Summer School Series

It's Summer School from Vermont Edition! Each week throughout the season we find knowledgeable tutors to teach you a new skill, or help refine one you already possess.

Meg Malone / VPR

In the digital age, building and repairing clocks is an increasingly lost art. However, there are still those who retain a fascination with the beauty and complexity of keeping a timepiece running smoothly.

LanternWorks / iStock

Families have spent countless hours playing Monopoly, Sorry, and Chutes and Ladders. And while those games are timeless, board games and table-top games have evolved and have seen a resurgence.

Annie Russell / VPR

The first time Michelle Cunningham sold her homemade doughnuts at the Burlington Farmers' Market, she made too few. After selling out before noon, she realized there was a market in Vermont for high-quality doughnuts made from local ingredients.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Long before guns were invented, humans developed other approaches to hunt wild prey. The art of falconry is believed to have originated in China some 4,000 years ago. For our "Summer School" series, we took a trip to the Green Mountain Falconry School in Manchester to learn about this ancient art of hunting for game using a hawk.

James Buck / Vermont Renaissance Faire

Renaissance fairs pop up all over the country in the summertime, attracting so-called "rennies" donning their period garb and talking like Shakespeare. For this installment of our "Summer School" series, we spent some time at the Vermont Renaissance Faire in Stowe to learn how to get medieval.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

Pet owners will find this installment of "Summer School" particularly helpful as we learn how to wash a dog. Cheyeann Crossman, the director of animal care at the Rutland County Humane Society in Pittsford, is conducting this lesson with the assistance of Lily, a pitbull mix.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

This week in our "Summer School" series, we get a lesson in how to make paint from scratch. There's no food coloring here though. Instead, Montpelier-based wildcrafting artist Nick Neddo is here to teach us how you can use stones to create a unique pigment.

Melody Bodette / VPR

We are kicking off our "Summer School" series with a lesson in archery. It’s a sport that gets a lot of practice at this time of year, since learning to shoot a bow and arrow is a staple of summer camp programming.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Most new cars in the United States have an automatic transmission. So driving a stick shift is something fewer and fewer people in this country know how to do. And it can be a little intimidating to think about learning, especially as an adult. 

Erin Lucey / VPR

The thought of setting off into the woods with only the gear on your back can be a bit daunting. There's the danger of over-packing, which can lead to sore shoulders, or of forgetting something and being unprepared for what nature throws at you.

Digoarpi / iStock

Most of the night crawers sold at bait shops are imported from Canada. However, your backyard has a plentiful supply of them. All it takes is a flashlight and a little stealth to catch your own.

Chris Pecoraro /

Nothing says summer quite like a good ghost story. But what could be worse than sitting around a campfire, having your turn come up to spin a tale, and drawing a blank? Or worse, telling a story that just isn't scary?


Many people inherit an old piano that ends up gathering dust in the corner of the living room. It's the job of a piano tuner to get under the lid to take care of such a complex and sensitive instrument.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

If you've ever tried Ethiopian or Eritrean cuisine, you know that the spongy, tangy bread that comes with the meal ​— the injera ​— is just as good as the main event. Mulu Tewelde, an Eritrean native who now lives in South Burlington, shared her recipe for this week's installment of Summer School.

Osuleo /

If you're a parent, the thought of talking to your kids about sex might strike fear into your heart. But you should be having these conversations by the time your kids are in first grade, according to Cindy Pierce

Patti Daniels / VPR

The idea of competing in a triathlon may be daunting when considering the miles of swimming, cycling and running that lie before the finish line. Beyond that, athletes must be prepared on race day to transition between all three events in the most efficient way possible.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

This week on Vermont Edition marks the beginning of the sixth annual Summer School series. Each week throughout the season we find knowledgeable tutors to teach you a new skill, or help refine one you already possess.

Amy Noyes / VPR

Stone walls cross the Vermont landscape, but building them has become something of a dying art. So that’s what we learn in today’s installment of Summer School! Thea Alvin is a dry stonemason who lives on a small farm in Morrisville, which is adorned with stonewalls and arches. She says there’s a mixture of skill and of creativity involved.

Angela Evancie / VPR

If you've ever made iced coffee, your efforts may have involved pouring piping hot joe over ice cubes that immediately melt, or sticking your leftover coffee in the fridge. But there's another way. Oh yes.

For this week's Summer School lesson, we get an education in cold brew coffee. It's perfect for the summer, because you don't even need to boil water – but you do need a bit of patience.

Courtesy Luke Donforth

Contra dancing is a popular pastime in rural states like Vermont. Usually in these dances, couples come together for a fun, energetic, social evening with other enthusiastic dancers. The way these groups avoid running into one another or stepping on toes is they have a caller. The caller calls the dance, step by step, with an overview before the music even starts. And the best callers have national followings.