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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.



9/15 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 15 September 2016
091516 - NZ2016
We just had a wonderful morning meeting over breakfast. Here's what we covered:

The trip participants completed a names quiz, after all, everyone needs to know everyone's full names! Here're the scores for this round:

Neha 100%
Caleb 89%
Abigail 100%
Natalie 100%
Jake 94%
Rachel 33%
Elise 89%
Maddie 100%

Group average: 88%

Our goal is to get to 100%!

We then talked about the best part of our summer, documents that need to be completed, and upcoming payment dates (10/17 and 11/28). I also noted that the Business Office will be closed for winter break. I emphasized the rest of our upcoming morning meetings and that I will soon be scheduling our day trip around Western, MA. Everyone needs to keep a close eye on the Important Dates page!

Next, we chatted about the packing potluck which will happen about a month before we leave. The hallmark of the event is that everyone will need to show up FULLY packed! Yup, that's right! Ready to go right then and there!

I noted that the trip insurance information is now online and that if participants would like more coverage, they should purchase their supplementary policies ASAP. If people would like to get an idea of what our packing list will look like, check out the one from last year's trip to Madagascar.

I also emphasized 7 elements to our trip:
1) The focus is the group
2) No excuses
3) Be on time. Period. Be early.
4) This trip is treated like a class
5) Differences. Being uncomfortable.
6) I'm keeping track; in detail
7) I need to trust you

We finished by taking a group photo, going over the homework, and several rounds of questions.

Here's the homework:

• Recruit! 9/20 is the hard deadline! I must hear from people by then if they want to join the trip!
• Get the trip OneNote notebook loaded.
• Email me your presentation topic; First-come, first-served
• Do you have an appropriate bag? You must be able to carry it on your back. Email me a photo of the bag!

Our next meeting is on Thursday, 10/16 starting at 7:15am in the Cox room in the dining hall. See you then!

NZ2017

Two available spots!
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 08 September 2016
090816 - New Zealand Update
Two last spots are open on the spring break trip to New Zealand!

If you're interested in joining our two-week romp around the outdoor wonderland of New Zealand, please talk to Mr. Seamon by Tuesday, 9/20 at the absolute latest.

The last two spots will be filled on a rolling basis.

Trip Application | Trip FAQ | Trip Itinerary | Trip Launch Announcement

During the trip we will:
- Travel around both the north and south islands
- Visit scenic small islands
- Learn about environmental conservation
- Surf down sand dunes
- Learn about the Maori people
- Swim with dolphins
- Walk through Middle Earth
- Go white water rafting
- Go on one of the best day hikes in the world
- Traverse the Adrenaline Forest (Zip lining + more!)
- Float in underground river caves illuminated by glow worms!

Let me know if you have any questions. ( )

New Zealand 2017

8/16 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Monday, 15 August 2016
NZ2017 - 081616
I hope you've been having a grand summer! Mine has been full of family, travel, and relaxation.

Now that summer is winding down, we're just about to get back into getting prepared for our upcoming trip to New Zealand! Want to get even more excited about the trip? Spend some time on this site!

Remember, all current trip information is online at NewZealand2017.org.

Here's what coming up:

Early September: The meeting schedule will be released. We will be meeting approximately every 3 weeks until we depart. It's looking quite likely that we will meet at 7:15am in the morning on weekdays (in the dining hall) as this has proven to be the only time when the entire group can get together. Are there any weekday mornings (days of the week) that absolutely don't work for you on a regular basis?

September 5th: The first trip payment of $1,884 is due in the Business Office by 3pm. You can make your payment in a few ways:

1) Checks should be made out to “The Williston Northampton School” and handed off to Mr. Seamon. Please make sure to write the trip participant’s name in the memo field of the check.
2) Payments can be made from student accounts or via credit card, wire transfer, or other electronic means by contacting the Williston Business Office. Payments should be made to the “New Zealand Trip” account. If you make your payment directly to the Business Office, please make sure you notify Mr. Seamon of the amount and date of the payment.

If you applied for financial aid, please note:

1) The most aid any one applicant will receive is around $400.
2) Financial aid decisions will be made by the Advancement Office in mid-October.
3) Awarded aid will be dispensed by the end of November.

See you in a few weeks!

Last Updated ( Monday, 15 August 2016 )
5/15 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Sunday, 15 May 2016
051516 - NZ2017 Update
Our first trip meeting was held on Thursday morning, 5/13! Here's what we covered:

We paired up and introduced each other in small groups. Each of us then stood up and introduced ourselves with some basic information and at least one embarrassing facts. Next, we talked about some of the things we're most excited about (seeing Auckland, leaving the continent, tubing under glow worms, walking through Hobbitown, hiking, photography) and some of the things we're anxious about (the unpredictable, getting sick, the long flights).

I then went over some important dates (HW due on 5/20, trip payments due 9/5, 10/17, and 11/28), and everyone took a names quiz, which we as a group almost perfected. Good work! I told the kids that I'm looking to fill two last spots on the trip roster. If you know anyone that you think may want to join the trip, please have them email me. Also, our second trip chaperone won't be filled until the fall.

Here's the homework that's due by 5/20:
- Email me ( ) a scan of the photo page of your passport
- Open up the trip OneNote notebook online using this link. Only trip participants will be able to open the notebook. One you've opened up the notebook create a new page in the "Collaboration Space" section and say "Hi - This is [your name]!" on the page.
- Install WhatsApp on your phone. We'll be using this app to communicate as a group during the upcoming year.

We are not going to meet again as a group until school starts up again in the fall.

Please make sure you check your email over the summer!

Please note that from June 9th through August 29th, the best way to reach me is via my GMail address:


NZ2017 - First Group Meeting

5/11 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
051116 - NZ2017 Update
Our first trip meeting is coming up on Friday, 5/13 from 7:45 to 8:15am in the Cox room in the dining hall. The meeting is only for students. Please make sure you are seated and ready to begin the meeting right at 7:45am.

New tasks to be completed by Friday, 5/20:
- Email me ( ) a scan of the photo page of your passport
- Open up the trip OneNote notebook online using this link. Only trip participants will be able to open the notebook. One you've opened up the notebook create a new page in the "Collaboration Space" section and say "Hi - This is [your name]!" on the page.
- Install WhatsApp on your phone. We'll be using this app to communicate as a group during the upcoming year.

See you on Friday!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 May 2016 )
Last chance to apply!
Written by Josh Seamon   
Wednesday, 04 May 2016

I am looking to fill two last spots on the New Zealand trip roster! This is your last chance to join the 12 students who have already locked in to going on the trip!

If you're interested in applying to fill one of these two last spots, please email me directly by Monday, 5/9 at .

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 May 2016 )
New Zealand applications due today
Written by Josh Seamon   
Monday, 02 May 2016
NZ2017 - 5/2 Update
Applications for next year's spring break trip to New Zealand are due today (Monday, 5/2)!

Trip Application | Trip FAQ | Trip Itinerary | Trip Launch Announcement

During the trip we will:
- Travel around both the north and south islands
- Visit scenic small islands
- Learn about environmental conservation
- Surf down sand dunes
- Learn about the Maori people
- Swim with dolphins
- Walk through Middle Earth
- Go white water rafting
- Go on one of the best day hikes in the world
- Traverse the Adrenaline Forest (Zip lining + more!)
- Float in underground river caves illuminated by glow worms!

Let me know if you have any questions. ( )

New Zealand 2017

Here we go!
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 24 March 2016
NZ2017 - First Page
Complete trip information is avaible through the menu over on the left.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, May 2nd at 3pm.

New Zealand 2017!







NZ2017 Flyer

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 April 2016 )
The journey home - 3/21-22/16
Written by Josh Seamon   
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
0321-2216
The journey home

The whole group!

Media, Round 14
3/21-22/16 - The journey home (Photos)
3/21-22/16 - The journey home (Video)

3/23 @ 6am - The Williston Northampton School (Google maps link)



All trip photo albums
Trip video playlist

Mr. Seamon:

Our last night in Madagascar was quite comfortable. Our hotel was nestled into a corner off of a small alley, which of course Manu had no trouble navigating. Our day on the 21st began with a nice late wakeup call (8:15!) and by 9am everyone was downstairs enjoying another huge, wonderful breakfast.

Everyone was well rested and a bit less giddy than the evening before, and ready to begin our journey home. While we ate I put out four cards for each of the kids to sign for each of our amazing local leaders -- Mialy (our tour escort), Jarry (Mialy's assistant), Manu (our driver) and Tchery (Manu's assistant). We then had about an hour to rest, relax, and run through some return trip prep, like applying more red duct tape to our bags, before Mialy and Jarry arrived at 10.

Everyone then started working through the first phase of our goodbyes. The kids all wanted photos with our esteemed leaders and lots of hugs were given out. Soon after Manu showed up and with Tchery's help, we loaded up the bus and headed out. A short while later we stopped at a post office and several kids and Ms. Hanley jumped out to mail some post cards. Manu did some more driving magic and parked the bus right in front of the place while lots of stamps were applied with paste to the cards.

Soon after we were at the airport where we unloaded, took some more photos, and said some more goodbyes, this time to Manu and Tchery. Inside the airport we found the right desks and settled in for an hour wait until the desk opened. We used the time to fill out our trip evals, journal a bit, and read. At about 1pm we said our final goodbyes to Mialy and Jarry, got checked in, cleared security, and and hunkered down at the gate.

All of a sudden we were making our first steps back towards the US. At the gate no Ariary was accepted, but that didn't stop the kids from loading up on lunch and snacks. After a short 30 minute wait we cleared the gate and walked out to our plane and were in the air for our 3.5 hour flight to Joburg.

At JNB we quickly cleared the transit checks and found our way to our previous home away from home, the international wing of the Joburg airport. After finding out gate, the kids were given some time to get more food, and then we regathered at the gate. An extra security check later along with a bit of milling around, we were on the plane getting comfortable for the long ride home.

The flight was quite smooth and turbulence free. Many kids slept and also enjoyed the same buffet of movies as our flight out. We touched down right on time at JFK and in record time cleared passport control, got our bags, and cleared customs. We picked up the bag I had left with our coats in baggage storage, took the airtrain to the shuttle pickup point where we found the waiting Days Inn shuttle. 10 minutes later we were back at the hotel where we loaded up the bus and hit the road north!

Everyone was pretty excited about the bright sun and crisp weather. The bus was a mix of high energy and napping. Before getting back on the road after lunch at a large rest stop, I gave out the letters the kids had written to themselves at the beginning of the trip. I then had them think about how they would fold everything they had learned and experienced on the trip into their lives. The kids shared some of their ideas for how to make that a reality and then we got back on the road.

Shortly after 12:30pm we rolled into Sawyer House to a waiting crowd of parents and siblings. We took one last group photo, chatted a bit, and then everyone scattered. With that, Madagascar 2016 came to a close! Magical Madagascar! What a place!

To everyone: Thank you, thank you, thank you for an utterly amazing experience. I had the time of my life traveling with all of you!

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