365 days ago, we had feet of snow on the ground at camp, the lake was as frozen as a popsicle (or a frozen body of water, like a lake), and we were all still cozying up in front of our fireplaces and wood-burning stoves in the long, cold, snowy winter of 2010/2011.

Here we are on March 22, 2012, and what a difference a year makes. The snow is gone, the lake is really, really watery (like a glass of water), and we’re in shorts and t-shirts. Aside from potential climate change issues, you cannot help but enjoy the weather and think magical thoughts of summer. The warm breezes have everyone focused on camp, and things are really heating up (pun intended) in the camp office these days. In many ways, it feels like May around here, not March!

Speaking of summer, here is an update on Windsor Mountainy things that we thought people might want to know.

We hope families, friends and staff can join us for a weekend of good people, good cheer, good food and some hard-working fun! We’ll be hauling downed branches and brush, raking (and probably jumping in) leaves, painting new dining hall stools, prepping the waterfront and garden, and for those of you who prefer the indoors, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for organizing and cleaning in the office and HMO. Bring your chainsaw, your rake, your gloves, or just your helpful hands and desire to dig into spring. We hope we’ll have gorgeous weather but just in case, bring a change of work clothes and rain gear.

For those of you who plan to arrive on Friday evening, we’ll enjoy a great dinner together and spending time catching up and/or getting to know each other. On Saturday, a delicious New England breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m., and we’ll begin our work at 9:00 a.m. After a mid-day lunch-break, we will finish up between 4:00 and 5:00. Saturday evening we’ll gather together to cook, eat, sing songs, tell stories, play games, chat, and enjoy our time together. We’ll provide breakfast Sunday morning and will spend a little time finishing up before heading our separate ways.

If you are able to join us for a fun-filled weekend of “building stuff and hauling stuff,” please RSVP to [email protected] so that we can plan for your arrival. When responding, please let us know when you plan to arrive, who will be joining you and whether anyone has any dietary restrictions. And please remember to bring your sleeping gear (pillows, sleeping bags, bottom sheets) and work clothes! It really is a great weekend, and if you’re lucky, you might even feel sore the next day! Good times.

Have you ever wanted to pet a miniature version of a full-sized animal? Really? That’s kind of a strange desire, but me too! Well, you may get that chance at Windsor Mountain this summer. Stay tuned for more details. For now, suffice it to say that these two pumpkins would be a pretty nice addition to camp, don’t you think!

Hey Miniature Donkeys – Did you enjoy the Hunger Games?

It is everyone’s favorite part of camp – the PAPERWORK! Forms and payment are due April 1, so please sign into your Camp InTouch account by clicking the “Family Sign-In” button in the upper right corner of our homepage, www.windsormountain.org. From there, you can see what forms are outstanding and complete them online (except the physician clearance and first-time camper teacher reference form, which can be faxed directly into your camper’s account). If you have any questions or trouble using our new system, please e-mail [email protected].

Whether a seasoned Windsor Mountain camper or someone thinking about camp for the first time, family camp is incredibly fun! Stay in a bunk with your family and enjoy everything that camp has to offer – from the waterfront, ropes course, farm and garden, sports field and art fortress to off-camp adventures to Hidden Lake, Trout Pond, and Pitcher Mountain, there is something for everyone. Of course, we’ll have a full staff available to lead activities so you can join activities as a family or split up and try different things. No doubt we have staff members that are already excited for a friendly re-matches of Gatorball and Canoe Wars. To get more information about Family Camp, please go to We were full last year and expect many returning families, so please don’t wait to enroll if you are interested in joining us.

Windsor Mountain’s own, the inimitable and world-renowned, Maroghini is coming to New York with the National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica (NDTC) to perform at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on March 23, 24, and 25. NDTC is an internationally acclaimed troupe comprising about 50 members including dancers, musicians, singers, technical team etc. And if Maroghini is participating, they have to be great! Their website is http://ndtcjamaica.com/ and a link to the event in March is RIGHT HERE. Go check him out and show him some Windsor Mountain love (and support).

Aided by the addition of our great new domestic outdoor adventure trips, our travel programs are having a very strong enrollment season. Check out our travel programs for grades 6-12 on our TRAVEL WEBSITE. We still have limited spots available in some trips, and here are a few programs that we want to highlight:

Bridge Peru: (7/1-7/21) Grades 9-12
Perfect your Spanish on the street and in the classroom, discover the wonder of Ollantaytambo, the “Living Incan City”, volunteer in the greenhouses during a rural service project with Almeria Solidaria, hike up Machu Picchu, and paddle a sea kayak on Lake Titicaca. If you’re looking to improve your Spanish, encounter a new culture, and visit the Seventh Wonder of the World—this trip is for you!

France Language and Culture: (7/1-7/21) Grades 9-12
Immerse yourself in everything Francais! From the busy streets of Paris, to the quaint lanes of Fontainebleau, to the magical hills and valleys of Provence, students on this program will learn why France is ‘the most visited country on earth.’

Ecuador: (6/30—7/17) Grades 9-12
Zipline through the rainforest canopy, hike winding jungle trails, shoot the rapids on a day long whitewater rafting excursion, teach a Friendship Camp for elementary school kids with Ecuadoran teenagers, live for five days with an Ecuadoran family–this trip has it all.
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Adirondacks Adventure: (7/21-8/7) Grades 6-9
This 18-day multi-sport adventure is loaded with action and perfect for first-time adventurers looking to spread their wings, and includes rock climbing, white-water rafting, backpacking, spelunking and cave-floating, sea kayaking and more. We travel to the most beautiful parts of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.

Peaks and Paddles: (7/25-8/8) Grades 6-9
For 15 days, we take on some of the Pacific Northwest greatest challenges: skiing Mt. Hood, rock climbing at legendary Smith Rocks, white-water kayaking the Clackamus River, exploring the Ape Caves, summiting Newberry Volcano. Another perfect program for “first timers” or those experienced campers thirsting for more adventure.

Puerto Rico (7/2—7/16) Grades 8-10
This trip is the perfect combination of cultural exploration, outdoor adventure, rainforest preservation work, language exposure, and fun in the sun. This is an ideal first-step travel program for students who are ready to leave sleepaway camp, but not yet ready to venture too far afield. Looking for a longer program and passionate about surfing? Ask about our optional five-day surf extension featuring some of Puerto Rico’s best waves.

Wild Oregon (6/30-7/21) Grades 8-10
This 22-day program has is it all. With 8 different adventure sports included we travel to the pristine Pacific coast, the Oregon Sand Dunes, Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, Smith Rock State Park, Deschutes River and the Columbia River Gorge. A sense of adventure and a spirit of determination are a must!

For those of you keeping score, camp opens a square 100 days from today! We hope you all have a great rest of the school year and are excited to recharge your batteries in the magic waters of Windsor Mountain!

Waiting patiently for you all to come back “home, let me go home, home, home…,”

The Windsor Mountain Team