiting host families. The students spent Friday evening getting to know their host families (dogs and bunnies included!) and becoming accustomed to life in Vermont. 

The next morning began with a reservation at the ECHO Center in Burlington. The ECHO Center is an interactive museum dedicated to educating its patrons about the ecology, culture, history, and opportunities for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. Students built 3D topographical maps out of kinetic sand, touched live sea stars, broadcasted weather reports as a meteorologist, and even walked through the butterfly pavilion. The students were then treated to a viewing of the 3D film "Flight of the Butterflies" in which they learned about the life cycle and migration patterns of a monarch butterfly.

The students then headed up the hill for the real college dining hall experience at UVM's Harris Millis Dining Hall. After fueling up, a quick visit to the campus bookstore was in order before walking over to Virtue Field for UVM's bout with UNH. Prior to the contest, the TechBoston students formed a high-five tunnel as the Catamounts jogged onto the field for warm-ups. Chants and cheers from HLers throughout the back-and-forth game kept bodies warm despite the chilly temps. The tight competition resulted in a narrow one-goal loss for UVM, but spirits were lifted during a post-game "Catch with the 'Cats" and autograph session.

The day culminated in a potluck dinner hosted by Becky Castle and Bob Clark, the perfect end to an action-packed day. However, competitive attitudes carried over into the evening hours via a friendly basement foosball tournament.

Sunday morning got off to a hot start with a 9am practice at Shelburne Field House, where the TechBoston students had the chance to test out their mentoring abilities with 3rd and 4th grade local youth players. The station-driven practice included an obstacle course, "not in my yard", steal the bacon, and a v-cut to corner shooting drill. Points were given to the teams who won each station and chocolate chip cookies were on the line for the overall winner. Team 2 emerged victorious after the hour-long practice.     

Just down the road, the students were greeted by New Village Farm, where they met cows, goats, and chicks. The baby goats were a hit, making it a difficult goodbye. The last stop of the trip was to Palmer's Sugarhouse where Mr. Palmer explained the process of how sap is turned into maple syrup. The students then enjoyed the traditional Vermont treat sugar on snow while listening to some live music inside the sugarhouse. The authentic Vermont experience was a perfect way to end our eye-opening weekend. 

We would like to express our deep gratitude to all of the people who made TechBoston's inaugural spring overnight trip a resounding success and without whom this trip simply would not have happened. Thank you to our amazing host families the Harris', Samuelsons, Castles/Clarks, Skys, Stephensons, and Stockwells for opening their homes to our student-athletes and coaches and for their guidance and generosity throughout the weekend, to our organizational guru Cherie Morse for recruiting those families and setting up the UVM game tickets, to UVM AD Jeff Schulman, to UVM Head Coach Sarah Dalton and her team for welcoming us to their campus and field, to Rick Dalton for facilitating the UVM partnership, to Dave Palmer of Palmer's Sugarhouse, to Michaela Ryan of New Village Farm, and finally to the entire Greater Burlington community for making this a transformative experience for our student-athletes. We cannot wait to come back next year!