Monday, 05 December 2016
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 - Auckland’s 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:
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


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.

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!


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

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