Colby-Sawyer Students Host Transition Training

By Tim Axelson, Colby-Sawyer College

After Andover’s successful first-ever Energy Awareness Day, hosted by the Andover Energy Group on November 3, some members of the Andover community participated in a Transition Training hosted by students from Colby-Sawyer College. These students are involved in a year-long project focused on the Transition Movement. This movement seeks to improve the well-being and resilience of our neighbors and communities now and into the future.

Drawing upon the ideas, skills, and experiences of the greater community, residents develop positive and localized solutions to address the regional impacts of larger global issues; issues such as economic insecurity, environmental instability, and dependence on non-renewable energy. By finding solutions to these issues, we provide ourselves with the resources we need to adapt to changes that we will see in the future.

Twenty-eight people participated in the training on November 9 through 11, including students and community members from the Kearsarge Valley and beyond. The training was conducted by Tina Clarke, a certified Transition Trainer. Since 2008, she has worked with over 100 Transition Initiatives in the New England area as well as in Canada and has led over 40 official Transition Trainings. This gathering allowed us to come together as a community and to start addressing the issues that are important to us.

Susan Chase, a resident of Andover, expressed her excitement about this movement coming to her town. “It draws all parts of the community together and [helps us to] learn more about the skills and experiences people already have and can share with us.” She also expressed her vision for the future of her town, which included several already existing projects such as energy conservation and resilience.

Another Andover resident and prominent professor at Colby-Sawyer College, Harvey Pine, shared similar interests. “I think that what we recognized this weekend was that there are a lot of groups in Andover that are already working on these issues. I think many of them could use a recharge, and I think they probably share some of the same goals in terms of community building.”

Andover resident and prominent member of Colby-Sawyer College, Nancy Teach, is very excited about how the movement can bring the various towns in the Kearsarge Valley together in order to build a more resilient and unified community.

Tina Clarke believes that this movement is essential for preparing for the challenges that we face today and in the future. “I think we need to come together in our local communities to prepare and to strengthen ourselves in the midst of all these changes.”

Overall, the training weekend gave the students and residents the tools and knowledge they need to help the greater community create a positive vision for the future.

Kearsarge Valley Transition is hosting another event on November 28, featuring Poly-Recovery, a business started by a Colby-Sawyer graduate, focused on closed-loop recycling. To learn more about this event and the Initiative, please visit or e-mail us at