VFA Bulletin
September 12, 2022

I am looking forward to kicking off the season for all returning fencers this week - those who took Level 1 last spring, experienced fencers who recently relocated to Vermont, those returning after a hiatus, and long time club members alike. Here is what the first 3 weeks of practice will look like.

Week 1: Tuesday 9/13 7-9 in Charlotte, Wednesday 9/14 6:30-8:30 in Middlebury, Thursday 9/15 7-9 in Charlotte. "Preseason" sessions, open to all returning fencers. This is the first time since 2019 that we have started the season indoors, so it's time to bring back the club tradition of starting the season with everyone, of all ages and skill levels (except rank beginners), working out together, before we split into competitive and recreational fencers, electric equipment haves and have nots, foilists and epeeists, etc. These practices will use just non-electric (a.k.a "dry") equipment. We will be doing some high-intensity fitness circuits (don't be scared off, they are actually kind of fun and you can pace or push yourself according to your own ability), some footwork, some basic bladework drills, and a bouting game or exercise. You will need to bring (or arrange to rent) a set of practice equipment, and a water bottle. If you want to wear shorts for the fitness and footwork parts of the evening, please bring sweatpants or fencing knickers that you can quickly pull on over the shorts (without having to go change) for the actual fencing. You do not have to punch your card for these practices, they are my free gift to the club! Club dues (and new punch cards if needed) will be needed for Week 2, but if you'd like to avoid the rush and pay this week, that's always helpful. You ABSOLUTELY MUST renew your US Fencing membership before your first practice, if you have not already done it (see below).

Week 2: Is once again for returning fencers only.
Tuesday 9/20, 7-9 Charlotte. First Competitive Squad practice (and the only one all season that I will be available to lead all evening). In addition to lots of actual fencing (bring your electric equipment!), we will do some goal setting and talk about what we want self-directed CS practices to look at (I really want your feedback). This is a perfect time for new Squad members to join, and for those on the fence (no pun intended of course...) to learn more about the program and see if it would be a good fit. The Competitive Squad is open to all teen and adult fencers (born 2009 or earlier) who want to train hard and participate in tournaments this season. There are no try-outs. If you are mature enough to focus for 2 hours without direct coaching, to be a supportive team member, and are enthusiastic and motivated, you are invited! Middlebury based fencers are very welcome to participate, and I would love to see a regular carpool from the Middlebury area!

Wednesday 9/21, 6:30-9:30 in Middlebury. First Level 2/3 class of the season, follwed by open fencing. Whether you just started fencing last season or have been fencing for years, this class is for you. (Although once beginners start, the time frame will shift later to accommodate them).

Thursday 9/22 7-9 in Charlotte. First Level 2/3 class of the season, follwed by open fencing. Whether you just started fencing last season or have been fencing for years, this class is for you.

About Level 2/3 classes: we have a broad range of fencers in age and skill level, as well as preferred weapon. Sometimes we will all do the same drills together (when more advanced fencers mentor newbies, the whole club improves!), sometimes we may split with different actions for foil and epee, and sometimes we may split by skill level, so that more experienced fencers can do faster paced or more complex variations of the drills.

Please start using your punch cards to pay for classes Week 2. You can buy a new one any time, $65 for 5 punches. If you attend two practices the same week (for example, Competitive Squad and Level 2/3) you only need to punch once. Punch cards are honor system; I rely on you to keep track and purchase a new one when needed (you do want to keep your friendly neighborhood fencing coach in business, don't you?). You can keep track however you like, but what many people do is keep the card in their fencing bag and cross out the classes when they arrive. The cards never expire.

Club dues are also due starting Week 2 if you haven't already paid (and again in January and April). Note higher dues this year: $15 for Level 1 students, $25 for Level 2/3 students, and $50 for Competitive Squad members. Not sure if you are joining CS? It's okay to pay the $25 Level 2/3 dues and then pay the difference later if you decide to join.

Week 3 and for the rest of the season: Our full, regular schedule.
Tuesdays, Charlotte
7-8:15 p.m Level 1 foil class, self-directed Competitive Squad practice
8:15-9 p.m I join CS for the last part of their practice

Wednesdays, Middlebury
6-7:15 pm Level 1 foil class
7 pm (or earlier if you want to fence more): Level 2/3 students arrive, peer-led warm up
7:15-7:45 pm Open fencing/bouting time (for everyone)
7:45-9 p.m. Level 2/3 foil and epee class

Thursdays, Charlotte
7-8:15 p.m Level 2/3 foil and epee class
8:15-9 p.m Open fencing

Our club insurance (which we are paying a lot of money for, and which is required by our host schools) is only valid if every single person who attends practice has some kind of US Fencing membership. Noncompetitive Membership ($15) meets the insurance requirements and is the least expensive. Access ($25) or Competitive ($90) Memberships are needed for teens and adults who wish to compete (or youth who wish to compete outside the Green Mt Division).

The US Fencing website shows the following fencers have already renewed for this season as of yesterday (or are life members, or joined or upgraded after April 1, 2021 and therefore got the extended membership benefit):
Access and Competitive Memberships: T. Balch, A. Bienvenue, J. Bubrouski, J. Calandrelli, P. Cavnar, K. Cutler, R. Davis, M. Gallagher, A. Glazer, T. Hanna, K. Hanover, G. Kane, J. Lussier, Emily Peden, B. Ruggles, R. Scharf, R. Schuppe
Noncompetitive Memberships: B. Allen, L. Allen, E. Beech, G. Bratspis, J. Colt, A. Foster, E. Foster, M. Frostman, T. Kerins, D. Krohn, L. Krohn, M. Krohn, A. Macik, Eve Mengus, Elise Menguc, J. Morin, J. Moses, J. Prue, E. Reiter, D. Stoll, Q. Sweeney, S. Vidrine, M. Wheeler

If your name is not on this list, you need to renew now, before attending any practices. Note that this includes all fencers who took Level 1 classes last fall and winter (I signed you up for your initial membership; now you need to renew it yourself). Renewal can be done on line at usfencing.org, or by phoning the national office at 719-866-4511

So far, we have 7 new students signed up in Charlotte (2 teens, 5 youth) and 5 in Middlebury (1 adult, 2 teens, 2 youth). I would love to have more (and especially, to have more adults and teens, who are key to rebuilding the club - but I won't say no to more kids also). Please help in the following ways if you can:
-Tell your friends about fencing. This is our #1 form of advertising.
-Post a blurb on your local Front Porch Forum. Let me know which forum (so we don't duplicate) and I'll send you a blurb to copy and paste.
-Hang a poster in your community. I can send you a pdf to print out and hang.

Are you a returning Level 2 student who is not yet ready to purchase your own basic equipment? At this point, the equipment reservation head start for Level 1 students has ended, and I am happy to rent out all remaining equipment on a first-come first-served basis. No guarantees that I still have your size, but you can ask (I need fencer's current height and weight). If you are planning to attend this week and do not have your own equipment, you need to ask today please. I will not be bringing "general purpose" loaner equipment to practice, except for a few foils and epees. All jackets, masks and gloves must be reserved and paid for for the full fall session ($20 rental fee, plus $100 refundable security deposit).

I have amassed several shopping bags full of random donated equipment. To get these goodies out of my closet and into the hands of people who will use it, I am going to hold a "yard sale" at practice the next couple of weeks. There will be no set prices. If you see something you would like, just take it, and please make a donation to the club in an amount you feel is fair and/or that you can afford!

Lost and Found: Did you attend "Mayhem Night" in Charlotte in June and leave behind your jacket (right handed, Blue Gauntlet, looks like a mens small, maybe a teen boy)? I have it. Please let me know who you are so I can return it to you, or it's going in the yard sale pile.

In addition to my yard sale, Michele Wheeler has some used equipment for sale
New childs L plastic chest protector - $10
New Mens L plastic chest protector - $10
Teen or very small woman's R hand front zip jacket, pants, plastron and small R hand glove (complete set except for mask) $30
If interested, please contact Michele directly at care.electrolysis@yahoo.com

The first Champlain Cup tournament of the season will take place at Mary Hogan School on Oct. 15. Events include open (a.k.a. senior mixed) foil, epee and saber, as well as veterans foil and epee. All events require Access or Competitive membership. Senior events are open to fencers born 2009 or earlier; veterans events are open to those born 1983 or earlier. Entry fees are $20 for your first event of the day, plus $10 per additional event, with a $15 late registration penalty if you do not sign up on AskFRED by Monday Oct 10.

Come celebrate the return of the Champlain Cup, Vermont's fun and friendly league of monthly tournaments!
To sign up, get directions and see who else is coming:

New to using AskFRED. Directions are here:

The November 12 tournament, at Middlebury Union Middle School, will be posted soon.