We look forward to welcoming you to the Coolidge Cup tournament! Below is travel-related information for participants.
The Coolidge Cup is held at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth, Vermont. This is also the Vermont office of the Coolidge Foundation. The historic site is located in the quiet, rural, picturesque little village where our 30th President Calvin Coolidge was born and raised. Please be aware that there are minimal stores and services at the debate site, no onsite restaurant, limited Wi-Fi in the visitor center, and practically no cellular service.
The Coolidge Cup runs from July 2-4. Speech and debate rounds, in addition to other events (e.g., speakers, tours of the historic site) are held on July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. July 1st and July 5th are travel days. The schedule for the tournament is here.
Traveling To and From Vermont
For the 2023 Coolidge Cup, July 1st and 5th will be travel days for students. Most students will find it best to do one of the following: 1) fly into Boston Logan Airport and take our bus to the hotel in Vermont, 2) get dropped off at Boston Logan Airport and take our bus to the hotel in Vermont, or 3) drive directly to the hotel in Vermont.
- If flying makes the most sense for you, then please book your own round-trip flight to Boston Logan Airport (airport code BOS). For your inbound flight into Boston on July 1st, please choose a flight that arrives no later than 3:00pm. Upon arriving at Boston Logan Airport, make your way to the Terminal A baggage claim area, where Coolidge staff members will be on hand to greet you. After we have collected everyone, we will board a motor coach for the 3-hour drive to the hotel in Vermont. For your outbound flight out of Boston on July 5th, please choose a flight that departs no earlier than 12:00pm. You can go ahead and book your tickets now.
- If getting dropped off at the airport makes the most sense for you, then please plan to be at the Terminal A baggage claim area of Boston Logan Airport by 2pm. That is where we will all be gathering. After everyone has arrived and checked in with Coolidge staff, we will board a motor coach for the 3-hour drive to the hotel in Vermont. (We have two buses going from the airport to the hotel; one that will leave as soon as a sizable group has amassed, and one that will wait until the last student has arrived.) Students can also plan to take our bus back to Boston Logan Airport on July 5th and be picked up around 12pm noon.
- If driving by car makes the most sense for you, then you have lots of freedom. Simply chart your course and plan to arrive at the hotel in Vermont any time after 5pm. A Coolidge staff member will be there to welcome you.
It is also possible for students and families to fly into other nearby airports, rent a car, and then drive to the hotel. However, Boston Logan Airport is the only airport from which we will be offering bus service. Flying into a different airport and driving the rest of the way is really only an option for students who are traveling with an adult.
Travel Assistance, Plus Full Coverage for Hotel & Meals
The Coolidge Foundation recognizes that travel can be expensive, which is why we offer a travel stipend to each student to assist with travel costs such as airfare, train ticket, and gas. The travel stipend is based on each student’s home location. This stipend is intended to help with travel costs, not necessarily cover all of your travel costs. It is possible that the travel stipend might not cover your entire airfare, ticket, or gas.
To see the travel stipend that you are eligible for, refer to the map below. Students traveling from within the green zone (New England and New York) will receive $100, regardless of the means they use to get to the tournament. Students within the blue zone (generally the eastern states) will receive $350. Students traveling from the red, purple, and yellow zones will receive $500, $600, and $700 respectively. The travel stipend will be processed as a check and distributed to you after the tournament is over.
If, as you go to book your flight, you discover that your cheapest travel option significantly exceeds the travel stipend for your zone, such that participating in the Coolidge Cup would be impossible for you, please email Jared Rhoads (email@example.com) with the details of your situation. We will review your situation to see if we can further help.
Beyond the travel stipend, which is intended to help with travel costs, the Coolidge Foundation fully covers lodging, bus transportation to and from the airport/hotel, bus transportation to and from the hotel/tournament, and meals for competitors during the week of competition.
All student competitors will stay at The Pointe Hotel at Castle Hill in Proctorsville, VT (2940 Route 103, Proctorsville, VT 05153). Competitors should not call the hotel to reserve a room; the Coolidge Foundation will reserve a room for you. Competitors will share a room with one of their fellow competitors of the same sex and we will provide debaters the opportunity to indicate their preferred roommate in the registration form. The hotel is a 25-minute drive from the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site (3780 Route 100A, Plymouth, VT 05056) where the tournament will take place. The Coolidge Foundation will take debaters from the hotel to the Coolidge Historic Site and back each day via school bus.
Families and Coaches
The Coolidge Cup is a fully chaperoned experience. Most student competitors attend the Coolidge Cup by themselves. Coolidge Foundation staff will be present at the airport, present on all buses, and will be staying at the hotel to supervise and chaperone students. A curfew will be in effect around 10pm each evening, and Coolidge Foundation staff also conduct room checks each evening.
Parents and coaches are welcome to attend the Coolidge Cup, however the Coolidge Foundation is unable to offer a travel stipend or cover hotel costs for parents and coaches, and rooms are limited at the hotel so it might not be possible to stay in the same hotel as the students. Parents and coaches who wish to ride the bus between the airport and the hotel, as well as from the hotel to the historic site each day may do so at no cost, but please indicate that this is your plan in the registration form so we can make sure that we have enough room. Parents and coaches who wish to have more freedom of mobility than that should consider renting a car for the week.
If families wish to have their competitor room with them, then we will cover half of the cost of the room, which also includes a grab-and-go style breakfast at the hotel. If you are planning to join your student competitor on this trip, please indicate so on the Coolidge Cup registration form and we will follow up with you to let you know whether there are hotel rooms available. To avoid confusion please do not contact the hotel directly.
Please note that dining options are very limited at the tournament site (there are no onsite restaurants). However, since we enthusiastically welcome citizen judges and since we offer lunch and dinner to all of our judges as part of our catered meals with the competitors, we highly encourage parents and coaches to partake in some volunteer judging during the Coolidge Cup. We will provide judge training each day; no prior experience in speech, debate, or judging is necessary in order to judge.
Recommended Packing List
We often get asked what kind of clothing and items debaters should bring. Here is a brief packing list that might help. Also, if you are wondering what the tournament site looks like, check out our photos from past tournaments. One important thing to note is that most of our debating spaces are outside, which means that frequently you’ll be walking over grass and gravel. Often the weather is quite beautiful, but some years it has been hot, and some years it has rained. Bring sensible and versatile clothing and footwear.
We hope the information above helps to answer at least most of your travel-related questions about the tournament. If you have additional questions or encounter any difficulty in planning for the tournament, please reach out to Debate Director Jared Rhoads (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 802-672-3389.