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.

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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5 Summer Activities Kids Will Love

 

Summer vacation is fast approaching! Looking for some new & fun activities to keep the kids busy and active this summer? Try something new and join us for summer in the Green Mountains.   Here’s our top 5 summer vacation activities right here at Stratton. 


1. Stratton Kids Adventure Camps  Choose from four different types of camps, each one allowing kids to make new friends and explore the beauty of Southern Vermont in the summer.

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2. Take a scenic gondola ride. You’ve seen the breathtaking views in the winter, but have you ever seen the Green Mountains actually green? A gondola ride to the summit will give the whole family a total 360 degree view!

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3. Golf as a family. The new 9-hole Pitch and Putt Course at the Stratton Golf School is ideal for beginner and family play. The Stratton Golf School also provides family and kids programs, where you can get personalized coaching from Stratton’s golf pros.

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4. Enjoy the Free Summer Concerts Series on the lawn with the whole family. Each Saturday, a new artist will entertain at the commons, where there will be lawn games and a BBQ. Dancing is encouraged.

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5. Hike & Explore! No matter what age or ability level, there’s a hiking trail for everyone in the family. Along the way, make it fun – see how many critters you can spot, collect fun shaped rocks and splash in natural streams.

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Love it? Share it on social media below!

Summer ’15 Event Line-Up

By Courtney DiFiore

Officially, summer starts June 21st, but at Stratton we’re starting early! Our 27-hole Championship Golf Course is open, tennis is in full swing, and hikers & bikers have been flocking to the mountain. In addition to the many summer activities we offer, this year’s event lineup should get you excited.
Stratton TennisKicking things off is a Memorial Day Doubles Tennis Tournament May 23-25 followed by the Golf Course Expo May 24.
Stratton's 27-hole Championship Golf CourseSoon after is Wanderlust! Returning to Stratton June 18-21, Wanderlust is a place for yogis alike. This festival of music and yoga is infused with amazing workshops, wonderful speakers and great food.
Wanderlust at Stratton
Then July 4th rolls around beginning our annual Free Summer Concert Series. If you enjoy jam bands and tribute bands, you’ll love the line-up.
Fourth of JulyCome July, we’ll welcome cyclists from all over for the Tour de Grace on the 11th and Tour de Bondville on the 18th. The last cycling event bringing enthusiasts for the area is on August 12 – The Vermont Challenge.
Vermont CyclingFinally, we end the summer with Labor Day celebration and huge Tent Sale.
Stratton Village

Highlights of 2014

By Courtney DiFiore

We began 2014 with a bang. Winter storm Hercules dropped 18 inches! 

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We partnered with Wild Honey Pie to bring you On The Mountain. It went so well that they came back and On The Mountain 2 is already in production.

We made the NY Times! ny-times-image

Then there was the winter Olympics that included 14 Stratton Olympians. That was really exciting for not only the resort but the community. Congrats to Alex Deibold for bringing home the Bronze in Men’s Snowboard Cross. olympics sc

The second Annual VT Open was bigger and better than the first with over $20,000 in prize money.


We raised even more money than last year for charity with the
24 Hour event in March.
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Early spring we introduced the Passport pass allowing guests to spend time at our sister resorts.

We celebrated 50 years of golf at our 27-Hole Champion course.
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We embraced our inner yogi at Wanderlust, a multi-day yoga festival that features world-renowned yoga instructors, live music, inspiring lectures, outdoor expeditions, organic food, wine, and art. And we’ll do it again this summer.


We got new toys! Brand new
gondola cabins made their way on the line, new HKD snowguns joined the fleet, glades were added and new shops and restaurants moved into the Village.
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We raised awareness and donated money for ALS in completing the Ice Bucket Challenge.

We changed our food to include more local, fresh products!

Columbus Day was a HUGE success with the addition of the Black Dagger Parachute Team, more selection at the Brewfest and a 5k Fun Run.
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Opening day for the 2014-15 season arrived with a storm on its coat tails that dropped 13 inches! Can we start every season like this?


We teamed up with Rossignol, giving fans a chance to win gear and a ski & stay package for two valued at over $5,000. Contests are the best aren’t they?

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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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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

Preparing For 2014-15 Winter Season

By Courtney DiFiore

Imagine beginning your day with a beautiful sunrise over lush green mountains. As you gaze down into the valley, you bite into a locally grown apple. While stretching, you awe at the symphony of fall colors and plan out the rest of your day. Shall you take a swim in the local watering hole, play a few rounds on the links, rally some tennis balls or take a day trip to a nearby brewery? This is autumn in Vermont.

Between all the hikes, bonfires, swimming, biking and so on, there’s still one thing even the longest summer can’t make me forget… winter. Labor Day is celebrated nationwide and is the unofficial mark (for most) that summer is over. This holiday weekend has become a bittersweet time for those in love with the endless days of sunshine and tan lines. I, on the other hand, see Labor Day Weekend as a milestone counting down the days to the first snowfall.

This means there are fewer than 80 days to get ready for the season. While many are thinking about what new gear to buy or where to bring their old digs for a sharpen and wax, I’m concerned about my physical shape. I want to get the most out of my money. When I buy a lift ticket, I plan on lapping the lift until last call. If I’m not prepared, I’ll be the person huddled next to a heater in a base lodge. I don’t want to be huddled there tired, sore and hungry. No one wants to be that guy!

It’s important not to discount the physical beating your body takes when skiing and riding; it’s something to prepare for. Ready or not, Stratton’s chairlifts will start spinning. In an effort to jump start my winter training I’ve made a ‘to-do list’ that to keep me on track.

  1. Complete the 7 Summits Challenge – I’m looking to build my endurance and leg strength so I can go from first chair to Après with ease.
  2. Strengthen my core in the gym – Here’s a circuit I like to do from Men’s Health Magazine:
    seated ab crunchSeated ab crunch
    Sit on a flat bench, gripping the edges. Lean back, extending your legs. Then bend your knees and raise your legs to your chest. Lean your upper body forwards, bringing your chest towards your thighs. Aim for 12 reps.

    mb leg dropMedicine ball leg-drops
    Lie face-up and squeeze a light med ball between your ankles. Start with your legs straight up then lower them without touching the floor. Return to the start position as fast as possible. That’s 1 rep. Do 10-12.

    weighted one side crunchWeighted one-sided crunch
    Lie back, knees bent and feet flat. Hold a dumbbell with both hands by your right shoulder. Curl your torso up and rotate to the left, then lower back down. Perform 8-10 reps on one side, switch and repeat with the dumbbell by your left shoulder.

    cable crunchKneeling cable crunch
    Kneel facing the pulley of a cable machine with a rope attached high. Hold the ends of the rope near sides of face. Crunch three times in total: first aim your chest at your pelvis, then aim at your left knee, then at your right. That’s 1 rep.

    Perform 10

    burpee1 Burpee
    Get into a regular squat-thrust position: arms shoulder-width apart, hands on the floor with your legs tucked up to your chest. This is both your start and finish stance.

    burpee2Kick your legs back to a press-up position and lower yourself for a push-up before jumping back into start position.

    From here, thrust your body upwards, using your legs and core muscles to launch yourself burpee3from the ground.

    Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

  3. Attend two yoga classes a week – I plan on increasing my flexibility as it’s very important.

What are you doing to get ready for the season?

Climber’s Faith

Originally posted on September 2, 2014 by Liz Millikin on her blog Slackcountry Living.

Now here is something worth writing about:

In all sports, you must learn to trust your body. In skiing, you place your trust in the power of your legs, the pressure of your shins against the front of the boot, the angle of your hips. You trust your body to control your speed and propel you forward, to absorb impact and launch you into flight.

But I think… In one sport, it’s less about trust and more about faith. Trust has a logical basis. Faith is at least a little illogical. Faith requires a willful denial of logic. Which sport is this? Climbing.

In climbing, you must have faith that your hand will not slide and that the strength in your fingers is enough to hold steady. You must have faith that your reach will expand that extra inch, that your jump will bring you just a little bit farther than seems possible.

More than anything, you must have faith in your feet. Faith in the ability of your feet to find a hold where none exists, to turn rock crystals into a perch that will bear your weight just long enough to follow your momentum to the next hand hold, the next foothold-that-isn’t-there, anything to move forward.

Can you tell that I just went climbing after a hiatus of years?

lauren ted climbing
Ted and Lauren climbing near Stratton Mountain.

I was very rusty. It was awesome.

Hiking at Stratton

September is hiking month at Stratton Mountain Resort. Cooler temperatures keep the bugs at bay and makes for more comfortable hiking weather as the trees put on a show of colors. It also means it’s time to start getting your ski, snowboard, and snowshoe legs and lungs in shape.

Try the 7 Summits Challenge – Beginning September 1 through October 13, 2014.

hiking_summitWhen hiking up Stratton, there’s a lot of routes to choose. Ranging from easy to more difficult, you can use our guide to help you.

If you’re looking to hike more off the beaten path, try the Appalachian and Long Trail. The Appalachian and Long trails share a southern 103.6 miles, crossing over Stratton Mountain which was the inspiration for both of these storied routes.

Have fun getting those legs ready for the 2014-15 winter season. Don’t forget to tag us @StrattonResort on Twitter and Instagram when posting your awesome hiking shots this fall.