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Archive for July, 2013

Open House at Gerrie’s

25.Jul.2013 by Phil Grisdela

This week we had a chance to learn a little more about the house we live in and get in touch with some great members of the community as the Hosmer Ponds Watershed Initiative and Craftsbury Historical Society held a party at Gerrie’s (formerly the Faraway Farm or the Fox Farm) where half of the GRP rowers live. It was a bit of a mad dash to get everything ready but with everyone in the house pitching in we got the house looking great inside and out.

The garden at the house looking great after a good cleaning

The garden at the house looking great after a good cleaning

Steve checking out some of the photo albums of the Faraway Farm from years past

Steve checking out some of the photo albums of the Faraway Farm from years past

Dave Linck, President of the Craftsbury Historical Society starting the historical discussion about the house.

Dave Linck, President of the Craftsbury Historical Society starting the historical discussion about the house.

The event went off without a hitch, giving the community a chance to take a look at one of the more recent expansions of the outdoor center and to meet and get to know some of the athletes for the GRP they might not otherwise have known. For us it was great to talk to our neighbors and learn more about the house that we live in. Dave Linck of the Historical Society gave a great talk about the history of the house and the area, complete with photo albums of the house through the years and a bit of an idea of the lineage of the land. The event was definitely a nice break from training and a good reminder of the community that we’re a part of here at the Outdoor Center. Now though it’s back to normal as the group prepares for racing at the USRowing Senior National Trials and at the Canadian Henley Regatta at the beginning of August. Stay tuned for updates from all the racing!

BKL Camp #1

17.Jul.2013 by Ida Sargent

Every summer the Craftsbury GRP skiers host two Bill Koch Ski League Day Camps for local kids.  Each week twenty kids spend five days at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center being coached by GRP athletes and coaches through a non-stop schedule of rollerskiing, orienteering, swimming, more swimming, sculling, biathlon, mountain biking, more swimming and lots more activities.  Organizing these camps is one of my big projects for the summer and its fun and inspiring to see the enthusiasm and high energy which these kids bring to being active outside.  Here are some pictures to share the stories of the week.

A huge thanks to PowerBar for providing lots of bars to keep everyone fueled during the week.  There were some hungry campers and Ezra from South Dakota took down the most bars to keep up with new VT adventures.


Monday morning started off strong with most of the group rollerskiing on the common.  The library is closed on Monday morning leaving an open stretch of pavement free of cars which is the perfect place to learn to rollerski.  Many of the kids had never rollerskied before coming to camp but everyone was up for the challenge.
A focused Cormac


We put together an obstacle course which included some rollerskiing on the grass.  Being comfortable on rollerskis is very important and agility courses help learn these skills.
Callie was flying bu got pretty close to the edge of the road making this turn around the cones.
We also did some short sprints and here are Griffin and Zander racing head to head.  Zander had the only crash of the first morning but he did an amazing job of timing the fall to land in the grass rather than the pavement.
The next activity on the schedule was canoeing.  This year’s group was much more ambitious than years past and almost everyone paddled all the way to the other end of the lake and back.
Quincy, Ava, and Jack showed everyone the best technique to paddle three people in a canoe.  This boat also survived a bee attack at the narrows and made it back safe and sound to shore after a lot of swimming.
Ian psyched with a Powerbar after his first day at camp.
On Tuesday morning the campers tried orienteering around the Craftsbury Outdoor Center trails.  They started off with some expert coaching from Pepa, a former ski orienteering World Champion.  Almost all of the groups easily found all of the checkpoints and found the biggest challenge of the morning to be surviving the deer fly attacks.
Biathlon was another activity at camp and everyone learned how to shoot and then competed in some biathlon relay races with pushups for penalties for missed shots.


Clare, a GRP biathlete, helps Elias with shooting technique.  All the GRP athletes helped out with camp.  The skiers led most of the sessions but the rowers taught everyone how to scull which was the highlight of the week for many campers.
There was a mountain biking day.  Kids warmed up riding the pump track before riding the Center’s single track trails.
Taking a break from the heat and humidity in the shade of the solar panels.
I was impressed with the fearless riding that happened.  Here Avery hits the teeter toter.
Awesome teamwork as Claire helps Ezra fix his bike
And the big event of the camp- Friday’s adventure race!  Lucas, one of the mastermind’s behind this year’s course, explains the race.
Jack and team rescue the greased up watermelon and bring it back to the beach on a paddle board
Crossing the touring center pond on balance logs- high stakes for falling in!
Ian and David in the wheelbarrow race
Passing the logs and moving across the upper field without stepping on the grass
And the campers even got put to work stacking wood!
Slip and slide!
Big celebrations happened after the race with a pizza party and ropeswinging at the Dreissigacker’s camp.
Coach Anna was the master dough stretcher
And the camp favorite– ROPESWING!!
MacKenzie with a BIG splash!
The view from the top of the jump

A big thanks to all the GRP for coaching and to Judy Geer for hosting the party on the final afternoon.  A complete album will be posted soon with lots more pictures!  We’re gearing up now for a next camp in the beginning of August.

Thanks PowerBar!

Playing in the Boat Pays Off

15.Jul.2013 by Phil Grisdela

While John Graves has been posting impressive results in his bout overseas in the men’s heavyweight single for the US, he has also shown that all the time perfecting tricks in the boat at Craftsbury has not been wasted. Before his semi at the second world cup in Eton, UK John noticed a clump of seaweed directly in his lane. While the stakeboat holders at the event had nets to grab seaweed out of the lane, John was able to flip up the seaweed on his oar and hand it to the officials, all while keeping his boat straight and ready in a crosswind before his race. Here’s the story from John’s point of view, check out the photos to see what we’re talking about!

“This was my proudest moment of the regatta. There was a bunch of weeds in my lane and I told the official I would attempt to remove the weeds myself (of course, while maintaining my point in the crosswind!) So I picked up the weeds with a flat blade, while balancing and tapping with my port blade. The stakeboat holders and officials thought it was hilarious. I then delivered the weeds to their basket and dumped them into the basket. Mission accomplished! I said to the girls holding my boat, ” I have been training my entire life for this moment.” Haha!! Moments later, the race was started, and well, I was fourth. I won the skills competition though!”

John picking up the seaweed in his lane before handing it to the stakeboat holder

John picking up the seaweed in his lane before handing it to the stakeboat holder

All while keeping his point in some tough crosswinds right before the race!

All while keeping his point in some tough crosswinds right before the race!

Lucerne Preview

11.Jul.2013 by John Graves

Hello from Switzerland! Left Henley on monday morning and arrived here in Lucerne that afternoon. I took a couple days out of the boat and did some running around the area. Saw the sights, the sights are great. The race course is pretty amazing. When you are rowing to the start, there are peaks that rise above the finish line. On my first row on the course, I had trouble not smiling on the way down. Then I thought, why am I supressing my smiling?…so I kept smiling!
Racing starts here tomorrow morning. Heats for the M1x will be around noon. The draw takes place this evening, so tonight I will know who I am lined up against. In a field like this, everyone is obviously very very good, so pretty much no matter what the draw is, the plan is the same: go as fast as humanly possible.
Compared to the last World Cup in Eton, I feel ready to put down my best racing. I have had a few weeks over here of adjustment, learning, and growth. Now I think this regatta will be a good opportunity for me to show what I can do( without any excuses). In many ways that scares me…no excuses!? What if I perform really badly? That means I take all the blame!

Such is the life of a single sculler. The success is all yours and the failure is yours as well.

In all seriousness, I am very excited to race. A few of the other guys on the US team asked me,” Are you tired of racing yet??” I thought about that for a moment and answered with a resounding, ” No way!”

Racing is the GRP’s middle name!