May 4, 2018


VDH Community Room | 324 Main St, 8:00-10:00 am


In attendance:  Kayla Becker (Catamount Connections & United Way), Michelle Marrocco (BCRC & ACT), Zirwat Chowdhury (Town of Bennington), Keith Carey (Gamer’s Grotto), _____
Regrets: Liz Fenwick (Lions)


Minutes approval & Bylaws – waiting due to not having enough people in attendance

Fiscal Sponsor

  • transferring to TPC; Dan Fletcher sounds supportive
  • ends Sept 30, up to 4 month transition
  • have one grant to help cover the time


Mental Health Training

  • Keith attended
  • Shared notes
  • Not much re: substance
  • Good for very new-to-info people (basic)


CRJ Programs for Teens

  • A lot available, not just for people enrolled in “programs”
  • Make community aware


Sticker Shock

  • Prom is coming up May 18 Jr. Prom; June 2 Senior Ball
  • CRJ & Teens4Change to help
  • Window clings and table tents



  • ACT will be outside Gamer’s Grotto
  • Raffle basket idea?
  • Marijuana/drunk goggles – may be a good idea, may be a hard location/event
  • Mayfest: May 26
  • Dare will send out signups for shifts


Following notes were taken by Michelle Marrocco after Kayla left early.

Stark Street (cont.)

  • Zirwat: Mural on basketball court (youth & students), bike lanes & crosswalks, seating, dog park area, 6 acres
  • Melissa: Local trucking companies will donate tires


Catamount: Ready but insurance. Opening soon! May is soft opening to set up calendar and try stuff

Bridges Out of Poverty: June 22, location TBA

Youth Summit: Yolanda

  • @ UCS, call for speakers ends today (contact Yoland if you’re interested and haven’t submitted yet)
  • Monday: Call for volunteers
  • Annual Youth Supporter and Leader awards, coming to your inbox soon
  • In schools weekly doing registration during lunch
  • Indoor and outdoor
  • Saturday, June 9
  • Morning and afternoon sessions, 1 hour each
  • Opportunities to connect directly with youth (also to other vendors and speakers)
    • Group lunches with youth
  • Aiming for more interaction this year
  • Zirwat: Going forward, let’s discuss ways to better integrate into community in future (Stark Street)
  • Maryann: We have 20×40 tent if needed (Zirwat: so does TOB)
  • Beth: Katelyn Harrington from DCF interested in workshop around navigating DMV
  • June 4, Orientation (tentative)


Youth Appreciation Day: TJ

  • Yard signs out (kept a few to lead up to park)
  • Final email to activities today with map and where to park
  • Table & chairs, bring your own tent
  • MM: We need someone will a truck/large vehicle today at 3:30 and following YAD at 3 to move tables/chairs
    • Ken will bring 2 ice cream scoops
    • Beth has 2 stop watches
    • Dare, Shira & (Zirwat) Movie night volunteers


Ninja Trail: Zirwat

  • Bike/ped path that links North Bennington and downtown Bennington
  • June 2: lead a walk through


Maryann: June 2 trail running event (turned this into a fundraiser, Collaborative did a bunch of work on trails)


Ken: Went to HS yesterday and got into all 4 health classes

  • TPC’s youth/young talked about how they got here starting freshman year of HS & and tactics of how to “pause”
    • Pros/Con list of goals: need to teach kids to weigh consequences and consider options
    • Lots of engagement from students
  • Invited back for next year
  • Having young people that some of the students know and teachers remember is the key, students can relate to someone closer to their age


Maryann: LGBTQ education last week

  • Not much of a turnout, but those that did engaged
  • Learning curve & huge need in Bennington: learned a lot
    • Beth did a training around this recently that was very successful
  • Note: When working with youth, splitting by gender really difficult for this community
  • Ken: TPC has connection to this community too
  • Zirwat: Conversations around name & preferred pronoun not commonplace outside of academia
    • Maryann: Some in classrooms, Gender neutral bathrooms area of harassment, teachers still using former name of transitioning students; Working around how to handle bathrooms and classroom policies (names on rosters, etc)
    • Melissa: Systematic issues of using legal names (when necessary); reaching out to camps about where kids sleep based on orientation and gender -> camps require education
    • Beth: DCF has that issue with placements
    • Maryann: Large issue of splitting children (and society) into genders for activities; GSA run by caring adults, but not often LGBTQ role models -> how to bring role models into schools for GSA and students at large
    • Kim: Attended LGBTQ training for masters in Albany, they may have connections
      • Yolanda: Has connections to Albany Pride
        • Do we have an Alt Prom?
        • Maryann: “Kings” and “Queen” alienating; Brattleboro has done an Alt Prom & monthly dance/get together for LGBTQ community
        • Michelle: Look south towards Berkshires, similar issues
        • Zirwat: Aurora dance party used to be out of warehouses with performers, very LGBTQ friendly, dreaming about bringing that back


Prepared by Kayla Becker, ACT Secretary May 2018