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Spring has finally come to Gove Hill. The last few days have been spectacular with temperatures reaching into the high 70s with bright blue skies. With over 40 inches of new snow in March alone, the arrival of spring is much deserved and appreciated by participants and staff alike. Although we are enjoying the sun and warmth now, we are prepared for all seasons and conditions and we certainly took advantage of what winter brought as well.

The participants and mentors at Confluence were able to enjoy three of the best ski days of the season. Twice we were on the slopes immediately after 24+ inches of snow fell. The group chased the powder at three of Vermont’s best downhill ski resorts and two cross-country ski areas as well.

In addition to ski trips, we spent time at yurts nestled in the shadow of Vermont’s iconic Camel’s Hump. The group had warm nights around a wood stove, cooking in the camp kitchen and restful nights on the yurts’ bunks. Their days were filled with snowshoe treks to backcountry cabins and shelters along Vermont’s Long Trail. The excursion culminated in summiting Camel’s Hump on a perfect blue sky day.

Confluence excursions are not only about fun and adventure. They provide a very real opportunity for participants to support their therapeutic work. Excursions, with their inherent challenges and opportunities for successes, foster confidence and help build resiliency.

“I was nervous. I didn’t think that I was capable of making my own shelter and sleeping in it. When I have these thoughts I usually just avoid doing it, but this time I did it. And it was awesome!”

These were the words of a participant after returning from an overnight excursion at a state forest. Participants were expecting to winter camp, but they weren’t expecting the 14 inches of snow on the final night. They set up shelters and thrived as individuals and as a group in a situation that in the past may have caused doubt, fear and anger. Instead they found confidence, excitement and camaraderie.

Back on the Farm, the group has been hanging Vermont’s iconic sap buckets to collect sap and boiled down nearly 100 gallons into 2.5 gallons of maple syrup. In addition, we’re planning out our new frisbee golf course and upcoming summer excursions. With anticipation we're awaiting mountain bike trails to dry out and the waters of the rivers to warm up so we can get out on our bikes and in our canoes.

It’s an exciting time to be here at Confluence. We look forward to connecting with new participants and wishing our alumni the best as they continue their wellness journeys.

- Foster