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Keeping warm in the winter; Wynterfest is coming

Keeping warm in the winter; VLS Wynterfest is coming

When I first passed through New England in the winter, even though I was about half a year from a life-changing acceptance to Vermont Law School and the move, I didn’t come here to check out VLS. I was actually coming back from Quebec City’s annual Carnaval, with ice sculptures, ice bars, and a giant winter-weather prince named Bonhomme who could take Mickey Mouse, gloves off, in any snowball fight. Trying to change up the route a little from New Jersey to North America’s second oldest city, I drove back around sunset on a highway called Route 91 (students of VLS come to know 91 oh so well as the corridor that divides Vermont and New Hampshire along the White River, and gets us to the stores for provisions and the eateries in West Lebanon).

On the way back from Quebec, it was a new kind of cold. Down to your bones cold. Pick up a strange illness that antibiotics can’t cure cold. The good news is that, experiencing -15 degree weather this week, I’ve also learned it’s a cold you can only experience one time. After you set the threshold, you harden up. You eat more soup and drink less iced tea. You start to layer.

So with the cold not slowing myself down as Student Bar Association Vice President, or anyone else here for that matter, here’s a list of things Vermont Law Students do to pass the time together during the coldest part of the winter. Every year, the SBA runs two festivals: Octoberfest, and Wynterfest, where teams rally to unite faculty, community members, and students from all the geographies and backgrounds one can imagine for a week of friendly competitions. Here’s what on the horizon:

Take a Hike; Kent’s Ledge; 01.26-01.30

Teams are challenged to conquer the summit of the local mountain during a four-day window. Boots, appropriate clothing, and a thermos are recommended. Points are awarded for participation; to the first, second, and third teams to reach the ledge, take a photo, and submit it via email; and to the team that sends the biggest expedition party out into the tundra.

GleeLS Karaoke Home Edition; 01.26-01.29

Since no one was an English major in undergrad, this may be the toughest challenge of all. Teams are invited to write a minimum of one verse / one refrain of an original spoof of life at VLS / in South Royalton and to set it to a pop song. The deadline for submission is Wynterfest Wednesday. The SBA will then narrow the submissions to a top three winners, who will have the chance to grab the microphone and battle.

Mascot Presentation; Library; 01.28

What unites famous sports teams, brands, and our hometowns? Mascots. Some disconnected from reality like the McDonalds Moon Mac of the 1980s. Some, like the Fighting Swan of VLS, near and dear. Teams are invited to develop their own mascots, whether a person in costume, a friend from the animal kingdom, an inanimate object, or otherwise. The Library Staff and friends will judge the first, second and third place winners.

Red Cross Blood Drive Part II; Chase Center; 01.28

The Red Cross will be on campus for much-needed donations of blood. Points will be awarded for challengers who donate and those who volunteer in the Candyland area/snack station, helping the technicians attend to the needs of donors, and as siting with setup and takedown.

Magic Mountain Day Part II; Davis House; 01.28

The little tykes next store can use our help brightening up, organizing, and undertaking other projects as needed by the staff. This volunteer opportunity also provides a chance to meet the local celebrities behind the real “kidder-pillar.” Monday afternoon will be dedicated to prep work, taping off, spackling, moving furniture as needed for some painting. On Tuesday, teams get rolling.

Poutine Bake; Chase Center; 01.29

In honor of a fortified people just to the north of Vermont who laugh in the face of old man winter, teams are invited to select ingredients and develop recipes for their best poutine, a cheese and gravy dish with tres variations. Cheese curds are the tradition, but any fromage is acceptable.

The Art of Tug-of-War; Debevoise Back Lawn; 01.30

The adversarial model takes on a new form as strength and footing meet the challenges of slick winter weather.

The International Law Society’s Annual Empty Bowl Benefit; Chase Center; 01.31

Teams will be awarded points for making and donating soup to be sold at this annual tasty ILS benefit in the Chase Community Center.  Proceeds will benefit the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP). Founded in 1980, VRRP provides services to newly arrived refugees in Vermont helping them adapt to life in the United States.   Since 1989, VRRP has helped resettle more than six thousand refugees from more than thirty countries including Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan, Russia, Iraq, Burma, Somalia and Bhutan.  

Team Trivia; Crossroads Bar & Grill;  01.31

Remixed by the Student Bar Association with guest hostess Allison Stokes; categories to be announced. No cover and points for the first, second, and third place teams. Winners are then announced at the end of trivia. Then everybody gets a bye. And then, and then, and then…


BARRISTER’S – A MASQUERADE BALL. This one is better left to legend. 



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