DUMMERSTON — Green Mountain Camp is celebrating its 99th year this weekend and the public is invited to visit, sing songs, eat spaghetti, and even stay the night if they so desire.
"There will be a friends, family and alumnae event on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. with contra dancing, singing and S'mores around the campfire," said Billie Slade, the camp's executive director. "Folks can sign up to stay overnight in a cabin ... the entire family, including brothers and fathers."
While the event attracts alumnae of all ages from across the country, one thing they have in common is the songs, said Slade.
"Last year I remember one of our older alumnae asking if we still sing 'Always in the Moonlight,'" she said. "When everybody started singing along, there wasn't a dry eye in the house."
Green Mountain Camp, a girls-only summer camp, was founded in 1917 by Sarah Bradley and her friend, Grace Holbrook, both only 19 years old at the time. They wanted a place for girls to come together away from the isolation and chores of the farm; a place for them to socialize and learn and have adventures together.
While things have changed in the past 100 years, Green Mountain Camp is "still a place for girls to be girls and have an authentic summer camp experience in the beautiful woods of Dummerston," said Slade. "Our mission statement says it all. 'GMC nurtures friendships, creates memories, and strengthens confidence while empowering girls to believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world.'"
Saturday's suggested donation is $10 per person or $25 per family. To stay overnight and enjoy a pancake breakfast on Sunday, the suggested donation is $25 a person. All donations go GMC's program and scholarship fund. Reservations are required for Saturday and can be made by calling 802-257-1751 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
From 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Green Mountain Camp is hosting its annual free open house with tours of the camp, creative art activities, snacks, and a chance to meet the staff and experience what GMC is all about.
Each year, GMC offers six different week-long sessions to girls between the ages of 5 and 13. Participants can sign up for each week or they can sign up for all six, said Slade. Girls who are 14 and 15 sometimes return to the camp as part of its leadership program. "We will have 15 of them this year."
Green Mountain Camp hosts 60 girls for each session and has 34 staff members. It is also part of the USDA summer food program and accommodates all diets.
Costs for the various camps range between $125 and $475. However, scholarships are available.
"We have extended the scholarship deadline to Monday, May 23," said Slade.
Next year Green Mountain Camp for Girls will celebrate its 100th birthday. To celebrate its centennial, the camp is initiating a capital campaign to raise $100,000 for much-needed repairs and upgrades to the campus.
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160.