Venture Vermont: Manchester VT Community Library

Directions

Manchester Community Library – 138 Cemetery Avenue / Route 7A Manchester Center, VT 05255. After taking a right onto Route 7/Main St. heading north toward Dorset from the main Manchester roundabout, the Manchester Community Library is on the corner of Cemetery Ave. on the right with plenty of public parking.

What to Expect

Imagine taking all of the coolest amenities you’ve seen at other libraries (aside from massive granite pillars & lion statues out front) and put them all under one roof – that’s what the Manchester Community Library has accomplished.

The building was finished in Fall 2014, so it is completely ADA-compliant, WiFi-friendly, and has a great open-space flow, making accessibility a non-issue. Make sure to stop in the library’s Commons area upon arriving – note the cathedral ceilings and massive 4-pane windows while you flip through a magazine, take a phone call, or enjoy a cup of coffee at the Café (Mon-Fri). Restrooms and access to the downstairs study rooms via elevator or stairs are also found in the Commons. If you’d like to rent out a study room, visit the Help Desk for access to the Lower Level.Manchester Library - YA Lounge II

The library is home to over 20,000 books, audiobooks, DVDs and more in its Main Corridor, which houses the Help Desk and access to kids-specific reading spaces. The Young Adult Loft contains several computer workstations, stylish furniture, and a laundry list of board games in a unique space specifically designed with teens in mind. For younger kiddos, the Children’s Barn is a fantastic space to foster creative development – volumes of dedicated children’s books, bean bag chairs, and the Kids’ Craft Room, which hosts weekly programming such as PreSchool Story Time. In the Main Corridor, browse tens of thousands of items from Arts & Literature to Nature to Gardening, Health, and Food. Don’t forget to post up near the fireplace at the east end of the Main Corridor in the Mark Skinner Reading Room. Or, try the Adirondack chairs on the outdoor patios & take in some gorgeous VT views. Two entrances to the Hunter Community Room can also be found in the Main Corridor and the Commons. This space is ideal for local gatherings and events, and is one of several rooms available to rent.

This state-of-the-art facility also offers free online classes, technology and computer trainings, local history & genealogy collections, and free summer reading programs for kids. For the kids, make sure to check out the Summer Reading Program, running July 9 thru August 13. Sessions cover music, movement, mad science, and one week with live turtles!

Manchester Library - childrens barn

If you’re not library member, no worries! You can still reference materials in-house, hop onto free WiFi, and relax in a uniquely welcoming & cozy environment. To borrow library materials, however, requires membership. If you’re a Manchester resident, your library card is free! For non-residents (or those simply summering or spending the ski season close by), there are individual & household memberships with annual and 6-month options. Visit one of the friendly librarians to learn more.

What to Pack

 Don’t forget to bring a few extra dollars – the “Liberry” muffins are a must-try & are a super filling treat for just a $2 donation. For something lighter, coffee and granola bars run $1. If you’re using the printer or copier (color prints available as well), there’s a small fee. For an afternoon of reading and relaxing, $5 should do the trick.

Suggested Age Range 

The Manchester Community Library is ideal for all ages! It’s not uncommon for kids as young as two accompanied by their grandparents to enjoy some game-time in the Children’s Barn together – a place that truly offers something for everyone.

What We Learned

 Fun knowing such a “hidden gem” exists right down the road from Stratton Village. Make sure to check out all that the Manchester Community Library has to offer on your day trip to the ‘city’ – it’s worth the drive. Biggest takeaway? Some much needed peace and quiet & some light reading next to the over-sized fireplace in the Reading Room – doesn’t get any better! If you get the chance, don’t miss out on the Summer Wednesday Series. Taking place the first Wednesday of each month from June 3rd – September 2nd, the Series offers unique programs like “Hometown Storytellers” & “Reading and Writing Memoir”, free & open to the public.

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About the Author:

Steve Croucher | Steve’s true passion outside of work is training for off-road triathlon … coaching stevebioMasters Swimming, grinding up local MTB singletrack, & trail running nearby Equinox and Bromley peaks. Originally from York, PA, Steve spent three years in Vail, CO before moving back to the East Coast to coordinate activities, programs, & events with Stratton Mountain. Steve also enjoys cooking, catching The Walking Dead, NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” on Saturday mornings, family BBQ’s, and a strong Moscow Mule on Friday nights.

The Green Apron Competes to be the Better Burger

How do you like your burger? Meat? Veggie? Lettuce, tomato, onion? Blended with mushrooms?

…Wait… What was that last one? Hamburger meat blended together with mushrooms. Hmm, that sounds interesting. Well, as part of a new health initiative, the chefs at Stratton’s Green Apron will be hard at work this summer putting their culinary artistry to the test by competing in the James Beard Foundation Better Burger Project.

Throughout the summer, restaurant guests are to upload a photo of their Better Burger, which is hamburger meat blended with finely chopped mushrooms, to Instagram with the hashtag #BetterBurgerProject. When the contest concludes on July 31, 2015, the top 5 chefs with the most Instagram uploads from guests will win a trip to New York City to cook their Better Burger at the James Beard Foundation Food Conference.

According the the Better Burger judges, blending mushrooms and meat improves flavor, texture and juciness. It also reduces calories, fat and sodium and adding key nurtients like vitamin D, potassium and B vitamins.

Table Provided by http://www.jamesbeard.org/better-burger-project
Table Provided by http://www.jamesbeard.org/better-burger-project

The chefs at the Green Apron are embracing the sustainable culture of Vermont and sourcing local ingredients for their Better Burger, and it is delicious.

Green Apron's first Better Burger.
Green Apron’s first Better Burger.

Ingredients

Vermont grass fed Bison

Hen of the Woods Mushroom

Grafton 2 year cheddar

Local Arugula

Grilled Local Heirloom & Tomato

Balsamic Marinated Red Onions and Baby peppers

Sriracha Aioli

Mushroom Demi

Toasted Brioche

I am now very hungry.

So, if you’re at the Green Apron this summer, be sure to try out this delicious, healthy burger and upload your photo to Instagram using the hashtag #BetterBurgerProject.

Author: Cassie Russo

Introducing Venture Vermont: A Vermont Travel Guide

It is no secret that many of our readers and guests may only visit Vermont in the winter time. However, have you ever visited us in the summer, to witness the beauty of the Green Mountains in all its green glory?

This summer, starting June 18, join us on the journey to Venture Vermont and explore Southern Vermont’s best summer
logoactivity spots, all within a short distance to Stratton Mountain. Our goal with this travel guide is to find the best unique activities, swimming holes, hikes, mountain biking trails and more and give you the information you need to know such as directions, gear guides and first hand activity highlights, so your family can enjoy the best that Southern Vermont has to offer. Choose from a variety of lodging options here at Stratton and you can stay comfortably before and after you start your outdoor adventure.

Follow our Blog,  website and social media channels for everything Venture Vermont. We also want to see how you do Vermont in the summer! Share your photos with us using the hashtag #VentureVermont, and your photo and activity can be featured on our channels and you could be picked for special give-aways.

Facebook | Instagram |Twitter | Pinterest 

The best thing about Vermont isn’t the amazing winters; it’s that every season is incredible. The Venture Vermont journey kicks off on June 18, with Stratton’s Wanderlust Festival. Join us on this adventure as we share the wonders of Vermont in the summer – the beauty may surprise you.

For questions, more information or to suggest a place for us to visit, please email Cassie at crusso@intrawest.com.

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Happy Columbus Day – Weekend Recap

By Courtney DiFiore

Columbus weekend has always been a favorite of mine. It’s a two day celebration filled to the brim with events and activities. The resort becomes animated and alive. You hear laughter and glasses clinking, dogs prance through the Village while kids get their face painted and friends gather on the lawn for music and beer. It’s an explosion of color, sound and taste that complement each other perfectly.

Below of some snapshots from this year’s Columbus Weekend.

See more photos from the weekend here.

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Columbus Weekend Stacked Schedule

Stratton’s annual Columbus weekend celebration has always been an event catering to the whole family but this year our event planners have upped their game, building a bigger and better weekend. Set in the scenic mountains of Vermont, the views alone will be enough to create a memorable weekend but you’ll get so much more than a pretty panoramic snapshot here.

Saturday kicks off the weekend with a long list of events and activities.
Saturday, October 11 (See More Details HERE)

9am Run or Dye 5K
 10am-5pm Gondola Rides
 11am-2pm Live Music by Gypsy Reel (The Village)
11am-6pm BBQ
 Noon USASOC Black Dagger Parachute Team Jump Time
1-4pm Caricaturist (The Village)
Vermont Natural History Museum (The Village)
Face Painter (The Village)
DUX the Balloon Man (The Village)
Noon-6pm Brew Fest
Live Music by The Jeff Tuohy Band (Main Stage)
Live Music by The High & Mighty Brass Band (Main Stage)
1-3pm Chili Cook-off (while supplies last)
1-6pm Hay Rides (main base lawn)
2pm Pumpkin Painting (courtyard – while supplies last)
 3pm Caramel Apple Dipping (courtyard – while supplies last)
 3-6pm Live Music by Mark Harding Band (The Village)
 4pm Keg Toss at AMEX Lift
 6pm-close Grizzly’s (Second floor of Main Base Lodge)
 7pm-close DJ Joe Bell (Grizzly’s)

If you’ve been to past Columbus weekend celebrations at Stratton, you’ll notice some new events. The Run or Dye 5K will be making its debut along with new Gondola cabins, USASOC Black Dagger parachute team jump, a bigger and better Craft Brewfest, Keg Toss and beefed up live music.

HSP2013_3976The Run or Dye 5K starts the day off at 9am followed by the opening of the Gondola at 10am. This year, you’ll be soaring to the Summit in new Gondola cabins. The parachute jump at noon will land in the Main Base area, giving everyone a front row seat to the show. Our Craft Brewfest, held on the Main Base lawn, has expanded from 60 to over 80 regional and local Vermont beers, ales, lagers and cider by partnering with local craft beer shop, Meulemans’ Craft Draughts. Just to put that into perspective for you, a tasting is four ounces and if you taste all 81 that equates to 120 ounces. A keg is made up of 124 ounces. Wow! And what’s a brewfest without a keg toss right? This year’s keg toss received a makeover via Dos Equis. Those entering can expect bigger and better prizes.

HSP2013_4252-2250pxMusic is always vital to any event, as it sets the tone and this year we’ve created dueling bands on the main stage located on the Main Base lawn. Jeff Tuohy, a traditional favorite, is a blend of Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz, creating a sound for all to enjoy. Sharing the stage, the High & Mighty Brass Band, hailing from Brooklyn brings a mix of classic New Orleans Funk, R&B, Afro-Beat and Hip Hop to the party. The whole family will be bouncing to the beat.

Among all the new remain the classics like hay rides, pumpkin painting, face painting and more. A bonus to Columbus weekend at Stratton is that everyone in the family will find something to satisfy their wants.

Sunday, October 12

9:30am Race to the Summit (Registration 8-9am at The North Face Store)
 10am-5pm Gondola Rides
11am-2pm Live Music by Moose Crossing (The Village)
BBQ Cook-Out/Bar (Main Base Lawn)
Stratton Foundation Presents – Vermont Field Day
Pie Contest (enter a pie & nominate your favorite charity to win)
Live Music by Bob Stannard and those Dangerous Bluesman
Dog Costume and Trick Contest
Hay Rides, Pumpkin Chuck’n & Bowling Games
3-6pm Live Music by The Mark Harding Band (The Village)

1383569_699814036713134_865760729_nKicking things off Sunday is the Annual Race to the Summit at 9:30am. Later, dog lovers of the world will unite for the Foundation’s Vermont Field Day that includes a dog costume contest and dog trick contest. Who doesn’t like seeing a pup in a cute outfit strutting its stuff?! Again, music will fill the air and classics like a pie contest and pumpkin bowling will be taking place.

Finishing off the week is a pancake breakfast at Table 43.1. How Vermont!

7-10am Pancake Breakfast ($14) at Table 43.1
 10am-5pm Gondola Rides

Pancake Breakfast Menu – $14
VT. Blueberry Pancakes
VT Maple Syrup
Taylor Farms Thick Slab Bacon
Local Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs
Earth Sky Times Choice of Breads
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Pierce Bros. Coffee

Latest and Final Foliage Report

The leaves have definitely reached their peak at Stratton over the last week. A blanket of brilliant reds, orange and yellows now lie across the Green Mountains. This change has been happening slowly and silently over the past few weeks and like every year, one day we wake up realizing that it’s fall and winter is at its heels. Below is a timelapse to show off the changing leaves and some Instragram favorites from Strattonites!

Up at Stratton early this season

A photo posted by Ryan Murphy (@rymurph0627) on

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#Stratton

A photo posted by @scooterwalnut on

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#Autumn in #Stratton #Vermont

A photo posted by @riversidewhistler on

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Foliage Report

Pops of color have been showing up all around Stratton lately and we’ve been keeping track. Our “Peak-O-Meter” is yours to use this fall when planning your trip to Stratton Mountain. Check out some of the great pictures people have been snapping around the area! Use the hashtag #StrattonFoliage so we can find your Instagram pictures too.

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I love fall!!!!!

A photo posted by Debbie Bender (@deb_bie08) on

Slowly but surly fall is coming. #fall #winterisnext @strattonresort

A photo posted by Christian Jurkowski (@christianjurkowski) on

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View from the top of the #firetower at #stratton #mountain. Sunday adventures with @jessemallis

A photo posted by Tara Atkinson (@tara.catherine) on

@jimboslice214 first annual Stratton Oakmont Invitational. #stratton #golf

A photo posted by Joey McNamara (@joey_mac21) on

happy fall! #stratton #vermont #fall #autumn #stilltoomuchgreen

A photo posted by chris acernese (@chrisack_) on

 

 

Haven Retreat

By Laura Munson

We all need a safe Haven.  Somewhere to unplug from our busy lives, find inspiration, know that we’re not alone. I find that Haven in my writing, and have since childhood.  It’s my practice, my prayer, my meditation, my way of life, and sometimes my way to life.  Sometimes I write for myself– to dig deeper into my understanding of this beautiful and heartbreaking thing called life.  Other times I write to help others know they’re not alone, and to hopefully help them in their own process.  So I started Haven.

Haven is a blog, a newsletter, and a retreat.  It’s a place to be vulnerable, honest, supported, and inspired.  It’s a community that you can find here, in your email in-box, or this upcoming fall at Stratton Mountain Vermont.

HAVEN RETREATS:  (Haven Writing Retreats named in the top 5 writing retreats in the US by Open Road Media!)

You do not have to be a writer to come to Haven Stratton.  Just a seeker.  I designed Haven to meet you where you need to be met wherever you are in your life.  It’s a life-changing four day experience in which you: dig deeper into your creative self-expression on the page, become aware of what gets in your way in that self-expression, learn how to break through to your unique voice, get the support and insight from your Haven community, and be re-fueled by the pristine nature of Stratton Vermont… breathe again…

– See more at: http://blog.lauramunson.com/laura-munson-haven-newsletter/#sthash.srtFX47H.dpuf

I wanted to name a child Haven. But when I met my children in the flesh, it never quite felt like the right fit. I’ve always been attracted to the word Haven; the concept; the practice. To me the idea of Haven comes from a knowing that scary things happen. Big brothers lurk under canopy beds and grab your feet—make shadow hands on the wall until you wet your bed. Grandmother caretakers who are from “good, strong Vermont farm stock” fall when your parents are out of town– and you can’t pick them up—and you see what it is to have paramedics in your kitchen for the first time who tell you that everything’s going to be okay.  But you know it’s not. Your best friend’s angel-of-a sister dies of brain cancer when you are six; the last time you see her, she’s bald and you’re afraid of her and you know you shouldn’t be, but you are, and you feel deep dark shame. It doesn’t take long for the average human to understand early on that happiness can turn to heartbreak fast. Things happen. And that’s why your mother cries in church. And why she hugs you extra hard on your way to the bus. And why your father looks so pained by the fact that you’re too heavy to carry up the stairs any more for bedtime. The bigger you get, the scarier life gets. There’s no amount of money or luck or good works that can change that.

But even so, and maybe especially so, we can still create the feeling (never mind illusion) of safety. Of haven.  It can come in a knowing glance from someone you love. Or a familiar smell that radiates from your kitchen most Sundays. Or the feeling of a cool sheet on a hot summer night. I have always slept with at least a sheet over me, even on the most humid nights. I don’t feel safe without it. It’s silly, I know. But I like the feeling of this kind of safety in small things.

I’ve settled upon that belief along the way: safety best comes in the smallest things. Less to lose. More to believe in. I think that’s why so many little girls love Anne Frank. She found safety during horror, hiding in a small space, writing. Yes, she was hiding. But she was also creating. She could control at least that. When I think of all the places in which my friends and I used to seek refuge…it was always a closet, an eave, a secret trap door that lead somewhere—a root cellar, a crawl space. Or a tree house. A play house. Always small, simple places that felt like uncharted territory. We’d put a poster on a wall. Bring in a candle (kids, don’t try this at home). Bring in pillows and blankets. Flashlights and books and magazines. And we’d sit there in uncomfortable positions, practicing refuge. And for most of us, not much had happened yet in the way of scary things.  Still we sought haven.

By the time we become adults, things have happened for sure. No one can escape the “scary” things. No one. So what do we do with that? Hide? Probably not. We have bills to pay, and people who need us to stand there in the kitchen playing short-order-cook with a smile on our face. They look to us for that glimpse that says, everything is going to be okay. And we give it our best shot. Sometimes we pull it off. Sometimes we make dessert instead and that does the trick. Or not.

It occurred to me about ten years ago, after a tri-fecta personal-life sucker-punch to the girl-balls, that life was scary—really scary…and there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it. So I decided to change my relationship with fear. The first thing that went out the window was the notion that there was such a thing as safety in the first place. Ahhhhhh. That was a weight-of-the-world purge that brought with it instant liberation. Because if there was no such thing as safety, then there was no such thing as danger. Tell me more, please, oh wise Yoda.

Rather than waiting for the big brother monster under my bed, I decided instead to claim my life. I didn’t want to be run by fear. I wanted happiness to reign in my self-created kingdom. Joy. Peace. I wanted to understand what Grace was. So I re-trained my mind. When I started to feel that ol’ bastard Fear…I flipped my thoughts into Creation mode. What can I create right now in this moment? What can I be responsible for? What can I claim? It felt a lot like the little girl I once was, bringing pillows into her closet with a flashlight and a good book. I was going to create my own yes, Haven, in my mind. Breath by breath. Heartbeat by heartbeat.  And it worked.

It’s not that I didn’t look down the dark alleys of life any more. Quite the opposite. It was that I didn’t see them as dark. I saw them as chances to find some sort of haven in the midst of the darkness. And the one place I could control that haven, was in the way I thought. I started working with creating that pillow-bedecked closet in my mind. The more pillows and flashlights and cool sheets and good books…the better. I pictured it.  I took solace in it.  I believed in it.  And sooner than later, I found that I could breathe my way into that feeling of haven whether I was on a really bumpy flight over the mountains, or in a hard conversation with a family member, or in a daunting business meeting. I got good at it. Maybe a little addicted to it, in fact. Because it’s absolutely exhilarating to have the opposite emotional reaction to the things that people say and do to you than what society says is the norm. It’s like watching a storm come in hard and fast over the prairie, and get suddenly blown off another direction. And quite when you least expected it…you’re in rainbow weather. That’s what I want.  Rainbow weather.

So I didn’t name a child Haven. I took my new way of looking at the world and created retreats for adults who likely are looking for the same sort of way to process the “scary” bits of life. My way has been through writing and reading and so that is what I’ve created in Haven retreats. If I could build a series of tree houses and pillow forts and call it Haven Retreats, I would. Instead, at Haven, we go to the tree houses and pillow forts of our minds, digging deeper into our creative self-expression on the page, in a nurturing group setting…that helps us know that yes, life is full of challenges. But we don’t have to look at them as scary. We can use those challenges. We can breathe into the groundlessness of them. We can take a weekend to practice this together on retreat. And we can bring Haven home to our daily lives wherever we are…in the safety of our minds and the words we choose to create that sacred space. – See more at: http://blog.lauramunson.com/category/haven-newsletter/#sthash.mFKNf0h7.dpuf