VFA-in-Exile Update #5
May 7, 2020

I hope everyone is okay and still healthy. I miss you all and I miss fencing. As you may have surmised, the VFA will not be reconvening this spring, as our host schools are closed.

With sadness (but a sensible amount of caution), we have decided that the Ticonderoga Challenge will not take place this year. It is doubtful whether Fort Ti will even be open for the season by then, and with the pandemic still ongoing, it does not seem like a good idea for a large group of fencers to get together and mingle just yet. This is only the second time the Challenge has been cancelled (there was one year when it rained the whole weekend). We look forward to holding the 23rd annual Ticonderoga Challenge in May 2021.

The VFA summer clinic (on the schedule for July 24-26 in Middlebury) is still completely up in the air. It will depend on what Mary Hogan School decides regarding summer use of their building, as well as the progress of the pandemic. It may be a fairly last-minute decision whether to run it or not. Therefore, I will not be collecting deposits for that. Here is what I would like to do: if you are interested in participating in the clinic (if and only if it is safe to run it and the school gives the okay), please put your name down on the AskFred list here:
I will get in touch with those on the list as the date approaches, with more information. Putting your name on the list does not obligate you to come, if you decide you are not yet ready for that level of physical interaction, or if the decision to run is made too late for you. I realize that there is a strong chance it won't run at all, but if I have a list of interested fencers, I can put something together quickly if the situation allows.

In regard to Champlain Cup awards, we have decided that for all but the Youth awards, points earned through February will be rolled over into next season and combined awards given for Fall 2019 through Spring 2021. In regard to the youth, our leading contenders will be aging up into the "big leagues" next fall, so we will give awards to them. We had two outstanding fencers in the first (i.e. only) two youth meets of the season. Indy Fetterolf won both epee events, while Miranda Gallagher won both foil events. Congratulations to Indy and Miranda for being our joint Champlain Cup Youth Trophy winners this year!

Speaking of the Champlain Cup, a number of the wonderful Champlain Cup 2020 t-shirts (awesome Adam Glazer design) are still not spoken for. I really don't want to be left with a bunch of unsold shirts (that would represent a loss to the club, and what am I going to do with them?). So please remember to sign up and pledge to buy a shirt here:
You can pay when you are finally able to get the shirt from me, or mail a check in advance and I'll hold your shirt for you until we meet again. Only 2 size L left, but plenty of XS, S, M and XL. $15 each, to benefit the VFA.

I have been enjoying keeping in touch with the 40 of you who have joined the VFA Discord channel. We have been helping keep eachother motivated to stay active and fit, playing a "fantasy fencing" game, and just socializing. It is not too late to join, the more the merrier!

We (the Green Mt Division officers) are hoping that by mid to late June, we might be able to gather in person for an outdoor picnic and annual planning meeting. Ray has offered his yard for that. More information tba.

In the meantime, it would be nice to see each other's faces, so I would like to invite you to a pair of Zoom parties next week. The first, on Tuesday May 12 (when we would have been fencing in Charlotte), 8 p.m to 8:40 p.m (my Zoom account only allows 40 minute meetings), is for adult fencers. Here is the link and password to join:

Meeting ID: 815 0217 8126
Password: 074839

The second, on Wednesday May 13 (when we would have been fencing in Middlebury), 7:30 to 8:10 p.m, is for junior and youth fencers. Here is the link and password to join:

Meeting ID: 814 1330 8490
Password: 5WEwN2

These Zoom meetings are purely social, no real agenda other than to chat and to see our fencing friends. I suspect most of you have far more experience with Zoom than I do (I hope I set these up correctly-my first time hosting). All of you are invited, from all GMD clubs, all levels of fencers (including our winter Level 1 students). Young adults (16-20 year olds) can decide which age group they want to hang out with (or come to both!).

Hope to see you next week on Zoom!