Cool How-Tos

Series produced by Vermont Public Radio

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A series of short, sound-rich pieces in which experts teach listeners a practical or whimsical skills.

Each Wednesday this summer, Vermont Edition tapped a local expert to teach us a skill, or introduce us to a new hobby in our series "Summer School". Reporters ventured outdoors to learn everything from how to run a 5K to how to catch a dragonfly. While we called it Summer School, these stories endure across seasons.


22 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Crisp, fizzy and refreshing -- we learn to mix the perfect summer cocktail.

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 02:58
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We head out onto Lake Champlain to learn to sail 420s -- small, fast boats with two sails, popular with sailors of all skill levels.

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 03:12
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Auctioneer Tom Broughton's Bridport, Vermont, barn is the scene of today's lesson in the art of auctioneering.

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 02:56
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A lesson in a beach tradition: building an elaborate sand castle.

Bought by KMXT and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 02:55
  • Purchases: 2
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Dave Tuttle of Walpole, New Hampshire, provides a lesson on how to whittle.

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 03:15
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Today's lesson concerns something we've all probably tried, but few of us have mastered: how to throw a boomerang (and have it return).

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 02:46
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We learn how to to ride a unicycle with Bill Merrylees, who first decided to learn in eighth grade and never looked back.

Bought by KMXT


  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 03:07
  • Purchases: 1
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The president of the Burlington, Vermont, Bocce Club teaches us how to play bocce as part of our Summer School series.

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 02:50
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Two-time Vermont state banjo champion, Steve Light gives us a little lesson in playing the banjo.

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 04:00
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On warm summer evenings, 7,000 race fans can gather at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont, to watch races on the small banked track. Vermont's Lieutena...

Bought by KPIK-LP


  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 03:40
  • Purchases: 1
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It's cheap and easy and many gardeners swear by this worm manure to fuel their gardens, perk up tired house plants and even prevent plant diseases....

  • Added: Aug 19, 2011
  • Length: 02:43
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Repairing a flat tire on a bicycle is a skill that comes in handy when you're a long way from anywhere and your tire goes flat.

Bought by KUT


  • Added: Sep 02, 2010
  • Length: 03:08
  • Purchases: 1
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Driving a tractor isn't quite like driving a car. We learn the mechanics and safety requirements of driving a tractor through the fields.

Bought by WTIP


  • Added: Sep 02, 2010
  • Length: 02:31
  • Purchases: 1
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Equestrian Jamie Fell takes a break from preparing for the Vermont Dressage Days horse show at the Champlain Valley Expo to give us some pointers i...

Bought by WTIP


  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 03:03
  • Purchases: 1
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Vermont has about 140 species of dragonflies and damselflies and catching one in a net is a lot more challenging than snaring a butterfly. VPR's St...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 03:07
  • Purchases: 1
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A physical fitness expert gives advice on how to from the couch to the finish line with 10 weeks of consistent training.

Bought by KSKA and WTIP


  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 02:49
  • Purchases: 2
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VPR reporter Steve Zind visited the Roots School in East Calais, Vermont, where wilderness skills are taught for a demonstration in starting a fire...

  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 03:48
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Imagine yourself dangling from the top of a big pine: fifty feet in the air and swaying in the breeze. It's possible, but first you have to get t...

  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 02:42
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A summer camp nurse gives advice on how to treat a painful part of summer.

  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 01:29
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The owners of a small dairy teach the gentle skill of milking a cow.

Bought by WTIP


  • Added: Aug 20, 2010
  • Length: 03:35
  • Purchases: 1