While the squirrels, chipmunks, and other woodland creatures hurry and scurry to prepare for the winter season, the trained eye can also find the TN Operations Department scampering through the woods and trails of Windridge, our Winter Campus. Sprucing up the many buildings that are used throughout the winter, for everything from workshops to graduations, is the first of many winter preparations.
Six group sites span the campus at Windridge, and each one has been brought to life one step at a time, one day at a time. Over the past two months, the Operations team has been busy preparing every aspect of the winter program including digging fire pits, cleaning wood stoves, constructing platform tents, and setting up cord wood stockpiles throughout the campus. In addition to preparing group sites for daily student use, several auxiliary buildings have been transformed for our winter use including the Fieldhouse for physical activity and sports (stocked with equipment for tennis, lacrosse, basketball, and hockey), as well as the Catamount Club for yoga and weekly educational movie viewings.
While groups in the winter program rely on the many facilities at Windridge, the Inn is undoubtedly the most important and versatile space used. This building serves as a ‘home base’ for all Windridge operations and sees use by nearly every department at True North. Use of this space has increased over the last couple months as adolescent groups have switched to layover sites at Windridge from their familiar sites in the Green Mountain National Forest. Students transitioning from the summer program have been delighted to trade in their solar-showers and biodegradable shampoo for the creature comforts of indoor plumbing. As winter rolls in,the Young Adult groups will also transition their weekly cooking classes to the Inn’s kitchen.
For now, this unseasonably warm fall has allowed our students to continue hiking and enjoying the beautiful Green Mountains, but it will only be a matter of time before the students need to hunker down with the winter program in full swing!