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Monday, 20 February 2017
 
 
2/13/17 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Monday, 13 February 2017
021317 - NZ2017 Update
19 days until we leave!

Here's what left in terms of trip prep!

I am missing the Health and Fitness form from Abby and Maddie. Get this to me ASAP. You can leave the form on my desk in the math office.

Tuesday, 2/21: Parent conference call, 9 to 9:30pm EST
A chance for parents to ask last minute questions. Information on how to connect to the call will be emailed out.

NEW --> Thursday, 2/23/17: Morning meeting - 7:15 to 8am in the Cox Room in the Dining Hall.
Russell: This is when you'll be presenting.

Thursday, 3/2/17:
Morning meeting - 7:15 to 8am in the Cox Room in the Dining Hall.

Sunday, 3/5/17: We depart for New Zealand! We are meeting at 9am in the Dodge Room in Reed.

Despite a huge snow storm, we had a fabulous packing meeting on Sunday night!

NZ2017 Packing Meeting

During the meeting we went through many trip demo activities and lots of items were checked from the packing list.

The main take-aways from the meeting are:

1) Everyone MUST use a belt style document pouch that can fit inside your pants. This is 100% a requirement. For more information on the proper type of pouch, see the gear advice page.

2) Overall, Ms. Evelti and I were quite impressed by everyone's packing job!

3) Please make sure to use plastic zip lock bags (1 gallon freezer recommended) to organize your items.

4) Please make sure that the cash you bring is in perfect condition and that it's broken down as outlined on the packing list page.

5) Please make sure you pack very single one of the required items on the packing list.

6) Talk to Mr. Seamon ASAP if you have any questions about packing.

1/27/17 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Friday, 27 January 2017
NZ2017 - 012717
We're only 36 days away from taking off! Wow!

All female trip participants need to fill out the roomate request form by Monday, 1/30 at 6pm. We will have a variable number of doubles and triples each night. (All of our boys will be rooming together in one triple for the whole trip.)

Our next trip meeting is on Thursday morning, 2/9 starting at 7:15am in the Cox Room in the dining hall. I look forward to seeing Russell's presentation on Matamata during the meeting.

The packing meeting is coming up on Sunday, 2/12. The meeting will run from 5:45 to 7:30pm in the Dodge Room in Reed. Everyone must show up fully packed as if we were going to leave from the meeting on our trip! Friend's and family are encouraged to attend the first hour of the meeting. It's going to be lots of fun!

A parent conference call will be run on Tuesday, 2/21 from 9 to 9:30pm EST. This will be a chance for parents to ask any last minute questions.

We've had two very productive trip meetings in the last week. At each meeting we've seen great presentations, talked about trip logistics, worked through trip information quizzes, and learned more about New Zealand.

Here's what everyone needs to be working on:
- Pack! I will be checking your bag, thoroughly, during the 2/12 packing meeting
- Email me a photo of your bag if you haven't already
- Making sure you have a set plan for where you're going to be on Saturday night, March 4th
- Making sure you have a set plan for getting to campus at 9am on Sunday, March 5th for our departure!

Trip participants were quizzed and the scores are going up! Let's get to 100%



The complete task tracking sheet can be viewed online right here.

We also recorded a couple videos at our last meetings:




NZ2017 - 1/19/17

Last Updated ( Friday, 27 January 2017 )
Day Trip - 12/11/16
Written by Josh Seamon   
Monday, 12 December 2016
121116 - Day Trip
Our next morning meeting is taking place on Thursday, 1/5 starting at 7:15am in the Cox Room in the dining hall.

Romping around Western, MA!

NZ2017 - Day Trip - 12/11/16 - Photo Album
NZ2017 - Day Trip - 12/11/16 - Video

NZ2017 - Day Trip



Our amazing day began with an 8am departure from the parking lot behind the chapel. Everyone was excited, especially the kids. There was the added bonus of the kids not knowing where we were headed as well as all of their cell phones being safely tucked away in my backpack. Good times.

Our first stop was to get breakfast at Esselon. Over pancakes, omlettes, and various other yummy plates, the whole group bonded and we enjoyed our first of over 50 meals together. After Ms. Evelti and I polished off our Sumatran French presses, we go back on the bus and drove to The Notch!

The day was sparkling bright and crisp as we headed out on our 4 miles of hiking through the gorgeous woods. The path snaked through the forest as we clamored on various terrain to our turn around point, the summit. While enjoying the view we rested, chatted, took a group photo, and then headed back. Along the way we found a stray dog (Elmer!) who joined us on our walk back to the parking lot. After reuniting Elmer with his owner, we transported over to Barnes and Noble where the kids were given 30 minutes to pick out their trip journal!

A short time later we were over on the other side of the road inside the mall where the kids spread out to get lunch and explore. I relaxed while reading the paper and then when the kids got back together at 12:30 I had them write their first journal entry where they talked about how they were feeling about the trip. I emphasized how they were going to be journaling at least once a day during the trip.

Next up, we roller skated! Everyone put their full heart into the experience and we all had a blast zipping around (at various speeds) the track! Ms. Evelti's boys racked up copious amount of prize tickets and we all got a little better at skating! Next up we walked the short distance to Laser Tag where the kids continued their fun and I continued my streak of coming out the champion!

Back on the bus we drove 20 minutes north to the Leverett Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist Stupa on top of a mountain. We walked around the structure as well as the adjacent garden, island, and rock garden. We chatted for a bit about the trip, journaled again, took a group photo, and then drove the short distance to my childhood home!

At The Farm, the kids were brought inside, took off their shoes, washed their hands, and told to sit on the floor. That's when my mother and I brought out the 8 Golden Retriever puppies! Each kids got some time holding a fluffy monster and otherwise having the time of their life! While it was seemingly impossible, the puppies were put back in their pen, we said goodbye to my mother and brother, and then drove west to the Montague Book Mill.

At The Mill the kids were given 45 minutes to choose a book to purchase as well as some hot cocoa and tea. I was thoroughly impressed by the awesome range of books the kids chose. Back on the bus the kids were quieting down a little given it was now getting dark and they were finally getting a little tired. Shortly before 5:30 we rolled into Ginger Garden for dinner!

Over large quantities of food we chatted about our day, the school year, our upcoming trip to New Zealand, and just had a fun time together. Fully satiated, we bussed back up and drove over to our last stop, The Hadley Quarters, an arcade! Inside the kids played classic games much older than themselves, and heard Ms. Evelti and I regale them with stories of our childhood.

By this time it had just started snowing, so we were treated to some white powder on our last drive of the day, back to campus. There were said our goodbyes and headed off.

Thanks for an amazing day! Can you believe we're only 82 days away from departing?!

12/8/16 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 08 December 2016
120816 - NZ2017 Update
Only 86 days until we depart! Wow!

Thanks for yet another AMAZING morning meeting! Here's where we stand:

1) Our day trip around Western, MA is this Sunday, 12/11! We are leaving at 8am sharp from the parking lot behind the chapel. Please make sure show up by 7:55am at the absolute latest. We have a packed day FULL of amazing activities! Please remember to bring at least $50 for food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) as well as to wear comfortable clothing you can move around in outside.

2) Our next morning meeting will take place on Thursday, 1/5 starting at 7:15am in the Cox room in the dining hall. I am looking forward to seeing presentations from Liz (Waipoua Forest Plantation [Day 3]) & Rachel (Tiritiri Matangi Island [Day 6]).

3) Here are the final signups for our optional excursions.

Abbie (All three)
Liz (All three)
Elise (Rafting+Tower)
Maddie (All three)
Jacob (All three)
Rachel (All three)
Jiaxin (All three)
Russell (All three)
Caleb (Rafting+Tower)
Nehamya (Rafting+Tower)
Qixuan (Tower)

The following trip participants owe some funds for their optional excursions. Please bring payments to the Business Office ASAP.

Caleb ($135)
Rachel ($55)
Jacob ($30)
Elise ($24)

4) Our names quiz scores are getting better! Our group average is now up to 85% (up 4%)! Let's get it to 100%!

Maddie - 91%
Abbie - 91%
Lizzie - 95%
Rachel - 100%
Elise - 91%
Neha - 91%
Jake - 95%
Russell - 18%
Glede - 73%
Caleb - 100%
Lydia - Did not take

4) Our trip info quiz scores are also getting better! Our group average is now up to a 52% (up 8%)!

Caleb - 38%
Rachel - 69%
Jacob - 46%
Maddie - 77%
Neha - 62%
Elise - 54%
Lizzie - 54%
Glede - 38%
Russell - 23%
Abbie - 62%
Lydia - Did not take

We also took a 20-question New Zealand general information quiz, and the group's average score incresed to 47% (up 5%!). Let's get that higher! Practice the quiz!

5) We heard awesome presentations from Jacob (Paihia (Bay of Islands) [Day 5]) & Glede (Christchurch [Day 12 & 13]). You can view both presentationos on the Student Presentations page.

6) We chatted about this Sunday's day trip as well as the packing meeting that's coming up on Sunday, 1/29 from 5:15 to 7:45pm in the Dodge room in Reed.

7) All residents students were reminded that they need to figure out where they are staying for the night of Saturday, March 4th by the time we leave for winter break! The dorms will NOT be open that night! It's recommended that you stay with a day student. Everyone has a pretty good plan for the day so far!

8) I remarked that everyone has turned in all of their paperwork! Hooray! Don't worry, there could still be a couple more forms! (Seriously, there could be some more.)

9) Here is everyone's homework:
a) Start packing!
b) Check the updated Gear Advice page!
c) Read about New Zealand!
d) Email me a photo of your primary bag!
e) Get even more excited!!

10) We all answered the question in a video, "What can you do during the trip to help out your fellow group members?"



11) We wrapped things up with a fantastic group photo!

NZ2017 - 12/8/16




11/10 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 10 November 2016
111016 - NZ2017
We're only 114 days away from departure!

Here's what went down at this morning's meeting:

1) Our next trip meeting will take place on Thursday, 12/8 at 7:15am in the Cox room int he dining hall.

2) The last trip payment of $1,884 is due to the Business Office by 11/28. Add in the following amounts if you are participating in any of the three optional excursions: Mountain Biking ($55), Sky Tower ($30), Black Water Cave Rafting ($135).

1) We took the names quiz and ended up with an average of 81%! We're getting closer to 100%!

Maddie - 91%
Abigail - 86%
Caleb - 100%
Neha - 91%
Lydia - 32%
Rachel - 82%
Gleded - 91%
Liz - Did not take
Jacob - Did not take
Russell - Did not take
Elise - Did not take

It would be really awesome if everyone scored 100% on the next quiz!

2) We took our info quiz and the group average rose to a 44%! We really need to get this higher!

Neha - 46%
Caleb - 54%
Lydia - 31%
Maddie - 54%
Rachel - 54%
Abigail - 31%
Glede - 38%
Liz - Did not take
Jacob - Did not take
Russell - Did not take
Elise - Did not take

We also took a 20-question New Zealand general information quiz, and the group's average score came out to 42%. Let's get that higher! Practice the quiz!

3) We heard great presentations from Maddie (Omapere) and Neha (Wellington)! You can view both presentations on the Student Presentations page.

4) Everyone was reminded about our upcoming day trip (Sunday, 12/11, departs at 8am, back by 8pm, bring $40 and comfy clothes) and packing meeting (Sunday, 1/29, 5:15 to ).

5) All residents students were reminded that they need to figure out where they are staying for the night of Saturday, March 4th by the time we leave for winter break! The dorms will NOT be open that night! It's recommended that you stay with a day student.

6) I collected paperwork. A few of you still need to turn in some items! You can check and see what you're missing right here. Final

7) Here's everyone's homework:
a) Submit your last trip payment by 11/28. Include payment for optional excursions.
b) Email me a photo of the main bag you're going to be using for the trip.
c) Submit all of your missing paperwork by 12/8 at the absolute latest!
d) Look over the packing list, deeply. It's never too early to start packing!

8) We all answered the question in a video, "What can I do to make the trip awesome?":



9) We wrapped up with another awesome group photo :)

NZ2017 Morning Meeting


Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 November 2016 )
11/7 Update - Meeting date change!
Written by Josh Seamon   
Sunday, 06 November 2016
110616 - NZ2017 Update
Due to Trimester Assessments, I am moving the date of our next trip meeting to Thursday, 11/10.

The meeting will run from 7:15 to 8am in the Cox Room in the dining hall.

I am looking for to seeing presentations from Maddie (Omapere [Day 3-5]) & Neha (Wellington [Day 11]).

Given the late nature of this date change, I do understand if you absolutely can't make this meeting.

That being said, please do make every effort to attend this meeting.

Bring as much completed paperwork to the meeting as you can.

Not sure what you're missing? Check out the Task Status spreadsheet. You can download all paperwork right here.

Please email me in the next 48 hours confirming that you can come to the meeting, or letting me know that you can't make it.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 November 2016 )
10/30 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Sunday, 30 October 2016
NZ2017 - 102716
Thanks for yet another amazing morning meeting! It was super awesome to have our entire group together and see all of our energy in action.

The trip is going to be AMAZING! Here's what we covered at the meeting and a few reminders:

1) Our next trip meeting is on Thursday, 11/17 at 7:15am in the Cox room in the dining hall. I'm looking forward to seeing the folloing presentations during the meeting: Maddie (Omapere) & Neha (Wellington).

2) Please make sure you've turned in any missing paperwork by 11/17 at the absolute latest. You can check and see if you're missing anything on the Task Tracking sheet. Keep in mind a new form was added to the required paperwork list on 10/28. Please turn in paperwork early whenever possible.

3) We did a bit a bit better as a group on the names quiz, averaging an 83% as a group! Let's get that up to 100%!

Caleb - 100%
Jake - 96%
Elise - 96%
Maddie - 92%
Neha - 92%
Rachel - 88%
Abbie - 88%
Lizzie - 88%
Russell - 8%
Lydia - Did not take
Glede - Did not take

4) We talked about three optional excursions. Everyone will need to make a final decision on joining any of these excursions by the day trip on 12/11. Please note that exch excursion costs an extra fee.

Day 2: Optional extra: Mountain biking (a scenic mountain biking trail) ($75)
Day 4: Optional extra: get an aerial view of the city from the top of the Sky Tower - Aucklandís iconic tower. (~$50)
Day 6: Optional extra: Black water cave rafting (~$125)

5) We talked about day trip which is happening on Sunday, 12/11. We are leaving at 8am sharp from the parking lot behind the chapel and will return to campus by about 8pm. Everyone needs to wear comfy clothes that they can move around in outside as well as at least $40 for food for the day.

6) We talked about the packing meeting which is happening on Sunday, 1/29 int he Dodge room in Reed from 5:15 to 7:30pm. Everyone must show up to the meeting fully packed with everything on the packing list!

7) I noted all of the trip web pages that have been updated on NewZealand2017.org, the trip itinerary page in particular. I stressed how important it is to review all of the trip information regularly.

8) Everyone took a quiz covering trip information ranging from easy to pretty challenging. Our group average came out to 28%. That needs to become much higher!

Glede - 54%
Rachel - 38%
Lydia - 31%
Caleb - 31%
Elise - 31%
Neha - 31%
Maddie - 23%
Abigail - 23%
Jacob - 15%
Russell - 15%
Elizabeth - 15%

9) We talked about how the dorms close on the morning of Saturday, March 4th (the day before we leave) and that no one is allowed to stay in the dorms that night. All resident students will need to find a day student to stay with for at least that night. It was recommended that resident students find a day student on the trip to stay with!

10) Everyone was assigned homework:
a) FINISH ALL PAPERWORK ASAP!
b) Email me a photo of your main bag.
c) Look over the packing list, think about it deeply, and let me know if you think anything should be edited or added.

11) We made a short video where we each talked about what we are most excited about as well as a message to our future (post-trip) self:



12) We finished the meeting by taking a group photo as well as some goofy photos of each trip participant!

NZ2017 - 10/27/16

We look rad! :) Larger versions of our trip photos can be found online right here.

NZ2017 - Goffy Faces

Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 November 2016 )
10/21 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Friday, 21 October 2016
102116 - NZ2017 Update
We're only 134 days away from take off!

Here's where we stand. There is a BUNCH of really important information listed below. Please read it over carefully and let me know ASAP if you have any questions.

1) Our second chaperone has been set! I am super happy to announce that Ms. Evelti, Williston's Director of Curriculum, will be joining us as the second trip chaperone!

2) Our flights have been set! You can check them out right here. We'll be traveling over 19,400 miles by plane and will be in the air for about 37 hours!

3) I just put up some helpful links covering information about New Zealand up on the resources page.

4) The first draft of the packing list is now online. This list will evolve in the coming weeks, but the current draft is a good place to start.

5) Our Day Trip will take place on Sunday, 12/11. We will be leaving campus at 8am and returning by 8pm. This is a 100% required event. Only trip participants and the trip chaperones will be

6) Our Packing Meeting will take place on Sunday, 1/29 from 5:15 to 7:30pm in the Dodge Room in Reed. This is a 100% required event. You must show up fully packed! Parents and friends are encouraged to attend the first hour of this meeting!

7) We will be gathering to leave campus at 9am on Sunday, March 5th. My best guess is that we will be back on campus between 9 and 10pm on Saturday, March 18th.

8) The dorms will NOT be open on Saturday night, March 4th. All residential trip participants will need to find a place to stay that night. You CANNOT stay in a hotel alone. You MUST stay with a day student. Please let me know by the end of November who you will be staying with so I can communicate the information to the Residential Life office.

9) Our next meeting will take place this Thursday, 10/27 starting at 7:15am SHARP in the Cox room in the dining hall. I look forward to seeing presentations from Elise (Maori Cultural [Day 4]) & Caleb (Tongariro Alpine Crossing [Day 9]).

10) The next round of paperwork is due by the morning meeting on 10/27. You can always check the status of your paperwork online right here.

Again, let me know ASAP if you have any questions!

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 October 2016 )
10/6 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 06 October 2016
100616 - Update
Please remember that our next trip meeting is on Thursday, 10/27 starting at 7:15am in the Cox room in the dining hall. The next trip payment of $1,884 is due to the Business Office by 10/17.

Here's what we covered at this morning's trip meeting:

1) We ran a names quiz. Here are the scores:

Abbie (83%)
Caleb (100%)
Elise (88%)
Glede (58%)
Jake (88%)
Liz (75%)
Maddie (92%)
Natalie (88%)
Neha (75%)
Rachel (54%)

Group average: 80%

Let's get that average to 100%!

2) I stressed the importance of responding to emails and returning paperwork promptly. From now on, late/incomplete tasks will result in units.

3) We heard great presentations from Natalie and Abbie! You can view them online on the Student Presentations page.

4) We talked about the things we're most excited about and our biggest worries for the trip.

5) I set the date for our day trip around Western, MA (All day on Sunday, 12/11/16) and our packing potluck (5:30 to 7:45pm on Sunday, 1/29/16). All trip participants need to check these dates and email meby 10/27 (at the latest) with a confirmation that those dates work. Both meetings are 100% required. If you have a totally unavoidable conflict, please let me know ASAP.

6) We talked about, in detail, the Travel, Safety, and Health agreement form. The students had the chance to edit the document.

7) We talked about the electronics policy and what kinds of bags are acceptable (not rolling!) for the trip!

8) We talked about the next round of paperwork. All of the forms are attached as well as available online on the Important Documents page.

Trip Financials Update (PDF) - Due by 10/10/16
Parental Contact Info (PDF) - Due by 10/27/16
Affidavit of Parental Consent (PDF) - Due by 10/27/16 <-- Must be notarized!
Medical Information Info (PDF) - Due by 10/27/16
Safety, Health, and Rules Agreement (Online doc) - Due by 10/27/16

10/6/16

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 October 2016 )
9/16 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Friday, 16 September 2016
091616 - NZ2017
I gave a presentation this morning in assembly where I talked about some of the lessons I have learned from my Golden Retriever, Mabel.

One of the lessons is that there is extreme joy in exploration. If something looks awesome, go check it out. New Zealand is unreal, so Williston is going!

If you're interested in taking one of the last two remaining spots on the trip roster, please email me ( ) by this Tuesday, 9/20 at 8pm EST.



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