When in Vermont

This weekend Navah participated in a charity curling tournament with some folks from her office to benefit the Howard Center in Burlington. 

What a riot!

Though this was the fourth year of the tournament, many of the competitors had never curled before - including Navah. It seems like the basics are pretty easy to figure out - slide the stone along the ice and try to get it into the bullseye (or "house"). Your teammates use their little brooms to "sweep" the ice, melting it, so that the stone will go faster. Or they stop sweeping so that the stone will (hopefully) go slower if you're in danger of sending it straight past the bullseye. And you have to be wary of the other team knocking your stones out of the house when it's their turn because everybody's going for the same bullseye. Basically, the team with the most stones in the house wins, though there are some more intricacies to the scoring that I didn't quite gather.

Do you ever wonder how people came up with a particular sport? If you haven't, this one might inspire a little thought. Wikipedia tells me that curling began in Scotland with flat-bottomed river rocks being slid along the frozen water. That part isn't too hard to imagine, but where did the little brooms come in? Perhaps some brilliant physicist who liked to get his jollies on a frozen pond and figured out that melting the ice would make the stone go faster? 

At any rate, I recognize that it's an olympic sport and all, but when Navah's team of newbies tied with a team that sauntered in with their own curling shoes and brooms, I had to wonder how much skill is actually required. Of course, easy for me to say from behind my camera. 

Either way, it was quite a fun way to spend a morning (and evening, since Navah's team made it to the semi-finals). And, as they say, when in Vermont..


If you would like to donate to the Howard Center, a private, non-profit agency that provides comprehensive mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, and child and family treatment services, then please visit Navah's donation page here.