Spring 2010 Newsletter

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Important DatesDirectors ReportDramaTennisSailingSydney Smith Memorial Garden

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Presidents Letter

Hello small pointers and SPSS campers! As anyone knows who’s been out to the Point (or logged on to the smallpoint.org webcam, or looked at recent pictures of the beach or Club Road) it’s been a wild, wild winter. Snow and ice, wind and rain, waves and historically high tides have all had their way with our little corner of the coast, and the Summer School grounds were not spared. Merritt and Buell Heminway, Grey Terry and John Herrigel recently pitched in to right the Tadpole after she blew off her stands!
Our intrepid new directors, Ben Lewis and John Herrigel, have stepped fearlessly into Malcolm’s big shoes. They’ve been hard at work recruiting counselors, figuring out budgets, developing exciting new programs and tweaking and improving old favorites. We think campers young and old and their families will be delighted with this summer’s full roster of activities. Highlights include an expansion of last year’s very popular advanced sailing and regatta program, new community movie nights at Brad’s Barn, and a new afternoon program especially for teens, including activities and community service projects. Be sure to check out Ben and John’s report, below, to learn more!
And even as we’ve been caught in winter’s icy grip, we’ve been busy looking ahead. As you read this, a beautiful Memorial Garden is under construction at the Summer School. We are working to solve drainage and electricity problems before we open in June, and we are developing exciting plans to renovate and improve the Arts and Nature building (thanks to Hans Warner for his generosity and creativity!)
Over the winter we purchased two new (used) vehicles to improve our transportation logistics. (Thanks to the folks who’ve kindly donated garage space for the vans until we can move them outside for the summer!) Merritt Heminway is heading up a drive to raise funds to put the Tadpole back in shape and make her a worthy opponent for the Wednesday and Saturday races. If you can help, please let us know. We’re making plans for our August fundraiser, which will include a picnic dinner with family games and activities. Stay tuned!
Finally, despite the continuing weak economy we had a very successful fundraising year in 2009. It is deeply moving and a testament to the place that SPSS occupies in Small Pointers’ hearts that so many people have contributed so generously in the face of daunting financial circumstances and competing obligations. Thank you ALL for your generous support.
Hope to see everyone at SPSS this summer…

Lynne Mitchell

Important Dates
Memorial Day Clean-Up………………………………Saturday May 29 from 9:00am to Noon (please bring tools!)
Community Meeting …………………………………..Sunday May 30 (10:00am in Sprague Hall)
SPSS First Day…………………………………………..Monday June 28
July Play……………………………………………………Saturday July 31 (please note date change)
August Fundraiser………………………………………Saturday August 14
August Play……………………………………………….Friday and Saturday August 21 & 22
SPA/SPOC Annual Meeting ………………………….Saturday August 21 (9:00am in Sprague Hall)
SPSS Last Day…………………………………………..Friday August 20

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A Note from the directors

The winter rain continues to pour down on us here, but at least it’s rain, and we might even be starting to see signs of spring. We can only hope…
Your two new SPSS co-directors are eagerly (and a little bit anxiously) anticipating the start of our first summer at Sprague Hall. Needless to say, Malcolm’s going to be a hard act to follow, but we’ve got lots of exciting ideas and even a few tricks up our sleeves, and we’re looking forward to getting started and really digging in.
One of the biggest changes for the 2010 season is the creation of Navigators, a new program for older children aged 12-15 that will be a loosely structured mix of recreational activities (including tennis, water sports, sailing, and a variety of fun and games) with community service in Small Point and beyond. Navigators will run Monday, Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 1:00pm to 4:30pm in both July and August. So for all of you hipsters who secretly wished you hadn’t aged out of SPSS, you’re in luck! You get a PG year!
Other new ventures we hope to incorporate this year include expansion of the organic garden, an all-Small Point dog show, weekly bingo or movie nights in the Barn, and the return of the beach campout! Last year’s advanced sailing and racing program will be expanded and extended this summer. Headed by Byron, assisted by other race-savvy instructors, we’ll have 420’s in the mix as well as a regatta or two. The Tadpole will go out every race (maybe Santa Maria, Second Wind, and the Escape too!) And of course, all of your favorite activities and programs from years past will be back and better than ever.
We are truly overjoyed and so very thankful that virtually every counselor from last year will be returning, along with a few new additions and a handful of veterans whom we’ve lured out of retirement to join the fun and help with our ever growing community. Please log onto our website at www.smallpointsummerschool.org to see the complete roster of over 25 strong!
Feel free to reach out with questions to either of us at our email address, smallpointsummerschool@gmail.com , and check the website for schedule updates and other important information.
All the best, and summer is just around the corner!
—Ben Lewis and John Herrigel

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Drama

As spring arrives at last, drama is—as drama should be—a bit unsettled. Sydney Harnett has offered to once again shepherd our youngest thespians through the incremental steps that will yield, we’re sure, a thoroughly delightful and unpredictable July play. August is even more unpredictable, as we cast about for a candidate willing and able to take on responsibility for the August play. Volunteers? Nominees? But all will be resolved in good time, we promise – watch the SPSS website for details!
Also, please note the revised date for the July play. In an effort to maximize participation, we have scheduled the performance for Saturday July 31st, with rehearsals beginning on July 26th.

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Tennis

The snow is finally melting on our outdoor tennis courts here in Western Mass, and nets are being unfurled and mounted… which leads us to thinking joyfully of tennis this summer at SPSS. I’m pleased to report that Sam Hyland will be back for another year of stellar leadership on the courts, with many able assistants to be named soon. The staff “coaches” will again have the benefit of a half-day workshop with Maine Pines pro Kevin Vincent. And in response to our rapidly growing program (hurray!), we’re developing a slightly different schedule this summer. We promise to get it all worked out, with the courts rolled, the lines swept, and the nets stretched tight before the first serve in July!
And one correction: the winner of the girls Good Sport award last August was Mary Hyland. Belated congratulations!

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Sailing

We are stepping up the sailing program this summer to include another regatta or two for the experienced sailors interested in learning to race. Last summer Yann Pfitzer won the sportsmanship award at the Red Jacket Youth Regatta in Rockland for capsizing with a minute to go before the start, righting his boat, and still managed to win the start! We are looking to purchase a (used) Vanguard 420 and welcome any leads. Head sailing instructors are being asked to be life guard certified before the summer begins and we hope to offer younger counselors the opportunity to participate in First Aid training. We welcome the community’s help and guidance out on the water as we build skills and keep it fun and safe.

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A Garden Grows at SPSS

With all of the generous donations that we have received in memory of Sydney Smith, the board of trustees has decided to install a Memorial Garden at the Summer School in remembrance of Sydney and other Small Pointers who are no longer with us.
The garden is located on the hill above Brad’s barn, to the left of Sprague Hall, surrounding the two apple trees and overlooking the Summer School. In creating the Memorial Garden, we
wanted to provide a unique retreat within the landscape to bring the community together to reflect upon the memories of loved ones. A symbol of unity, the circle was selected to anchor the design of the garden and to symbolize our strong sense of community.
The Memorial Garden is in the process of being installed by New England Landscapes. A stone retaining wall with steps up to the garden has been completed. A large boulder placed in the
center of the garden will be surrounded
by smaller stones engraved with the names of Small Pointers who have passed on. Two stone benches will be placed at the back of the garden, surrounded with flowering perennials, hydrangeas and trees.
If you wish to recognize someone in the garden, please contact Grey Terry at 207/899-1997 or writegrey@yahoo.com. A contribution of $250 will cover the cost of your memorial stone, name engraving, and ongoing upkeep.

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