Roz Wilcox, AmeriCorps Service Member, LCMM
Students, alumni, parents, teachers, administrators, volunteers, donors, and LCMM staff filled the LCMM Boatshop on Thursday to celebrate the building of something special.
Seven students currently enrolled in the Diversified Occupation’s boatbuilding program and one student from Mount Abraham’s Pathways program gave demonstrations of various boatbuilding techniques they’ve learned, from refinishing older boats, to planking the new one. There was even a live demo of steam-bending ribs, installed by an all-girl crew!
One of the most striking things about the evening was the sense of community. The students who built last year’s boat were there, remembering their presentation of the year before, as were teachers and volunteers who have seen so many of these boats built over the past seventeen years of the Champlain Longboats program.
The tone of the evening was simultaneously success and gratitude. The success of the program comes from the collaboration and dedication of everyone who was in that room, and more! Without the school partnerships, rowing teams, donors, volunteers, and students, there would be nothing to celebrate. LCMM is proud to have partnered with The Diversified Occupations program for seventeen years building seventeen rowing gigs that are all actively being used by youth and adult rowing programs in the Champlain Valley and beyond.
The newest pilot gig will be launched on May 25th. It’s bound for Massachusetts, but the legacy of honoring the victories of the past and the brightness of the future will live on as another boat is built. Each student group is unique, and each boat is unique, but overall, they are all the shape of success. So here’s to year seventeen, and to all the years to come!