Friday, June 9 – Sunday, June 11, 2017
Common Ground Center, Starksboro, VT
The 107th Annual Meeting, hosted by the Bread Loaf Section, will take place at the Common Ground Center in Starksboro. With 700 acres nestled in the valley between Hogback Mountain and the main range of the Green Mountains, it is the perfect gathering and exploring place for nature and mountain lovers like us. The Common Ground Center provides a family camp experience “grounded on the principles of respect, inclusion, and cooperation,” much like GMC.
We reserved the whole place, so there’s plenty of space! The site is a former farm, with unique rustic cabins built by students of the Yestermorrow School. You may reserve cabin space for Friday or Saturday night or both; or pitch your tent on one of nine tent platforms in a large meadow, or on the edge of the bordering forest.
Load the car with your boots, pack, tent, bike, kayak, camp chair, and favorite campfire clothes (but dogs are not allowed on site so please leave them at home), and plan to spend a fun-filled summer weekend with friends. It’s a wonderful opportunity for GMC members to share stories and club news, and to celebrate our year’s accomplishments.
Schedule of Events
Friday, June 9
10:00 a.m. Work hike on the Battell Trail. Meet at the trailhead on USFS Road 350, off Quaker Street and Lincoln Gap Road north of Lincoln, to do basic maintenance. Bring lunch, liquids, work gloves and bug repellent, and dress for the weather; tools will be provided. Contact [email protected] by June 7 to sign up.
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Registration and welcoming reception with brick oven pizza and salad catered by Woodbelly Pizza, refreshments, and live music.
Saturday, June 10
6:15 – 7:30 a.m. Birding walk.
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Yoga in the Hay Barn. Mats provided.
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and complimentary breakfast in the Dining Hall. Sign up for afternoon activities.
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Kids’ activities in Creekside Barn. Arts and crafts and games will be provided all day for children. There is also a playground. Supervision is not provided.
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Annual Meeting in the Dining Hall.
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Bagged lunch in the Dining Hall, provided by the Common Ground Center. By reservation only.
11:45 a.m. Silent auction to benefit GMC begins.
11:45 a.m – 1:00 p.m. Board of Directors meeting in the Eco Lodge Common Room.
1:00 p.m. Afternoon outings begin.
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Yoga in the Hay Barn. Mats provided.
6:00 p.m. Dinner in the Dining Hall, catered by Blossom of Winooski. Reservation only.
6:45 p.m. Silent auction ends.
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Speaker, author, photographer and adventurer Peter Lourie: “From Polar Bears to Ancient Treasures.” In the Dining Hall.
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. Bonfire and social. Play guitar, banjo, mandolin…the spoons? You never know when an impromptu jam session will start.
Sunday, June 11
8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Trail Maintenance workshop. We’ll cover topics such as pruning and clipping, blazing, and erosion control. No prior experience is necessary. Tools provided. This is valuable for new trail adopters. Location TBD.
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sign making workshop. Create your own trail sign to take home. Taught by GMC Board Member and former Ranger Naturalist Howard VanBenthuysen.
(Distances are roundtrip.)
- Mount Abraham. Hike. Long Trail. 5.2 miles. Difficult.
- Sunset Ledge Abraham. Hike. Long Trail. 1.8 miles. Easy to moderate.
- Jerusalem Trail to Glen Ellen Lodge. Hike. 5.6 miles. Difficult.
- Bristol Pond. Paddle. Bring canoe or kayak. PFD required.
- Watershed Center. Hike. Conserved waterworks property in Bristol. 4.0 miles. Easy.
- Bristol Ledges. Hike. Short but steep. 2.0 miles. Moderate.
- Abbey Pond. Hike. U.S. Forest Service trail. 4.2 miles. Moderate.
- Hogback Mountain to Overlook. Hike. Common Ground Center trails. 4.0 miles. Moderate.
- Buck Mountain. Hike. Views of Champlain Valley. 2.5 miles. Moderate.
- Hires and Sensory Trails at Audubon Center. Walk. Family friendly. 1.2 miles. Easy.
- Starksboro Town Forest. Hike. Historic abandoned Hillsboro section. 3.5 miles. Moderate.
- Starksboro Creekside Trail. Walk. Along Lewis Creek. 1.5 miles. Easy.
- Cycle from Starksboro to Huntington. Road bike. Destination with view of Camel’s Hump. Helmet required. 22.8 miles. Moderate.
- Young Adventurers Hike. Explore. Wildlife habitat with wetland. Kids. 1.2 miles. Easy to moderate.
On-site cabins, Tenting, and RV space
Cabins sleep two to six people each, have no electricity and no bedding for bunkbeds. Cabins share a central bathhouse with hot water, electricity, flush toilets, and indoor and outdoor showers. Cabins are all within a short walk of the bathhouse, but there is a composting toilet for outlying cabins.
Limited space is available in Eco-Lodge rooms with bunkbeds, private bathrooms, and electricity. Attendees will be placed in the Eco-Lodge based on need.
There are nine tent platforms, or you may tent in a large meadow. RVs may park in the parking lot, but there are no hookups.
Saturday Night Speaker
From Polar Bears to Ancient Treasures
Whether chasing adventure, history or both, Peter Lourie has tales to tell. He has paddled the Hudson River from source to sea, traveled the Mississippi River by canoe, bicycle, car and foot, and has paddled 460 miles of the Yukon River, averaging 52 miles daily. He has immersed himself in the histories of the Puebloan peoples of New Mexico and the ancient Mayans of Mexico, searched for Inca treasure in Ecuador and pirate treasure on the Hudson River, worked with archaeologists at Aztec ruins and with scientists in Alaska, and has followed the trails of historic figures such as conquistador Cabeza de Vaca, Shoshone guide Sacagawea, and adventure novelist Jack London. Peter will share stories from these and other journeys during his career as an author, photographer, and teacher.
Peter Lourie was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He holds a B.A. in classics, an M.A. in English literature, and an M.F.A. in nonfiction creative writing. He has taught writing at Middlebury College, Columbia College, and the University of Vermont. Today he makes his living by writing about his travel adventures and sharing them with the public.
Peter lives in Weybridge, where he is working on a digital storytelling project about the Arctic. This fall he traveled on a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in the Beaufort Sea, where he recorded multimedia stories for a National Science Foundation project. His new book about Jack London and the Klondike Gold Rush is slated for publication in March, 2017. Find him online at peterlourie.com.
Would you like to donate something to the Annual Meeting’s Silent Auction? Please contact Kristin McLane.