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Venture Vermont 2009 — Mission Accomplished 

Published October 18, 2009 at 9:39 a.m.

This summer, I blogged a couple times about the Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge, a self-guided scavenger hunt organized by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. I even wrote a "Getting By" column about it, because the prize for completing the challenge was a free day-use pass to all Vermont State Parks in 2009 and 2010. The deadline for entering was last Thursday, October 15; most of the parks shut down for the season in mid-October.

My partner, my kids and I spent the summer hiking, boating and swimming our way through the challenge. Last Tuesday, we tallied up our points, downloaded the photographic proof of our accomplishments on a CD, and sent the score sheets and CD to a state office in Waterbury.

On Friday, when we got home from work, there was a heavy envelope waiting for us in the mailbox... containing our silver VIP passes! Also enclosed was a sweet form letter from Rochelle Skinner, Parks Sales & Service Manager, congratulating us for earning 250 points each. Nice.

So what did we do to earn these passes? Here's a partial list of our prize-winning activities:

  • Skipped rocks at Kettle Pond
  • Waded in the water at Sand Bar State Park
  • Camped in Groton State Forest
  • Built a fairy house near our campsite
  • Climbed Mount Philo (worth 20 points because it was a Venture Vermont bonus activity that week)
  • Didn't watch TV for a week (easy because we don't own a TV)
  • Identified an Eastern Spotted Newt, a turtle nest and a pitcher plant
  •  Went canoeing
  • Played on playgrounds
  • Went for a picnic
  • Visited Seyon Lodge
  • Hung our laundry out to dry
  • Threw a birthday party for Smokey the Bear (no candles on the cake! -- another bonus activity)

I know it's kinda corny to be so excited about this, but it was actually really fun, and now we have these free 2010 day-use park passes.

The next challenge is going to be making sure that we don't lose them before next summer...

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About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became the publication's first online editor in 2007.


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