Bulletin for the week of November 4, 2019

1. SCHEDULE
2. ANNUAL CLUB SWEATSHIRT ORDER
3. ATTENTION YOUTH FENCERS AND PARENTS (KIDS BORN 2007 OR LATER)
4. CALLING ALL (YES ALL, INCLUDING YOU) TEEN FENCERS BORN 2000-2006
5. ADULTS NEED TO PLAY WITH KIDS THEIR OWN AGE TOO!

1. SCHEDULE
Attention Charlotte fencers! We will meet this Tuesday, Nov 5, from 7-9 at the Shelburne town gym (instead of Charlotte Central School). The gym is in the old Shelburne School (not the current elementary school), at 5420 Shelburne Rd, about 5 miles north of CCS. The old school houses the town offices and police department as well. It is in the same complex as the library, fire house, and rec fields, next door to Schip's Treasure thrift shop. Park in the large lot shared by all these facilities, and enter through the door nearest Schip's Treasure. Gym is on ground floor, turn right down corridor opposite police department offices. Remember, clean dry shoes only in this gym. This is for one night only, Thursday Level 3 class will be back at CCS.

Schedule for rest of fall term (barring unexpected cancellations)
Next week (Nov 11-13) and the week after (Nov 18-21): all practices as normally scheduled
Thanksgiving week (Nov 25-28): No fencing any of these nights
Dec 2, 3: Last (10th) regular Level 1/2 class for the fall
Dec 4, 5: 9th Level 3 classes (of 10)
Dec 9, 10: Make up dates. If not needed (i.e. no cancellations between now and then) there will be a free bonus night of fencing fun for everyone.
Dec 11, 12: Last (10th) regular Level 3 class for the fall (i.e. make up of class missed while I was in Egypt)

December 13 through January 5: Holiday break
Week of January 6: winter term begins, same schedule as fall term. If you are now in Level 1, you are invited to move up to Level 2 in the winter!

Charlotte fencers note: town rec basketball is schedule to start on Dec 10. In order to accomodate basketball, our practice hours will be 7:30-9:30 p.m, Dec 10 through February 13, then return to 6:30-9 for the remainder of the school year. I realize this is late for younger children and those with early mornings, but there is nothing I can do about it. CCS offers us a great facility at an affordable price every year, with the caveat that we accomodate school and town programs (which is reasonable, after all the Charlotte taxpayers fund the building). Some years, we get lucky and find that basketball ends before 7:30 or that there are no practices on Tues or Thurs - it all depends on which age groups of kids are scheduled for which days and the needs of their volunteer parent coaches. We won't know until a week or two into the winter, when the basketball schedule settles in and I meet and talk to the coaches. At that point, if it is possible to start earlier than 7:30, we will, but we should not count on it.

Our club grows mainly by word of mouth. Do you know someone who might enjoy fencing? For every friend you recruit into a Level 1 class, you get $5 off your own class fees. Now is the time to spread the word and invite your friends to come for a visit to the club to check it out! There are only a few regular Level 1 classes left (the Dec 2 and 3 class will be on bout observation and reffing skills, so not really a typical class to watch). Please encourage your friends to get in touch with me to get on the club email list, and to schedule a visit. You can share my email address, or point them toward the club website at www.vtfencingalliance.org.

2. ANNUAL CLUB SWEATSHIRT ORDER
Once a year, we do a bulk order of club sweatshirts and warm up jackets. The hold up in ordering for this year is that Holloway discontinued the style of warm up jacket we have purchased the last few years (this is the second time they have done this). I am working with a sales rep to choose a replacement style that will not be too much more expensive1. I am hoping to have this decided by the end of today. I anticipate (based on last season) that we will need to order by November 11 (a week from today) in order to receive our items in time to pass them out the last week of practice this fall (Dec 9), in case you want to buy something as a holiday gift for the fencer in your life. To get the prices quoted to us, we will need to order a minimum of 12 items (any mix of jackets and sweatshirt styles). All jackets and sweatshirts are Vermont green (with white accents on the jackets), with the club "Northern Horde" logo screen printed on the back, and the owner's name embroidered on the front.

Here is what I anticipate being able to offer:
a. Warm up jacket, Mens and Womens sizes S through XXL, Youth sizes S, M, L, (best guess in the $50-60 price range).
b. Lightweight (Gildan) hooded child's pullover sweatshirt, Youth sizes S, M, L, about $22 each
c. Midweight (50/50) full zip hooded sweatshirt in full zip (Jerzees), Adult unisex sizes S through XXL, about $30 each
d. Midweight (60/40) hooded pullover sweatshirt (Badger). Adult unisex sizes S through XXL, about $31 each
e. Possibly - heavy weight (80/20) hooded pullover sweatshirt, adult sizes, price and availability still being investigated (best guess $40-49)

Don't start writing a check yet, until I get final prices from the vendor. As soon as I know exactly what is available and at what price, I will send out another email. Then you will have a short time to place your order, so be on the look out and ready to act. You can place an order by emailing me, or by signing up on the order sheet at practice. If your item is a secret gift, let me know and I will sneak it into your hands when it arrives, without telling the recipient.

3. ATTENTION YOUTH FENCERS AND PARENTS (KIDS BORN 2007 OR LATER)
Every year, the Green Mt Division (of which the VFA is the largest club and often the only one with youth fencers) hosts a Youth tournament series, consisting of 4 foil and 4 epee events spread out from November through May. The goal of the Youth Series is to introduce our youngest fencers to the fun and challenge of tournament fencing in a friendly, supportive, accessible and affordable manner. This week at practice, I will hand each youth fencer a Youth Passport for this season. Put your name on it and don't lose it (give it to your parents as soon as possible). The Passport contains lots of information for parents about getting their child involved in GMD youth tournaments (i.e. how to know when your child is ready, how to register, what to expect on tournament day, etc). In addition, the Passport has a space for youth fencers to collect stickers from all of the tournaments they participate in this season. If you participate in at least 3 of the 4 tournaments, you will earn a cool dragon bookmark created by our own in-house professional artist Adam Glazer.

The first youth tournament is on November 16 in Middlebury (Mary Hogan School) as part of the Age Group Fencerama (there are events for older siblings or parents who fence also!).
11:30 am YOUTH foil
1 pm YOUTH epee
Yes, you can do both, even if it will be your first time trying epee!

Entry fees (payable at the door)
If signed up on AskFRED by Nov 11: $15 for one weapon or $20 for both
If signed up after Nov 11: $20 for one weapon or $30 for both

Equipment
Loaner equipment will be available for fencers who need it, but if unless you own all of your own equipment (including electric) your name needs to be on the sign up list no later than Nov 11 (might as well get that discount too, right?)

This tournament is appropriate for kids in this fall's Level 1 classes (in fact, a couple have already signed up, and I'd love to have more), as well as kids with a little more experience. It is for everyone in the youth age group! So far, 6 kids have signed up (3 cheers for Lucas, Miranda, Torrey, Ciaran, Eve and Cullen!). I and the other experienced club members (my assistant coaches and the Squaddies) work hard to organize and officiate the Youth Events. The best way to thank us is to sign up, show up, have fun, and learn!

The earlier you sign up (like this week....or even better today!) the more you are helping me get organized for this. I need to know the maximum number of competitors to expect. So if you are not yet sure about participating, I would rather you sign up now, and take your name off the list if you change your mind, then to leave it to the last minute to sign up.

To sign up, get directions and see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=44897

New to using AskFRED? Find instructions on how to create an account and sign up for things here:
http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm

4. CALLING ALL (YES ALL, INCLUDING YOU) TEEN FENCERS BORN 2000-2006
How cool would it be to get every teen fencer in the Charlotte and Middlebury clubs together on one day to fence with each other? And add to that any teens from other clubs who wish to join in? Between the two VFA groups, we actually have quite a few teens, but so far only 3 of them (yay Walter, Maddy and Isidora!) have signed up for the teen events in Middlebury on November 16.

How about the rest of you: Luke, Maggie, Peter C, Lucia, Ethan, Chan, Chris, Seamus, Jansen, Isa, Elinor, Zoe, Eli, Will, Namid, Kosmo, Philip, Lana, Gabriel, Tim, Henry, Peter W, Alex- consider yourself personally invited!

10 a.m TEEN foil
2 pm TEEN epee
The gap in the middle of the day is to allow teen Squaddies to ref youth events, and/or to hold JO Qualifier events if we need to. But if neither of those applies to you and you want to fence both, Middlebury is a walkable town with lots of nice places to go out for lunch with your new fencing friends in between. You are also all invited to come for social hour with the adults at the end of the day (you don't have to sit with us, I promise....).

Entry fees (payable at the door)
If signed up on AskFRED by Nov 11: $15 for one weapon or $20 for both
If signed up after Nov 11: $20 for one weapon or $30 for both

Equipment
Loaner equipment will be available for fencers who need it, but if unless you own all of your own equipment (including electric) your name needs to be on the sign up list no later than Nov 11 (might as well get that discount too, right?)

This tournament is appropriate for teens in this fall's Level 1 classes (in fact we are holding it with you in mind, as a way to welcome you to the GMD). Here are the top reasons to sign up for teen events on November 16:
1. This is the only tournament all season just for teens. At all other GMD tournaments, teens fence with adults.
2. This is the only senior (i.e. teen and adult) tournament all season that does not require you to upgrade to competitive USFA membership. We are holding informal, unsanctioned events (no ratings can be earned) in order to allow teens a "try it once" experience. If you enjoy it (and I hope you will) you will need to upgrade your membership (pay the $65 dues difference) before entering your next Champlain Cup tournament.
3. My intention for this tournament is that experienced teen fencers (i.e. those in Level 3 and/or Competitive Squad) will mentor the less experienced competitors, serving as coaches and referees. This benefits everyone. Newbies learn about how to compete and get tips from more experienced peers, while experienced competitors invest in growing our numbers of tournament fencers for the future. For this to work, everyone has to be there on the same day - from the newest of newbies to the most experienced competitive fencers.
4. All the cool kids are doing it. You will meet other teens with a passion for fencing and hopefully make a few new friends!

The earlier you sign up (like this week....or even better today!) the more you are helping me get organized for this. I need to know the maximum number of competitors to expect. So if you are not yet sure about participating, I would rather you sign up now, and take your name off the list if you change your mind, then to leave it to the last minute to sign up.

To sign up, get directions and see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=44897

New to using AskFRED? Find instructions on how to create an account and sign up for things here:
http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm


For more experienced teen fencers (Level 3, Squad) with even the slightest interest in going to Ohio in February for the national Junior Olympics, I also encourage you to sign up for JO Qualifier events on the same day (November 16). Signing up for the qualifier does not oblige you to go to JOs, but if you are absolutely certain that you are not ready, not available, or not interested in spending the training time and the money to compete at JOs, don't sign up for the qualifier (but do sign up for teen event at Age Group Fencerama). If you are undecided, do sign up. Actual qualifier events will only be held for events where 4 or more fencers have signed up by November 11. Based on the current teen fencing population in the GMD, I anticipate this will probably apply only to men's foil and epee events, probably not all of them, and possibly none of them. In short: ALL teens should sign up for mixed gender/mixed skill level TEEN events at Age Group Fencerama. Advanced teen fencers should also sign up for JO qualifiers if interested in going.

Event times posted on the AskFRED page are provisional, and will be adjusted once registration closes. If you sign up for an event and it has 3 or fewer fencers signed up, you qualify for JOs in that event automatically.
Register here:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=44896

5. ADULTS NEED TO PLAY WITH KIDS THEIR OWN AGE TOO!
Saturday November 16, Mary Hogan School, Middlebury: Fun, friendly Adult round robin tournament (everyone fences eachother a 5 point bout) for all fencers born 1999 or earlier, with social hour at a nearby restaurant afterward. This has been a blast in past years, and I encourage all of the VFA's adult fencers to take advantage of it, including (make that especially!) first-time competitors and current Level 1 students. This is a unique chance to connect with the other adult fencers and become part of the GMD community.
1 pm Round Robin epee
1 pm Round Robin foil
You are welcome to sign up for both if you have the stamina (even if you have never tried epee before!). The two weapon events will run in parallel, so if you are doing both, you will fence several foil bouts, several epee bouts, and so on back and forth until you have fenced everyone in both. It is also okay to just sign up for your favorite weapon.

Huzzah for Karen, Glen, Viveka, Adam, Jesse, Tom, Ray and Susan for already registering (along with several adult fencers from other clubs)! Now, how about the rest of you?
Namely: John, Rick C, Rick D, Avery, Leslyn, Nate, Deb, Garrett, Samantha, Theron, Kassandra, Abby, Jessica R, Don, Jessica S, Anna, Finn, Rob - consider yourself personally invited!

Here are the reasons I want you to sign up for the Adult Round Robin:
-The environment is supportive and beginner-friendly. There are no elimination matches. Everyone fences everyone, which means, the more first-time competitors, unrated fencers, and level 1 students who come, the more matches they will get in with eachother. The experienced adult fencers will be there to ref and coach you.
-It's really fun and a great work-out. With refreshments afterward!
-Competitive USFA membership is not required. This is the only senior event the entire season where this is true. For newbies, this is your only chance to try a little competitive fencing without having to upgrade your membership.
-Loaner equipment will be available for those who sign up in advance. If you haven't tried it yet, fencing with electric equipment is a great learning experience.
-I am hoping that, even if you joined the VFA with your child as a family activity, you are starting to think of yourself as a fencer in your own right, not just as the mom or dad of one. How about treating yourself to some play time with your own age group? Even better if you bring your kid for the youth events the same day (see above)
-This is the only tournament all season where teens and adults are separated from each other.
-The VFA is hosting this event. If turn-out is low, the club loses money. Also, the whole point of the round robin format is to get in lots of fencing, so it really requires lots of fencers.
-If you sign up by midnight Monday November 11, the entry fee is lower ($15 instead of $20 for one weapon, or $20 instead of $30 for two). Also, advance sign up is super helpful to me in planning the day.
-Is there really a better way to spend a dreary November day?

To sign up, get directions and see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=44897

New to using AskFRED? Find instructions on how to create an account and sign up for things here:
http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm