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5/26/17 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 25 May 2017
052617 - Borneo 2018 Update
We had a fantastic meeting this morning!

Please remember to check your school email over the summer!

I don't project having to send out too much info over the summer, but it's likely some will go out!

Here's what we covered:

1) We went over missing paperwork and I'm happy to report almost every single item has been turned in at this point! Remember, you can always check the status of your tasks right here.

2) We talked about how everyone will be expected to know everyone's first and last names. So far we're doing pretty well!

3) We took a couple online quizzes about Malaysia a couple times :) You can take the quizzes online right here and right here. Do practice these quizzes! We'll be taking them many times at future meetings!

4) When we get back from summer vacation, we'll be meeting every 2-3 weeks in the morning. At each morning meeting, one trip participant will be giving a 3-5 minute presentation on a topic of their choice. Here's what people have chosen so far:

Josh - Kuching city tour
Kassandra - Swimming in rivers (Water systems)
Lizzie - Jungles
Sara - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center
Aidan - Coral Island
Nina - Coral reefs
Ella - Lang caves

5) We chatted a little bit about our big group activities that are coming up: In the fall we'll be going on a day trip around Western, MA for a full day, and a month before we leave we'll all meet for an evening where everyone needs to show up fully packed! You can keep track of all important dates on the Important Dates page.

6) We recorded a video to our future (post-summer vacation) selves:



7) We took a group photo

Borneo 2018
Two open spots!
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 11 May 2017
050917 - Borneo2018 Update
13 of us are set to go to Borneo next spring!

We couldn't be more excited to trek through jungles, see ridiculous biodiversity, climb through epic caves, and swim around pristine reefs!

We would love to add two people to the roster by the end of May!

If you're interested in joining the trip, please email Mr. Seamon ( ) ASAP.

FAQ || Itinerary || Application

Borneo2018.com
Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 May 2017 )
5/11/17 Update
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 11 May 2017
051017 - Borneo 2018 Morning Meeting #1!
During the chaos that is May, we managed to pull together 8 of our 13 group members for our first morning meeting!

Here's what we covered:

1) We paired up and after a short discussion, we each introduced our partners with some basic information and one embarrassing fact :)

2) We each shared something about the trip we are excited about and one thing we're nervous about.

3) I ran the group through some important dates, all of which you can now track on the Important Dates page.

4) I reminded the group that they should make sure they pay attention to their school email and read everything I send out, carefully. Group members should also make sure they check their school email at least once a week over the summer.

5) We are going to have one more trip meeting before the end of the school year. It will take place on Thursday, 5/25 from 7:30 to 8:10am in the Cox Room in the dining hall. This meeting is mandatory unless you already have a previously schedule commitment you in no way can move.

6) We are looking to fill one or two more spots on our trip roster by the end of May. Please tell interested people to email me directly.

7) Everyone needs to make sure they know everyone else's name (first and last!). You will be quizzed on this. Regularly :)

8) Right after our meeting we gave an awesome announcement in assembly! :)


Homework, Due by 5/19:
a) Open up the trip notebook and in your section add a page called "I made it!"
b) Install WhatsApp on your phone and send me a message (802-748-9857). (We will be using this system for important updates during the school year.)
c) Please make sure you submit any missing items ASAP. You can track what you've submitted right here.


We wrapped up by answering the question, "What are you most excited about?" and taking a group photo:



Borneo 2018 - 5/10/17

Here's the announcement we gave in assembly:



Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 May 2017 )
And we're off!
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 23 March 2017
032317 - Blog Post
Here. We. Go.

Complete trip information is available through the menu over on the left.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, May 1st at 8pm.

FAQ || Itinerary || Application
Borneo 2018 Launch Poster












Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 April 2017 )
The journey home (3/18/17)
Written by Josh Seamon   
Saturday, 18 March 2017
031817
3/18/17 - The journey home

NZ2017

Media, Round 12
3/18/17 - The journey home (Photos)
3/18/17 - The journey home (Video)



3/18/17 @ 8:30pm - The Williston Northampton School (Google maps link)



All trip photo albums
Trip video playlist

To switch things up here at the end of our journey, Mr. Seamon's going to step in with the write up:

Our journey home began with Ms. Evelti rousing the kids to consciousness at 4:30am. By 5:15am everyone was down in the lobby of our super swanky, ultra-modern hotel and, of course, the kids were super energetic. After a few last-minute packing checks including applying more pink duct tape, we gathered up outside and shortly after 5:30am we were on the road to the airport.

At the Christchurch airport we scampered our way to the Jetstar counter, checked in smoothly, then waited for a bit before boarding our hour-long flight to Auckland. In Auckland we collected our bags and met up with Glen, the local tour director who has been getting tongs done behind the scene. Thanks Glen! We then went upstairs to the food court area to settle down for a few hours of grazing while waiting for our next flight. We said our goodbyes to Glen and relaxed over good food, good coffee, and good company.

We next checked into our flight, made our way through security to the gate, again relaxed for a little while, then boarded for our 13 hours flight back to San Fran.

Shortly before boarding, I gathered the kids up and read through a summarized version of the itinerary for my 2018 trip which will be announced this Saturday at the first Second visit day! The kids had done a truly excellent job at asking questions about the trip and had narrowed down the possibilities quite well!

Our Auckland to San Fran flight was punctuated by a bit of turbulence, but overall it was rather smooth. By this point the kids are real travel warriors! In San Fran we cleared customs, picked up our bags, then rechecked them for our flight to Boston. 6 hours to Boston? No problem at all.

Once we unloaded unto the gangway in Boston we were hit with our first bit of cold weather since embarking on our 20,000 mile journey. Ah, yes, we could see our breath! In the airport we quickly made our way to baggage claim and on the way met up with our first parent! Down in baggage claim we met up with more parents, gathered all of our bags, took a group photo, said our goodbyes (until Tuesday!), easily found Mr. Simpson (our drive) and hit the road to Williston.

The drive was smooth and we rolled back into campus at 7:30pm to a waiting crowd of lively family members. Everyone diffused amongst the crowd and lots of happy reunions commenced. Lots of hugs went around and the parents, in a super gracious move, gave us chaperones a very well appreciated thank you speech and gift.

Everyone then picked up their gear and so ended NZ2017!

To Ms. Evelti -- Thank for being an incredible co-chaperone! You made everything so easy!

To the kids -- You may think that New Zealand made this trip awesome. Yes, the country is unreal amazing. That being said, you are all more amazing. It was due to your joy, focus on all the right things, ability to connect with one another, and to fully lean into the whole trip experience that made the trip perfect.

As you slide back into life here in the States, the last message I'd like to leave you with is this:

Take the time to reflect.

What did you learn while on the trip? What did you learn about the world? About yourself?

Once again, thanks for an unreal, amazing trip.

Adrenaline, sun, and rugby (3/17/17)
Written by Josh Seamon   
Friday, 17 March 2017
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3/17/17 - Adrenaline, sun, and rugby

NZ2017

Media, Round 11
3/17/17 - Adrenaline, sun, and rugby (Photos)
3/17/17 - Adrenaline, sun, and rugby (Video)



3/17/17 @ 11pm - BreakFree on Cashel (Google maps link)



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Trip video playlist

A gloriously sunny day greeted us after a nice long night of rest. We fueled up at the hotel and then boarded the bus, ready for our last round of adventure. We headed to the Adrenaline Forest, a high ropes course on steroids consisting of eight courses of increasing height and difficulty throughout a forested area adjacent to a park outside of the city. We started with a lesson in how to use the double clip system to ensure that we were always properly harnessed, then set off on our introductory climbs on the easier courses. We started just behind a camp group of 9-12 year olds who showed us the ropes. We zip-lined, climbed, shimmied, jumped, and swung (and screamed a little) through three hours of exhilarating exertion.
 
Following our culminating adventure activity, we decided that a rest on the beach was to rejuvenate before our evening. At the hotel, we grabbed a quick takeaway lunch and changed into some beach clothes, then headed out to a lovely stretch of beach in the city. We were greeted by many dogs and families out for the same kind of afternoon. We picnicked on some shell covered rocks and then either relaxed in the sun or spent some time swimming in the surf.
 
After two hours at the beach we packed up, hit the bus, and cleaned up and packed for a bit at the hotel before heading to our final agenda item, a rugby game of the Christchurch Crusaders vs the Auckland Blues. Some of us had purchased Crusaders jerseys at the Re:start mall yesterday in preparation, so our team spirit was high. In the early part of the game the Blues pulled way out in front, disappointing our crew and the rest of the 14,000 home team fans. After the half, however, things started to turn around and eventually the Crusaders battled their way back for the win! We left the stadium thrilled with our rugby experience and ready to get ourselves all packed up and ready for the journey back. We’ll wake up at 4:30am New Zealand time and spend about 30 hours making our way back East. See you all soon!


Southern migration (3/16/17)
Written by Josh Seamon   
Thursday, 16 March 2017
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3/16/17 - Southern migration

NZ2017

Media, Round 10
3/16/17 - Southern migration (Photos)
3/16/17 - Southern migration (Video)



3/16 @ 10pm - BreakFree on Cashel Hotel (Google maps link)



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Trip video playlist

We awoke in Wellington to bright, sunny skies and headed down from our rooms, through breakfast, and onto our last bus ride with Mike. So sad! He dropped us off at the Wellington airport and gave us all a hug farewell. He really was a terrific addition to our trip and the perfect fit for our group.
 
At the hotel we relaxed, had some snacks, attempted to help Ms. Evelti finally find the elusive Pokémon her children have been hoping for, and waited for our turn to depart. Once on board the plane we had a quick and painless journey of about 35 minutes to Christchurch. After grabbing our baggage we headed outside to meet our new driver, Gavin, and our new full-size bus. Our first stop was at a local mall for lunch. Afterwards we jumped back in the bus and made ourselves comfortable for our driving tour of Christchurch. Gavin told us all about the earthquakes of a few years ago, the damage they caused, and the resulting reconstruction which is still happening today. He showed us a temporary cathedral made of cardboard and also drove us past the original stone cathedral which is still heavily damaged. Our next stop was at the Canterbury Museum and adjacent botanical gardens. We spent an hour learning more about the natural history of the island, enjoying the gorgeous, sunny day in the garden, and even taking a virtual reality tour of what plane travel might look like in the coming decades.
 
Next, we checked into our ultra-modern hotel and were amused by the wedge-shaped bathrooms, bunk beds, and funky lighting and phone panels. From there we took a walk to the Re:Start container mall a few blocks away from the hotel. This group of shipping containers was established after the earthquakes to give temporary homes to the shops whose storefronts were being reconstructed. The container mall was also home to a variety of small food trucks and entertaining elements like a ping pong table and twister board. After amusing ourselves with some shopping and snacks we returned to the hotel to settle in a bit and get ready for dinner.
 
We walked about 10 minutes to Oopen Pasta & Grill for our last formal dinner together. During the dinner Lizzie offered a lovely toast to the group and the students presented the chaperones with cards thanking them for an awesome trip. The chaperone truly felt the same! But, of course, the fun isn’t over yet. After a quick ice cream stop we headed back to the hotel for one last late night together before our final day in NZ.

 
A journey to the capital (3/15/17)
Written by Josh Seamon   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
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3/15/17 - A journey to the capital

NZ2017

Media, Round 9
3/15/17 - A journey to the capital (Photos)
3/15/17 - A journey to the capital (Video)



3/15 @ 10pm - Mercure Wellington Hotel (Google maps link)



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We woke to a chilly morning at the National Park and packed up for our long car ride to our next stop, Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. On the way, we stopped in the small town of Bulls and boy was it incredi-bull! We ate lunch in the pun-filled town and continued on our way. In addition to Bulls we passed through other towns with offbeat icons of their own including gum boots and carrots.
 
When we finally arrived in Wellington we headed straight to the top of a lookout point to learn a bit about the city and its “belt” of greenspace. We also enjoyed the sunny view of the multiple water ways and neighborhoods of the beautiful coastal city. Next, we checked into our hotel for a short break and then walked a few minutes to the Te Papa museum. Te Papa is a nationally funded museum, free for visitors, that houses exhibits on New Zealand’s natural and cultural history. We saw exhibits about volcanos, WWI, and much more, and even saw the world’s only Colossal Squid preserved for display.
 
Following the museum, we spent a bit of time shopping on Cuba street, a quaint cobblestone pedestrian street lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. After half of the group bought matching sweatshirts, we came back together for a feast of Indian food. Once again, we cleaned our plates and many students continued to expand their food horizons by trying each other’s dishes. With the spicy burn lingering on our tongues we made our way to the nearest gelato stop and returned to our hotel. We spent the last hour of our night watching the video footage that Agroventures, Huka Falls Jet boat, and the Ogo companies provided us with following our stops there. We had a blast reliving these moments and headed off to bed.


Mt. Doom, Mordor, The Red Crater, and Emerald Lakes (3/14/17)
Written by Josh Seamon   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
031417
3/14/17 - Mt. Doom, Mordor, The Red Crater, and Emerald Lakes

NZ2017 Tongariro

Media, Round 8
3/14/17 - Mt. Doom, Mordor, The Red Crater, and Emerald Lakes (Photos)
3/14/17 - Mt. Doom, Mordor, The Red Crater, and Emerald Lakes (Video)



3/14 @ 9pm - The Park Hotel (Google maps link)



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Trip video playlist

It was finally time for the big event, our 20km hike through Tongariro National Park! While there was some chance of showers in the forecast we woke to a dry, yet overcast day. We fueled up and boarded our bus to meet Zeb and Doug, our tour guides for the trek. This will be a story that is far better told in pictures, so make sure to look at the Flickr page for a true representation of what we saw!

We began our journey with an hour or so of “warm up” through rolling territory. After a quick break and bathroom, we set off for the “devil’s staircase,” about 350 stairs (not including the intervening boulders and inclined terrain) to scale the initial ascent. Following the challenge of the stairs we had a brief reprieve across a flat area, but then, another series of steep climbs. When we finally made it through the roughest parts we were greeted by the Red Crater – an incredible volcanic area colored bright red by its mineral contents. Atop the crater, we took a short walk with Doug to find some blue-colored lava rocks to take home with us, and we then took a last small ascent to the very top which faced out over the Emerald Lakes at the top of the mountain. The lakes are the result of the geothermal springs in the area and have a glowing blue/green color. We walked to the shore of one of the lakes and had a well-deserved lunch.

The weather eventually turned sunny with some mountain mist and, luckily for us, very mild winds for the area. Following lunch by the shores of one of the Emerald Lakes, we began our initial descent down a face of scree – sandy, rocky, slippery terrain that almost called for the dune surfboards we used back up north. Following this area, we ascended slightly again and then came around to the last 2.5 hours or so of the hike, the switchback trails that meander down the mountain and into the rainforest below. On this slope our guides introduced us to some sweet, edible berries and some very spicy pepper leaves. They also joked with us about what a lahar is, since, apparently, none of us knew ahead of time! (It’s a muddy area as a result of flooding.)  

After we all finally made it out of the woods we returned to our hotel for showers, rest, laundry, and dinner. We were also excited to get to sing to Glede for her birthday over a special dessert. Afterwards, we all hit the bed early for a much-needed rest!


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 March 2017 )
Adventure time! (3/13/17)
Written by Josh Seamon   
Monday, 13 March 2017
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3/13/17 - Adventure time!

NZ2017

Media, Round 7
3/13/17 - Adventure time! (Photos)
3/13/17 - Adventure time! (Video) 



3/13/17 @ 10pm - The Park Hotel (Google maps link)



All trip photo albums
Trip video playlist

In today’s forecast, adventure! And only the *slightest* bit of rain! We started out with breakfast in our Rotorua hotel which was naturally fragranced by the lovely geothermal springs nearby. We were honestly quite happy to leave the rotten eggs behind us. For our first stop the chaperones had another surprise in store, OGO balls! We’d all seen commercials or videos for this type of activity, a big, inflated outer ball connected to another inflated inner ball. People get zipped into the inner ball along with enough water to make it slippery, and off they go down a giant hill! Even though it was a bit of a chilly way to start the morning, the OGO operators kept us comfortable with hot tubs at the top and bottom of the hill.
 
Next, we headed back to Agroventures to use up the last of the tickets that we had purchased from yesterday. We drove through a rainbow on our way in which gave way to bright sunshine (hooray!) We started off with every member of the trip taking a turn at the free fall skydiving simulator. Following this some members of the group also took a quick ride aboard a high speed jet boat in the park’s miniature lagoon. The rest of us watched from the side or stood strategically in the “splash zone” to get cooled down in the sunny weather.
Next we headed to the Rotorua gondola and ascended nearly to the top of the mountain. We ate a lovely lunch outside and then strapped on some helmets to prepare for our luge rides down the mountain side. Each student took a few runs down the hill and made their way back on via ski lift. Following some intense races and/or leisurely scenic rides, we descended via the gondola and back to our bus.
 
As if this wasn’t enough thrill for the day, we still had one more thing in store, a high speed boat ride to the Huka falls! Our entire group boarded the boat and were treated by our driver, Sarah, to a wild and intense spin around the river that follows the falls. Sarah expertly zoomed her way at 50mph through the narrow passageways and obstacles in the river, terrorizing the variety of water foul crossing our path. She executed too many 360 turns to count, including a few right at the foot of the impressive waterfall itself. During the ride she also stopped a few times along the way to teach us about the neighboring hot springs and how their geothermal energy is harnessed along the river.
 
Finally we had had enough for the day and made our way to our hotel in Tongariro National Park. We ate an excellent dinner (and when I say ate, I mean completely devoured) and started getting packed up for our day-long hike slated to leave first thing in the morning!


Last Updated ( Monday, 13 March 2017 )
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