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Primetimers from five UM jurisdictions traveling in Vermont

A Kaleidoscope of Vermont Color
by Jeanie Blankenbaker

(September 23 to October 1, 2011)

Question: What do Sugar on Snow, Moo Doo, and Robert Frost's cabin in the woods have in common?
Answer: They are but a small fraction of new cultural experiences, information, and things uncommon in the home states of Primetimers attending the Vermont event.

Primetimers in VermontArriving in Burlington, Vermont, from all five United Methodist jurisdictions, 14 Primetimers (PTs) quickly hit the road, loading into vans each morning. Traveling within the beautiful Champlain Valley and Green Mountains, the PTs experienced a full kaleidoscope of Vermont colors, sites, and brilliant speakers versed in their respective fields.

An afternoon of volunteer service took the PTs to Covenant Hills Christian Camp, located on a gorgeous 139-acre wooded-mountain site. They repaired and strengthened cabin decks, leveled one cabin, and did prep-work for floor painting and other painting tasks.

To mention the many experiences of the week is all but impossible here. When asked, "What are your most memorable events?" Primetimers lifted these, in no particular order:

•    the volunteer service day at the camp
•    Burr Morse and his maple sugar farm stories
•    the Shelburne Museum
•    all the persons our hosts knew and we heard, especially:

* Vermont Senator Claire Ayer (health care advocate)
* Dr. John Elder (Robert Frost scholar)
* Skip Flanders (Waterbury's President of Selectmen and member of Wesley UMC)
* Bob Foster (Dairy Farm owner and producer of Moo Doo and electricity)
* Stuart Hall (snowflake photographer)
* Michelle Jenness (Director, Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates)
* Cheryl Connor (Co-convener of Addison County Farm Worker Coalition).

Primetimers in VermontThe PTs enjoyed:

•    the private visit inside the cabin of Robert Frost
•    Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory
•    Rokeby Museum and its Underground Railroad
•    worshipping at Shelburne UMC
•    the Lake Champlain cruise
•    the sample table at Cabot Cheese Factory
•    the picnic on top of Mt. Philo
•    Vermont's incredible views
•    the Vermont State House tour
•    participating in Bill McKibben's 350.org grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis
•    the Middlebury College tour and the international students we met
•    the observation of Vermonters working together to solve their problems.

It was truly a kaleidoscope event of experiences and colors. One Primetimer summed it up by saying we were "taken with Vermont"!

Caption: Entering Robert Frost's cabin in the Vermont woods.

Jeanie Blankenbaker served as assistant general secretary for Mission Volunteers of Global Ministries prior to retirement.

More Articles 

Primetimers visit cave in northern Italy's Angrogna Valley, where centuries ago, Waldensians worshipped to escape persecution (photo credit: David Markay)

Exploring South Georgia's Golden Isles, by Jeanie Blankenbaker (Nov. 26, 2008)

An enjoyable and educational time in Macedonia, by Nancy Pullen (Oct. 17, 2008)

First Primetimers Mission Group Visits Macedonia, by Nancy Eubanks (May 19, 2008)

Primetimers Explore Building Global Community, by Kim Lehmann (Nov 21, 2007)

Primetimers in Appalachia: Learn about Mining, Help Henderson, and Renew the Spirit, by Kim Lehmann (July 17, 2007)

Primetimers Return from Italy Inspired to Build Beloved Community (April 12-21, 2007 event)

Primetimers Journey Along the Lewis and Clark Trail, Discovering Natural Wonders and Exciting Ministries, by Mike Jarvis (July 15, 2005)

Exploring Your Faith with Lewis and Clark - A Primetimers Event, by Ron and Hazel Clark (Nov. 23, 2004)

Primetimers study French culture, church,by Dee Poujade (Oregon-Idaho United Methodist, November/ December 2004,page 5). Note: This is in pdf format; to download it, you must have thefree Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.

Primetimers in the Heart of the Blue Ridge, by Ann Barber (Nov. 18, 2003)

Primetimers Program goes to Sondernach, France, by Dot Savage (Nov. 14, 2003)

Older Adults Meet to Explore Faithful Responses to Current Global Challenges (Primetimers event "A Global Perspective on Current Issues: Understanding and Responding, " March 30-April 3, 2003)

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