Bulletin for the Week of March 18


This is the week for make-up classes (6:30-9 pm for all of them)
Monday and Wednesday in Middlebury: Level 3 make up classes (plus a final one on April 8)
Tuesday and Thursday in Charlotte: Level 1/2 make up classes, plus Competitive Squad (Geoff will be there)

No fencing March 22-April 1
Spring classes start April 2 in Charlotte and April 3 in Middlebury. In the spring, I offer only Level 1 and 2 classes (Level 3 and Competitive Squad will be back in the fall). The Middlebury classes move to Wednesdays.

Don't forget, if you want to rent equipment this spring, you must let me know (I don't automatically continue to bring equipment for you unless you tell me to). Did you take the winter off but want to come back for spring classes? You are welcome back. Just let me know if you need to rent equipment.

A message from Geoff about his offerings for spring and summer at Vintage Fitness in Vergennes:
"Coach Geoff is offering classes this spring and summer to competitive fencers and rated fencers.
Thursdays in Vergennes (facility is air conditioned!). We are going to work on Russian style fencing, with lots of footwork for rated fencers. Space is limited. Be prepared to work hard!
Mondays I’ll offer a similar class but it’s open to all competitive fencers at a slightly easier level.
Email Geoff with any questions or to reserve a spot (coachgeoffbutler@gmail.com)
Lastly competition preparation is offered for any upcoming tournaments. Contact Geoff at least a month prior to your competition Private lessons are on Fridays by appointment" .

The VFA needs new students joining Level 1 classes every term in order to remain viable, develop new fencers to a competitive level, replace those who move away or stop fencing, and in general to have a vibrant community of partners to fence with at evey practice. This winter, we were down to 2 or 3 fencers in most of the Middlebury Level 3 classes, which is not sustainable (hey Middlebury L3 fencers, how about showing up this week so we can finish strong?). I do intend to promote some Level 2 students in both Middlebury and Charlotte next fall, but I would love to have a good influx of newbies this spring. Last spring, we had 8 new students in each of the two classes. So far, only a single fencer has signed up for either Level 1 class (another trend I have noticed: last minute sign ups getting later and later.....). I am running an ad in Seven Days for a couple of weeks and will hit my email list again, but I really need all of you to help me with the two most effective advertising strategies.

a. Pick a friend or two (or five) and tell them what you enjoy about fencing. Social media is useful, but nothing beats face to face conversation. Either way, encourage your friends to get in touch with me right away (share my email and/or club web address). For every friend you bring into the club, you get $5 off your spring class fees.

b. If you use Front Porch Forum, please email me and tell me which town's forum you belong to. I will then send you a short blurb to post in that town (that way, we can avoid duplicates and I can keep track of which towns we are advertising in). I will do Vergennes (my own forum). I am especially looking for forum members in Middlebury, Bristol, Brandon, Rutland, Ferrisburg, Charlotte, Shelburne, Hinesburg, Williston, S. Burlington, and Burlington.

Thank you in advance for helping with this!

The 5th annual Vermont Summer Clinic is tentatively scheduled for July 26-28 in Middlebury (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon). However, I am only going to proceed with organizing the clinic and hiring coaches if I get preliminary interest from at least 15 people by April 1 (2 weeks from today). So far, 5 have put their names on the list. Signing up at this point does not obligate you to pay or attend, but indicates that you are probably available and would be interested.

Who is this clinic for?
-All teens and adults who have completed at least Level 1 and want to move forward.
-Competitive fencers who want to get a boost into the upcoming season (that's you, Squaddies!)
-Fencers who are hoping to start attending Level 3 classes next fall
-11 and 12 year olds with at least 2 seasons of training and some competitive experience.
-Anyone who misses fencing over the summer and wants to get some in.

What happens at the clinic?
-3 group training sessions (2 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday)
-A private lesson for each person at some point during the weekend
-2 footwork sessions (one each day)
-2 bag lunch discussion groups
-3 open fencing sessions with electric equipment, loaners available for those who need them (Fri evening, Sat evening and an informal competition on Sun afternoon)
-A break Saturday afternoon for swimming (town pool is next door) and social time, plus frozen yogurt "nightcaps" each evening.

What does it cost?
$150 if 20-28 fencers attend, $125 if we get 28-40. The clinic will not be held if fewer than 20 deposits are received by June 3

Can I stay overnight in Middlebury if I live over an hour away?
Depending who signs up, it may be possible to arrange hospitality in the homes of local fencers (can't promise that but will try). Otherwise, there are many options in the area for motels, Airbnb and camping.

Where do I sign up?
Here: https://askfred.net/Clinics/whoIsComing.php?clinic_id=43299
In April, as long as there are at least 15 names on this list, I will start sending out registration forms and requesting deposits, but for now, just put your name on the list if you are interested.