Shadowing Tom…

Tom meeting with Lance, a student from Green Mountain College.
Tom meeting with Lance, a student from Green Mountain College.

Last Thursday, Lance Mauk, a student from Green Mountain College came to visit for the day. He came to Merck to fulfill one of his course assignments; his mission was to shadow Tom, the executive director, for the morning; watching his daily activities and asking questions about the tasks that Tom does.

Lance started his morning by attending the staff meeting, where he was briefed on the sugaring operation, plans for the maple breakfast, and lambing. He then went with Tom to visit Elizabeth at the post office (Tom is Merck’s mail carrier). Then they went to visit the farm before returning to the Visitor Center for a Q and A session in front of the fire place.

When I had the opportunity to talk with Lance later in the morning, he asked me a very important question: “It seems to me that Merck Forest and Green Mountain College have very similar goals. Why is there not more collaboration between the two organizations?”

Good question, Lance.

Sustainable institutions across the state converse all the time. Part of being “sustainable” implies that community collaborations and connections are formed and maintained. As Merck Forest strives to demonstrate what it means to be sustainable, we hope we will also be able to share with our visitors the importance of community to the framework of sustainability.


Ellie cat does not like to go out when the weather is cold; she usually finds a warm lap to curl up on instead.

Written by Melissa Carll