All-girls camp returns for the summer


DUMMERSTON -- It's summertime, which means the girls are back in town.

"I'm really happy to be a part of it. I think it's a great place," said Green Mountain Camp board member Christine Takacs, of the all-girls camp. "There's no makeup. Kids just get to be kids."

Her two daughters, ages 11 and 14, were attending the bridge weekend for girls who want to stay for two interrupted weeks. They stayed for July 19 and 20 while others went home.

According to camp director Billie Slade, the campers staying for the weekend had the privilege to paint benches donated to the camp and hike to a nearby waterfall. It was years since campers hiked to the waterfall due to the property now being posted. Permission was received so that it could be done again.

"It's kind of adventurous," said Slade, who remembered doing the hike as a camper herself 40 years ago.

Four of the campers staying the weekend had never attended the camp before. Previous attendees have called the cabins timeless as the buildings have not changed much. Many of them send their children.

Sessions started on June 23. Each session has approximately 50 campers. There are two more day sessions left and one more week offering overnight camp.

With four counselors in training, Slade told the Reformer there were a lot of extra sets of hands to assist with daily tasks. There were also counselors and junior counselors who help. They are mostly college students, however some are still in high school.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Director of Emergency Services Brian Richardson taught CPR one day at the camp. The entire staff was certified as a result.

This year, a tetherball set was put back up and a sand pile was donated to the camp.

"You're never too old for sand," said Slade. "It's open-ended and creative."

Through a small grant, a program called "Our Community Comes to Camp" was afforded. Once a week, community members who are passionate about different subjects came and taught. Only campers who were interested in the subject attended these workshops that included comedy improv and magic by Robin Zegge, natural weaving class by Margaret Miller, book case making by Gail Grycel, horse language by Caryl Richardson and soap making by Vicki Cenni. This week, children's book author Ilene Christelow will visit the camp.

"If we can get a grant, I think we'll do it again," Slade said. "It's good for the kids to get to see adults filled with vitality about what they're doing."

Approximately 30 percent of the campers receive financial aid or a scholarship to attend Green Mountain Camp. Slade and others go to local businesses for that funding. Donations from previous campers and others are also given for the cause. Slade says coming to the camp can make a huge difference for girls.

On Aug. 5 at 5 p.m., the camp will host its annual reunion. This year, it turns 97 years old. There will be a spaghetti dinner followed by a camp fire with s'mores. That costs $10 to attend. To have dinner, stay the night in a cabin and eat a pancake breakfast in the morning, the camp charges $25. It is the one night each summer where the camp is open to fathers and boys.

Green Mountain Teachers Camp will return for its third year from Aug. 2 to 7. Its focus is on early childhood education and requirements that may be frustrating to teachers. Slade mentioned Common Core requirements. Another topic may include transitions, such as moving from an area or leaving for college. More information is available on

Currently, teachers from all over the United States have signed up. They will be coming from places that include California, Texas and Alaska.

"We're hoping to get more local teachers," said Slade. "It's a very interactive, organic thing. Much of it we develop while go."

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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