LUDLOW, Vt. – After seven weeks of beautiful weather, the staff at TRSU’s Go Wild at West Hill are happy to announce the conclusion of a wildly successful summer. Over the course of 34 days, 123 children in grades 1-7 danced in streams, kayaked, caught fish, learned the ukulele, and dropped eggs from rooftops. To say it was a summer filled with childhood memory making would barely skim the surface of the programming and experiences youth had at West Hill.
Each day between 50-70 children, mostly barefoot, explored foreign lands in multicultural adventures, practiced the design cycle in STEM, and participated in coin hunts that ended with 6-year-olds counting out their change for a chance to win a t-shirt. It was like 1985, all over again.
Throughout the summer, TRSU’s Go Wild provided equity in our six communities through daily transportation to 40 families, more than 2,900 meals in three different communities, and provided 325 hours of high-quality programming for working families. More than half of the families at Go Wild benefited from Vermont Child Care Subsidy, scholarships, and a half-off discount for families with multiple children, making Go Wild the most financially accessible outdoor summer program in the area.
In partnership with the Fletcher Memorial Library, BRACC, and Springfield Medical Care Systems, campers were fully engaged in literacy, STEM, outdoor education, art, drug and alcohol prevention, and dental health. This multi-community, multi-agency approach allowed TRSU to support the whole child – academically, physically, socially, and emotionally.
Programs like this do not happen overnight, or in a vacuum. They require the love and dedication of a staff who remembers summers before cell phones and yet have the stamina required to keep up with 25 7-year-olds. Beyond the daily staff at Go Wild, there were the many individuals behind the scenes that made this project a success. We are especial grateful for the support we received from TRSU office staff Cheryl, Angie, and Kathy; town of Ludlow employees Kevin, Eugene, Chris, and Joe who kept our grounds beautiful and safe; bus drivers Rene and Chris; Jim Spaulding for taking care of all our custodial needs at West Hill; Nick Meile; and Tygart Mountain Sports for transporting our equipment and providing training.
Without these individuals pitching in, Go Wild could not have created a vibrant and affordable summer learning opportunity for the children of our communities – thank you.