Variety of Musical Genres Entertain at CORNSTOCK on May 21 at Retreat Farm

Area musicians will be showcasing their talents throughout the day at CORNSTOCK this Saturday, May 21 from noon to 6 pm at Retreat Farm on Rt. 30 in Brattleboro, Vermont, to benefit Youth Services. Presented by Chroma Technology, the music will reflect distinct genres throughout the day. The line-up starts off with the 7-person ensemble Putney Jazz, followed by a Capella performers Shoulder Narrows, and concluding with the duos Steve Carmichael & Bill Conley and instrumentalists Mary Cay Brass & Laurie Indenbaum.

Putney Jazz is a Putney School student group focusing on improvisation in the jazz tradition, exploring a wide range of classic and contemporary repertoire. According to Director David Ross, previous graduates have gone on to Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music and their interests can be eclectic.

Putney Jazz

Ross cited the example of Spencer Tepper, the band’s student leader, who is exploring music school in classical and jazz trombone when he is not playing video games competitively at an international level.  Another, Emma Townsend, on guitar, Ross described, as currently building her own guitar from scratch as part of a senior project. “The group is regularly featured at Putney events both at the school and in the community and dancing during the performance is encouraged!” Ross said.

Shoulder Narrows

Next up is Shoulder Narrows, started in 2004 by male students at Brattleboro Union High School that wanted to sing a Capella. It is presently a student run, low-voice a Capella group with members from all around the greater Brattleboro area. The group can sing just about any genre in the a Capella style, including pop, jazz, R & B, country and Broadway, according to Jonah Johnson, one of the group’s leaders.

Shoulder Narrows create all the melodies, rhythms, and harmonies with their voices alone by dividing into separated voice parts. “Our group continued to sing together during the pandemic doing our best to bring some light into the darkness through music,” recalled Johnson. Cornstock will be their first performance in two years and Johnson said they hope it will be the start of an a cappella music revival in Brattleboro.

Bill Conley and Steve Carmichael

Seasoned local entertainers Steve Carmichael and Bill Conley are teaming up to perform for the CORNSTOCK crowds. Steve Carmichael has been singing and fingerpicking the guitar in the Brattleboro area for over thirty years, covering a wide range of styles, genres, and songwriters. Bill Conley, most recently the guitarist for Jazzberry Jam, will play dobro and lap steel guitars.

Laurie Indenbaum & Mary Cay Brass

Mary Cay Brass and Laurie Indenbaum will wrap up the day of musical entertainment performing a mix of French Canadian and Scandinavian tunes on fiddle and accordion.

Up to 24 teams can play cornhole every hour, on the Farmhouse Square through advanced registration at $25 per person. Walk-ups are welcome for $50 per person if space allows. Beyond playing cornhole, there is cheering on the cornhole matches, this live musical entertainment, food trucks, the Thirsty Goat Pub and the Creemie Stand for a $5 per person suggested donation at the gate. Lawn chairs and sunscreen are encouraged by organizers as well as masks (optional) and social distancing.

Youth Services Corporate Sponsors for 2022 include Pacesetters Brattleboro Subaru, The Richards Group and Headwater Precision, Presenters: Chroma, NorthStar, GS Precision. Sustainers:Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors;Brattleboro Savings & Loan;C&S Wholesale Grocers;DMI Paving; Law Office ofCrispe & Crispe;Edward Jones Investment;H & R Block;New Chapter;802 Credit Union; Silver Forest of Vermont, Inc; Swiss Precision Turning; Vermont Country Deli and VSECU. Patron Sponsors are Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC; Market 32 Golub Foundation; Stevens & Associates; and Trust Co. of Vermont.  Associate Sponsors are: Cota & Cota, Inc; ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care;Phillips, Shriver, Dunn & Carroll; Shoe Tree and WW Building Supply.

For more information or to register a team of four or more ahead of Saturday, visit; email; or call Registrar Kim Bonnette at (802) 257-0361 x131.

Affordable Housing Leader Bill Morlock joins Youth Services Board

William Morlock III, retired Executive Director of the Springfield (Vermont) Housing Authority, recently joined 11 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors. Through twenty programs ranging from restorative justice, to mentoring, transitional living, workforce development, counseling and case management, the nonprofit agency, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, helps Windham County thrive.

Morlock served at the helm of the Springfield Housing Authority for three decades. In addition to the Ellis Bloc and Huber Buildings, the Housing Authority under Morlock’s leadership, renovated the Woolson Block, a three-story historic former mill building. With a $8.7 million investment, the block was transformed into a multi-use facility combining affordable apartments, service-enriched apartments for homeless and at-risk youth ages 18-24 and more than 5,000 square feet of commercial spaces.

Also in Springfield, earlier in his career, Morlock was the Nursing Home Administrator for two homes in the 80’s and before that, a middle school science teacher in Enfield, CT. Now retired, Morlock serves on the Springfield On the Move board and was past President and Vice President of Brattleboro Community Land Trust, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) and Housing Vermont.

Morlock is already familiar with many aspects of Youth Services, having served on its finance committee for several years. He was recognized by HCRS in recent years for his collaboration on a youth-in transition program in the Woolson Block development in Springfield for young adults between 18-24, to give them wrap around services for two years with housing, similar to a program at Youth Services. He looks forward to helping the organization prepare for new challenges ahead as he helps with its mission of being a catalyst for change.

“Bill has been an amazing asset for Springfield’s downtown and community,” stated Youth Services board president, Cathy Coonan.  “We are so very fortunate to be able to tap his creativity and compassion now for Youth Services, through his board service.”  “Bill, a committed housing advocate understands youth homelessness and some of the complex interventions that we employed to house clients so that we can together start addressing other challenges that they’re facing.”

Bill Morlock lives with his wife Chris Hart in Brattleboro.

 To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a person for services, visit or call 802-257-0361.

Fundraising Incentive Prizes for Youth Services’ CORNSTOCK 2022 Announced

Youth Service’s newest fundraiser, CORNSTOCK: Cornhole for a Cause! to be held at Retreat Farm on Saturday, May 21, will offer incentive prizes for participants who choose to raise at least $100 in sponsorship monies from friends and family instead of paying the $25 registration fee for cornhole players.

Dwayne Johnson builds a “designer” cornhole set for the top fundraiser of CORNSTOCK

The fundraising goal for the event is $20,000 and it will require cornhole players raising money as well as donations from spectators drawn by the sunny weather, the food trucks and live music, according to Youth Services organizers. There will be special awards for the top individual and top team fundraisers of the day and the highest fundraiser of every hour will be announced on the public address system.

The top individual prize will be a set of “designer” cornhole boards built by fine woodworker, Dwayne Johnson of Guilford. As someone who grew up in Illinois, which he described as a location where “the corn grows tall and corn hole games thrive,” Johnson said he was honored to be asked to make “competition ready and to specs” boards that were special and unique. Johnson describes cornhole as an increasingly popular lawn game in which players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform (board) with a hole in the far end until a team or player reaches or exceeds a score of 21.

“I chose the hardwoods of red oak and alder for the cornhole sets because they are heavy and strong and resilient like the individuals who have been served by Youth Services for 50 years,” Johnson explained.  The woodworker committed his career to inspiring young people, having taught trumpet and band to middle schoolers in Iowa for 45 years. Johnson designed each board with a rosette corner to “bring the boards home” to New England, where this design adorns many original door frames.

The teams that fundraise the most will win a pontoon boat ride on the Connecticut River with refreshments.

Donated services, restaurant gift cards and activities will add incentives for individual participants who break $250, $500, $1000 or $5000 levels by using email and social media to encourage donations to Youth Services.

“Most players putting in some effort can easily raise $250 in a couple of days, but we are preparing to be giving out at least 10 prizes for individuals breaking the $1000 level during this, the event’s inaugural year,” said Nanci Leitch, Development Director. “The on-line giving platform is designed to take most of the work out of fundraising. And we have staff dedicated to helping people use it,” she explained.

Restaurant gift certificates from TJ Buckley, Tito’s Taqueria, the Works Cafe and Blue Moose are also on the prize list, according to organizers, who are encouraging other businesses who can, to step forward this week with donations.  Fun activities and products are also part of the prize packages donated from places as varied as Brattleboro Bowl, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters and the Canoe Touring Center.

CORNSTOCK will be held from noon-6 pm at Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, on May 21 at Farmhouse Square on Rt. 30, but teams are encouraged to register as soon as possible to get the hour playing window they want. The $25 early registration fee per player is waived for those willing to find sponsors through peer-to-peer fundraising.  The registration fee doubles to $50 per person the day of the event, if lanes are available.  Spectators are welcome at a suggested $5 donation at the gate.

There is something for everyone: food trucks, the Thirsty Goat Pub, the Creemie Stand, live music and, of course, cornhole matches for groups of 4+ people (of all abilities) every hour on the hour.

For more information or to register a team of four or more, visit or email or call (802) 257-0361 x131.

Journalist Annaliese Griffin joins Youth Services Board

Annaliese Griffin

Annaliese Griffin, a journalist for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Marshall Project, Quartz and New York Magazine recently joined 11 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors.  Through twenty programs ranging from restorative justice, to mentoring, transitional living, workforce development and therapeutic case management, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County thrive.

Griffin has served on the Brattleboro Community Justice Center board since 2019 and as a volunteer there since 2016.  She has been a member of several of the center’s re-entry Circles of Support and Accountability, in which a team of trained community volunteers meet with individuals recently released from prison. The group helps with challenges such as finding a place to live and work, healing relationships and building new ones.

Mel Motel of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center recalled that when Griffin served as a member of the Town of Brattleboro’s Community Safety Review Committee in 2020, the journalist brought insights from the committee to her board membership, restorative justice volunteering, and the Center’s Neighborhood Restorative Justice Committee, which has explored ways to bring restorative justice to local neighborhoods and groups.

Instrumental in the decision of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center to merge with Youth Services’ Restorative Justice programs, Griffin said she is excited to see the merger benefit Windham County communities by bringing all existing restorative justice services under one roof in order to serve people better. “I also expect that the two organizations working together will develop more creative community-based restorative programs, Griffin stated.

Griffin splits her time as a journalist between writing and editing for a number of national publications.  Recently she joined Youth Services’ Public Relations committee where she hopes to use her expertise with the written word.

“Annaliese’s background as a journalist will help us sharpen our media relations efforts and our ability to explain the purpose behind concepts such as restorative justice with the broader community, stated Youth Services board president, Cathy Coonan.  “We also appreciate her enthusiasm for our fundraising events and as we fine-tune our volunteer training we look forward to tapping her experience as a Brattleboro Community Justice Center volunteer,” Coonan predicted.

The most recent addition to the Youth Service’ board, Griffin grew up in Springfield, Vermont and moved to Brattleboro with her family five years ago.

Attorney Spencer Crispe Brings Legal Expertise and Passion for Supporting Young People to Youth Services Board

Attorney Spencer Crispe, a lifelong Vermont resident born in Brattleboro recently joined 9 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors. Through 10 programs ranging from program for homeless youth to a youth-led business, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County communities thrive.

Crispe is an owner and partner with his father, Lawrin Crispe, at Crispe & Crispe Law offices on Main Street in Brattleboro. He is the 4th generation in his family which has continuously practiced law in Brattleboro for well over 100 years, focusin on personal injury, torts, and worker’s compensation. Crispe brings to the practice an interest and expertise in civil rights, worker’s compensation and public interest law.

Dedicating a decade of his free time ensuring that Brattleboro had a skatepark for its youth and young-at-heart, Crispe, a devoted skateboarder, was a persistent champion for Brattleboro Area Skatepark is Coming from 2010-2020. Having been a social worker for at-risk youth through Spectrum Youth and Family Services in Burlington from 2005-2007 as well as respite provider and First Call Crisis Responder for the Howard Center, he knows better than most the array of issues facing young people in Vermont and some of the solutions that work.

 “Spencer’s background in services delivery for youth, his insights into fundraising, his legal expertise and his deep commitment to Windham County will be a tremendous asset to the Youth Services board,” said Cathy Coonan, Youth Services’ board president. “As one of the newer and younger members of Youth Services’ board, Spencer brings valued expertise and perspectives that we’re looking forward to tapping in the coming months and years,” she said.

Crispe graduated from Vermont Law School in 2004 and from the University of Vermont in 2001. He has been a Planning Commission member in Wilmington, VT from 2009-2012 and was a Trails Committee member during much of that time. When he resided in Burlington, he was a youth center volunteer for over 10 years.

To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a youth for assistance, visit or call 802-257-0361.

Brattleboro Community Justice Center merges with Restorative Justice programs at Youth Services

The Brattleboro Community Justice Center and Restorative Justice Programs at Youth Services announced that they are joining forces, effectively shifting restorative justice practices in the greater Brattleboro area under one administrative umbrella and roof, a move long-considered by both organizations and heartily endorsed by other community partners, according to executive directors of both organizations.

“This merger will build on the strengths of each of our two entities, promote synergy and permit more resources to be devoted to community outreach for using restorative practices in area businesses and organizations,” explained Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services’ Executive Director and Mel Motel, Brattleboro Community Justice Center Executive Director, in a joint statement.

The Brattleboro Community Justice Center, with 3 staff and an AmeriCorps VISTA, engages with community members to repair harm caused by conflict and crime. The Center provides trainings in schools and neighborhoods; offers mediation around community conflicts; facilitates restorative interventions with individuals involved in the criminal legal system; and works with individuals returning to the community after incarceration.

Mel Motel, Executive Director of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center described the work of her organization as “building restorative communities where all people get what they need and “where we ourselves have the skills to respond to and transform harm within our own relationships and communities.” 

Youth Services, with a staff of 21 and an AmeriCorps VISTA, has a long and impactful history of serving young people and families living in all kinds of difficult circumstances in Windham County. Since its inception in 1972, nearly forty-nine years ago, Youth Services has been and continues to be a community innovator. As such, it was one of the first organizations in the state to embrace Court Diversion 40 years ago as a way to help youth repair the harm and address underlying conditions that lead to crimes. 

With time, Youth Services was asked by the State’s Attorney Office to apply this successful approach to adults in the community.  More recently, adults also benefit from its pre-trial services and a program to reinstate driver’s licenses under specific circumstances. 

Expansion in the last decade also occurred in Restorative Justice programs for youth, according to Sally Struble, Director of Restorative Justice Programs at Youth Services. Added in the last decade is a Youth Substance Awareness Safety Program and BARJ, which seeks to reduce and eliminate further involvement in the juvenile justice system and improve school attendance. Struble confirmed that all programs in each organization will continue after the merger, which will officially take place in July.

Brattleboro Community Justice Center and Youth Services’ Restorative Justice programs have long collaborated. Now they’ll be under one roof.

Mel Motel is expected to remain with the merged entity as a co-director of Restorative Justice Programs, shedding the executive director role while increasing her community outreach for restorative practices, something she said she is thrilled to be able to focus her energies on.

Struble explained that the two organizations have a long history of collaborating, striving to develop a seamless experience for the community that uses their restorative justice services. Now the public will be able to find all Restorative Justice programs under one roof at 32 Walnut Street in Brattleboro. 

A life-long social worker, Susan Stember Buhlmann, joins Youth Services board of directors

Susan Stember Buhlmann, a life-long social worker, recently joined 13 other community members in serving on Youth Services’ board of directors.  Through nineteen programs ranging from restorative justice, to mentoring, transitional living, workforce development and therapeutic case management, the nonprofit agency helps Windham County thrive.

After graduating from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work, Buhlmann worked at The Brattleboro Retreat where she established a solid foundation in psychiatric care. From there she moved to Australia, working for the Family Court of Australia in addition to organizing and running a community-wide program for divorced families. While in Australia she began her own family of two children, now adults.

Susan Buhlmann, board member
Susan Buhlmann joins the Youth Services board

Returning to the United States, she worked in a variety of mental health settings including as the Regional Care Coordinator of the New Jersey Children’s Behavioral Health System and later was coordinator and supervisor of the Middlesex County NJ Children’s Mobile Response. In 2009, Buhlmann returned to the Retreat as a clinician in their Partial Hospital Programs and later as the psychiatric hospital’s Clinical Outreach Representative, promoting and representing The Retreat throughout New England and beyond. She presently works part-time for Bayada Hospice.

With years of experience working with adolescents and families in the mental health field, Buhlmann brings crucial insights and community connections to the Youth Services board, according to Cathy Coonan, board president. She says they are fortunate to have her vast experience when they are developing strategic plans for the future of the organization and trying to prevent staff burnout.

 “Susan’s deep understanding of the effects of trauma on mental health will be a tremendous asset to the board, none of whom have Buhlmann’s clinical background. We also appreciate her enthusiasm for our fundraising events and look forward to tapping her organizational skills,” Coonan added.

The most recent addition to Youth Service’ board resides in Brattleboro with her husband Willy Buhlmann, owner of Swiss Precision Turning Inc, a long-time corporate sponsor of Youth Services.  A “regular” at Youth Services’ Annual Golf Tournament with her husband, Buhlmann is no stranger to Youth Services, having served for many years on the Advisory Council of the organization’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program and as a committee member of its Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. She now is a member of the Annual Golf Tournament committee organizing a tourney and Helicopter Golf Ball Drop for July 28.

To learn how you can get involved with Youth Services or to refer a person for services, visit or call 802-257-0361.

Youth Services Hires Rachael Trill as Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator

Youth Services has hired Rachael Trill as Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator for the organization.  These pre-trial programs were first started in 2015 after the passage of Act 195 by the Vermont legislature to address a judicial system overwhelmed by many cases best addressed outside of the courtroom.  

“They are voluntary programs designed to screen for the presence of substance abuse or mental health issues to inform the criminal justice system about whether alternative paths at rehabilitation may be more effective than the traditional criminal justice system,” Struble explained. Tamarack is a diversion program specifically focused on access to substance abuse and mental health treatment. Pre-trial monitoring supports individuals in meeting their conditions of pre-trial release, and accessing community supports.

 As Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator, Rachael Trill meets with individuals who choose to participate, and conducts a risk assessment and needs screening. She then shares an interpretive score of the results with the prosecutor’s office and provides the individual with information about resources to help address areas of concern.  

Trill is committed to working with the justice system to help people identify the underlying issues in their lives that cause self-destructive and/or criminal behavior, rather than focusing solely on punitive measures.

Trill’s academic interests lie in the intersection of social and legal issues, which led her to the Youth Services Tamarack and Pretrial Services Coordinator position. “Rachael is passionate about connecting individuals to resources that support their goals,” said Struble. “We are impressed with her understanding of the structural barriers creating differential opportunities for various groups and individuals.”

“These programs are in alignment with Youth Services decades-long work in restorative justice, which focuses on repairing harm caused by crime and dealing with the risks and needs of the person who commits crimes,” stated Struble.

Trill’s employment background has been as a supervisor in a retail environment for the past 10 years, maintaining cohesive relationships and mitigating conflict among clientele, team members, management and corporate bodies through impartial, positive communication tactics at Walgreens, Loft, Carter’s, BeautiGoddess, Rue21 and DEB Shops.

 Trill has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Studies focused in Sociology from Northern Vermont University.  She observed Restorative Justice Panels at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center where she became a proponent of a responsibility-oriented approach to crime prevention and community building that she is now applying at Youth Services. 

“Rachael’s management skills, education, and interest in pursuing a career in social advocacy made her an ideal candidate for this position coordinating Tamarack and our pre-trial monitoring programs,” explained Struble. Trill replaces Adriana Hazelton who left the area.

 For more information on Youth Services Restorative Justice programs or to support these efforts with a donation, visit or call (802) 257-0361. The next volunteer training will begin in June.

Youth Services’ Summer Camps Listing 2021 Available for Viewing/Download

Because of the pandemic, no Youth Services’ Annual Summer Camp Fair will be not be held this spring. Instead, there is a downloadable spreadsheet of all camps in the area on the Youth Services’ website.

“Our Summer Camps Listing gives parents and grandparents a listing of all the options in one convenient location,” notes Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Youth Services’ Executive Director. “We’ve been doing this for years as a service to local families. thanks to the support of our corporate sponsors.

Dates, age range, cost and scholarship availability is listed as well as contact information.  Past camps who provide information for this listing include Bonnyvale Camp Waubanong; River Gallery School; Boys and Girls Club; Brattleboro School of Dance; Brattleboro Music Center; Retreat Farm; The Garland School; Education Center; Brattleboro Outing Club/Tennis; Brattleboro Community Television; Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Dept.; Farm Camp!; New England Center for Circus Arts; The Grammar School Summer Camp; Green Mountain Camp for Girls; Meeting Waters YMCA; New England Youth Theatre and more!

Copies of Youth Services’ Summer Resource Calendar with information on these programs and many others are available by April 5 at The guide is sponsored by Youth Services Pacesetters: The Richards Group, Brattleboro Subaru, and Headwater Precision.

You can download the listing here.

Mack Mackin hired for Youth Services’ New Intake and Groups Coordinator role

Youth Services is pleased to announce that Mack Mackin has joined the Youth Development team as the new Youth and Young Adult Intake and Groups Coordinator. Youth Services’ Youth Development programs provide wrap services for youth and families in Windham County, with a focus on safe, successful transitions to adulthood. 

Mackin will be working out of both Youth Services’ Brattleboro and Bellows Falls offices where they will spend their time conducting intake screenings, providing brief and stabilization services for youth and families, and coordinating groups–including professional development and support groups for Youth Services’ host home program. 

Designed to ensure a coordinated entry into Youth Services, Mackin’s position supports youth and families seeking services by linking them to basic needs resources such as food, transportation, medical care, therapeutic supports, and emergency or respite housing. 

“Mack’s role as the intake coordinator allows us to be intentional about how we support youth and families while making sure that we are not ignoring the often crisis or near-crisis level resource needs that bring them in to seek services,” explained Christine Linn, Director of Youth Development programs.

According to Linn, youth development programs are driven by the core belief that youth and families fare best when they stay together until the youth is ready to intentionally transition to independent living. 

Using a relationship-based, therapeutic case management model, coordinator and case managers collaborate with youth and families to understand family conflict and increase communication skills using non-violent communication, access resources, navigate education, child welfare, or other state systems, and connect to their community in meaningful ways.

Youth Services staff use an intensive, therapeutic case-management model to focus on building awareness and life skills in core areas of housing, education, employment, increasing permanent connections, health and well-being. 

Linn sees Mackin’s role as key in the department. “We’ve designed Mack’s role to screen for eligibility and need while assuring that youth and families’ basic and acute needs are addressed. This gives us the time, as a department, to assure that youth are connected to services that are right for them,” explained Linn. “By enhancing our groups offerings, we’re also able to connect youth and families who are waiting for case management openings to groups that foster resilience and keep them connected to the department.”

“Mack is a great fit for this role,” said Linn. They are deeply invested in solving youth homelessness and clearly place youth and family voice in the center of service provision and care deeply about assuring that people seeking services get their needs met in a way that is individualized.”  

Mackin is no stranger to working with young people. Prior to joining Youth Services, Mackin was the Kids Club Program Coordinator at the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club where they connected with pre-teens and teens in its after-school program, developed programs and activities related to both services and professional development for staff. Mackin created a podcast that focused on harm reduction and mentoring. Mackin has served as a volunteer board member of Westgate Housing since 2019.

“Mack is a wonderful addition to the Youth Development team and our community,” Linn exclaimed.  Mackin has a Master’s of Science in Management with a focus on mission-driven organizations from Marlboro Graduate School and an undergraduate degree from Marlboro College, a cross-study between psychology, sociology and radio journalism. 

For more information about Youth Services therapeutic case management program or volunteering as a temporary host home in Windham County, please contact Christine Linn at or visit online.