It’s an Olympic Year

It started four years ago, inspired by the 2012 London Olympics, and has become an annual tradition: the Joe’s Pond Olympics or affectionately the Jo-lympics. No need for passports or training, these games are accessible to everyone of any age and any skill. Despite the haphazard planning and short attention spans of the participants, the inaugural Jo-lympic games were deemed a success. And unlike the official olympics, you can catch ours every year.

As you might suspect, our olympics have their own local flavor. They embrace the landscape and history of Joe’s Pond but with all the pomp and circumstance of the official games. Participants and spectators are encouraged to wear the official Jo-lympic tee-shirts, sold exclusively at Hastings General Store and a staple here at the pond for over forty years. Recognizable by its stately drawing of Injun Joe and nifty array of colors from dusty rose to lime green, they can be found in every closet in every cabin on Joe’s Pond.

Opening ceremonies commence with willing participants parading down the driveway holding tiki torches. Olympic music playing in the background, bump bah-bah, bump bah-bah, Dun-dah dee dun dah dah dah…What starts off ceremoniously quickly degrades into mass confusion with everyone clamoring to find out what’s next and, most importantly, when do we get to throw cheese curls at Dad?


Track and field events are usually first with relay races using inflatable tubes, discus throwing made from stapled together paper plates weighted with dog food, pool noodle javelin throwing and standing long jump on the beach. With the traditional events completed, our games digress into what looks like just another day at a summer day camp. The next round of activities include; fill the bucket with a squirt gun, eat a saltine cracker and whistle, devour a hanging donut without hands, build the highest sandcastle and, the piece de resistance, throwing cheese curls at Dad’s shaving cream covered head. Over the years different events have come and gone but this one remains a favorite.

On the world’s stage, fans have to wait four years for the summer olympics but here in West Danville, Vermont the games come every summer. If you happen to be in town, pick up a tee-shirt at Hastings General Store (you’ll find them on wire hangers in no particular order between the ice-cream counter and light bulbs) and we’ll add you to the roster of athletes.