Viewing posts categorised under: Recreation

SSCience Friday: Hidden Treasures

by Morgan

10 02, 2015 | Posted in Adventure, Recreation | 0 comments

Geocaching Materials

...can you find the one still hidden?

Do you love exploring?  Do you love making new discoveries?  Ever wish the whole world were one giant treasure hunt?  Well guess what... for Geocachers, it is! Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunting game in which participants use GPS-enabled devices to navigate to specific coordinates and find hidden containers, or 'Geocaches'.  That may sound a little complicated, but really it's quite simple. Just with like in-car navigation systems, hand-held GPS devices can tell you where exactly in the world you are and how to get where you want to go! Even smartphones do it these days... all using information from the US Global Positioning System. The game now known as "Geocaching" has a pretty interesting history, dating back to May, 2000. When a geocache is hidden, the owner posts the coordinates so other geocachers can go try to find it.  Geocaches come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of difficulty. For a more comprehensive introduction and explanation, check out Geocaching Basics from REI and Geocaching 101 from Geocaching.com.
Where is it?

SSC Geocache: "All too Eager"

While public geocaches are on public property, we at SSC have decided to join in the fun and offer something special: Over 25 unique caches hidden right here at Camp waiting to be discovered by our guests!  For the uninitiated, we have GPS units available at the main office and a brochure with all the information you'll need to get started (and keep going). We've got basic hides for beginners, but plenty of caches that will keep even the most experienced geocachers occupied. And once you've conquered Camp's collection, there are some pretty awesome public geocaches right next door. Take a stroll up to The Falls at Glen Alpine or down to the Fallen Leaf Marina.  For those seeking something more adventurous, grab a kayak at the boat dock and cruise on over to find The Ghost of Captain Belle or put your hiking boots on and go explore the Tamarack Trail. Geocaching is an activity the whole family can enjoy... and here at SSC we're happy to help open the doors to a whole world full of fun.

See more

Fall in Tahoe

by SierraMerril

09 04, 2014 | Posted in Location, Recreation, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Summer is undoubtedly my favorite season in Tahoe, but fall comes in as a close second. When kids go back to school and town quiets down, the aspens turn golden and the weather starts to cool. I find fall a great time to hike, bike, pull out my warm clothes, and read a book by the fireplace. It’s nice to do these things to decompress from a summer packed with visitors, crowds, and the heat! There are quite a few fall events in the Tahoe area that are fun for visitors and locals. Plus, the shoulder season is a great time to find deals at hotels, restaurants and local stores. Summer gear is highly discounted by September, and stores are also rolling out winter gear, so you could be the first to purchase the newest and coolest items for the upcoming season! The fall season is also when Lake Tahoe is clearest. Without much water flowing into the lake in the fall months, there is less sediment and other pollutants coming in to the lake. If you’re in the Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe area this fall, here are a few things that are definitely worth checking out! Ironman Lake Tahoe takes place on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, September 21st. The 2.4 mile swim, 110 mile bike ride and marathon run (all at an altitude of 6,200+ feet!) is only for the insanely fit, but it’s a great event to watch! After exiting the water, racers ride along the lake and on to Truckee and past Northstar Ski Resort. The two lap course ends back at the beach and racers take off on a run that ends at Squaw Valley. Viewing will be great all day from anywhere on the bike or run course (Tahoe City, Truckee or on Lake Tahoe), but I’ll be in the Village at Squaw Valley for the finish!

The Taylor Creek Visitor is located near Fallen Leaf Lake in the Tahoe Basin.

The US Forest Service hosts the annual Fall Fish Festival at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, just a short drive from Fallen Leaf Lake.

The annual Fall Fish Festival takes place on October 5th this year at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. This family-friendly event isn’t just for kids! It’s an awesome sight for anyone to see the bright pink Kokanee salmon swimming up Taylor Creek. If you’re not in Tahoe on the 5th, the fish are usually around a week before and after the festival. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some of Tahoe’s bears stopping by the stream for a meal.

Happening at the same time as the Fish Festival is Camp Richardson’s Oktoberfest. This two-day event, October 4th and 5th, is a family-friendly event with food, activities, games and of course, beer! Costumes aren’t necessary, but there is a costume contest!

Camp has a few aspen trees that change colors in the fall. The golden colored aspen trees dot the shoreline of Fallen Leaf Lake each fall.

Fall Colors in Hope Valley are stunning when the aspen leaves go from green to golden and light up the landscape. Hope Valley is located just over Luther Pass at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 88 (Pickett’s Junction). There is lots of hiking in this area, as well as great road biking. The bike from Pickett’s Junction to Blue Lakes is approximately 28 miles roundtrip, and has great views with minimal traffic. Grover Hot Springs in Markleeville is another great place to take in the fall scenery and stay warm on a cool day!
The Old Lodge at Stanford Sierra Camp and Conference Center in Tahoe has a great fireplace for guests to sit in front of while reading a book.

Fall is a great time to sit by the fire with apple cider and enjoy a book!

Just because summer is over doesn't mean that the fall isn't a wonderful time to visit Tahoe. You might not be swimming in Lake Tahoe or Fallen Leaf come October, but it's still a beautiful place to visit with a whole different set of perks for the season!  

See more

Hidden Spots for Some Quiet Time

by stanfordsierra

08 29, 2014 | Posted in Preparing for your visit, Recreation | 0 comments

During the summer when we host Stanford alumni and their families, Stanford Sierra is packed full of guests. We keep our maximum to 180 during the spring and fall conference seasons, but during the summer, we often have upwards of 250 guests! It can get pretty loud and chaotic here on serene Fallen Leaf Lake.  So Bruce Campodonico, our head of maintenance (that title doesn't really give Bruce credit for all he does here), is on a mission to create hidden, peaceful spots where you can get away from the bulk of your fellow event attendees. Here is a rundown of what Bruce has created so far:

The Snooper Chalet

The Snooper Chalet

Bruce and his crew built the Snooper Chalet so our 5 & 6 year-olds in the summer would have a home base. This is also where yoga classes are held. During the conference season, the Snooper Chalet is quiet. You get there by taking a left uphill when you see the cleared area on your way back to the parking lot.
The view from the Snooper Chalet

The view from the Snooper Chalet

Behind the main lodge Bruce and his crew built a stone wall and included a nice seat. It's a nice shady area and there isn't much foot traffic, just a few of our staff members heading to and from the lodge.
Building the wall

Building the wall

I think the seat built into the wall looks like a throne...
Two staff members chatting on the throne!

Two staff members chatting on the throne!

During the summer it's chaos on the lakefront during daytime hours. But in the fall, it's often quiet and a great spot to read or just relax.
The ski dock is a quiet spot during the fall

The ski dock is a quiet spot during the fall

Bruce's latest creation is a gazebo on the lake. Perfect for a romantic moment or some quiet alone time. The gazebo is between the entrance to Stanford Sierra and the main lodge.
Lakefront gazebo

Lakefront gazebo

Look for the stone steps leading down to it...
Stone steps leading down to the gazebo

Stone steps leading down to the gazebo

So if you see Bruce during your visit to Stanford Sierra
Bruce!

Bruce!

say "hello" and thank him for all the cool stuff he has built around Camp!  

See more

Extending your stay on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore: Part Two

by SierraMerril

08 07, 2014 | Posted in Lake Tahoe area, Location, Recreation, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I highly recommend extending your stay in Tahoe after visiting Stanford Sierra Conference Center. In my last post, I suggested a few hikes and restaurants in the South Lake Tahoe area. Hiking and eating are two of my favorite things to do, so I started there, but Tahoe has a lot more to offer! Last summer my family visited and I realized I needed to diversify my typical activity suggestions to include fun things for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. So, here are a few more fun things to do on the South Shore:

Activities

Tallac Historic Site and Taylor Creek Visitor Center: Located near Fallen Leaf Lake off of Highway 89, these are both great places to explore with kids. You can visit one or the other, or walk along the bike path to get between the two. The Tallac Historic Site offers a self-guided walk through historic buildings and beautiful scenery. Check their event calendar to see if anything interesting is happening while you’re in town! The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is just down the road (less than a mile) and provides information about some of the area wildlife. There is a pretty neat Stream Profile Chamber where you can see the animals and plants in the stream through large windows. During the fall, don’t miss the Kokanee Salmon Festival! The creek is filled with Kokanee salmon swimming upstream to spawn—it’s quite a sight!
Lakeview Commons is located on Lake Tahoe and only a short drive from Stanford Sierra Conference Center.

The weekly paddle board race at Lakeview Commons is fun to watch! Be sure not to miss the locally made ice cream at the snack stand!

Lakeview Commons and El Dorado Beach: All summer, Lakeview Commons and El Dorado Beach (Lakeview Avenue and Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe) offer many activities for individuals and families. The beach is a fun safe area for kids to splash around in and swim in Lake Tahoe. A concession stand sells locally made ice cream and other snacks, and there are boat rentals on the beach. One of Tahoe’s most popular activities is paddle boarding, and this is a great place to learn! South Tahoe Standup Paddle offers rentals, lessons and guided tours right on the beach. For your daytime beach visit, make sure you have a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and sunglasses! In the evenings, Lakeview Commons has free outdoor grills (bring your own charcoal and food to grill) and a great view of the sun setting behind the mountains. During the summer, there are paddleboard races starting at 6:30pm on Wednesday nights, and there is live music and vendors on Thursday nights.

Scenic Spots

If you’re spending a few extra days in Tahoe, don’t miss one of Tahoe’s most iconic sights: Emerald Bay. Emerald Bay and Fannette Island are two of the most photographed places in Tahoe. Views from the parking lots on either side of the bay are wonderful. If you’re up for it, walk down the steep path to Emerald Bay Beach from the Vikingsholm parking lot and take in the views from lake level.

Emerald Bay and Fannette Island are just a short drive from Stanford Sierra Conference Center.

Emerald Bay is one of Tahoe's most photographed spots. Fannette Island sits in the middle of the Bay and is the only island in Lake Tahoe.

The Heavenly Gondola is another great place to see amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. Located in the Heavenly Village, the gondola takes you to the top of the mountain. Be sure to stop at the halfway point to enjoy the best views of the basin. At the top, enjoy fun summer activities including tubing, zip lining, hiking, and a ropes course! Heavenly Village is also an entertaining place to spend a few hours. There are many different shopping, dining and entertainment options in the Village which makes it a great area to stroll, window show and enjoy an ice cream cone on a hot day!

Looking for more suggestions? Just ask the front office when you're at Camp and they'd be happy to make more suggestions for enjoying a few extra days on Tahoe's South Shore.  

See more

Camp Essentials

by SierraMerril

07 10, 2014 | Posted in Location, Lodging, Preparing for your visit, Recreation, Uncategorized | 0 comments

When people are planning their trip to Stanford Sierra Camp and Conference Center they frequently ask, “What do I absolutely need to have at Camp?” There are quite a few things you need at Camp, but I’ve narrowed my list down to ten essential items. Here they are to get you started!

  1.  A good book. There are plenty of places to find a quiet space to enjoy your book at Camp. Baby Beach, the boat dock, your cabin’s deck, the Old Lodge or in the Stanford Room are only a few of the wonderful places that you can get some serious reading done. When I’m looking for a good read, I usually consult the New York Times’ Top 20 Best Sellers List. Right now I’m reading “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini, and I’d love to go sit on the boat dock and make a dent in it right now!
  2. A reusable water bottle or Camelbak. Fallen Leaf Lake sits 6,377 feet above sea level. It’s easy to get dehydrated at this elevation and even more so, if you are outside in the sunshine all day. Staying hydrated during your stay is important so you can feel your best and enjoy all that Camp has to offer without getting fatigued or ill. Check out last week’s blog post for tips on staying healthy during your trip to high altitude. You can fill your water bottle  in your room or in the dining room. If you don’t have your own or forget to bring one, Camp’s store, the Fountain, has a variety of water bottles for you to choose from.
    Stanford Sierra Camp's fleet of boats on Fallen Leaf Lake include fun-yaks, sail boats, row boats, canoes and stand up paddle boards.

    Make sure you're wearing sunscreen if you plan on being out on the water.

  3. Sun protection. Aren’t sunburns the worst? Sunblock, hats, and Chapstick will help you from soaking up too much sunshine at Fallen Leaf Lake. Whether it’s a SSC hat from the fountain, or just a regular old ball cap, make sure you have one if you’re headed into Desolation Wilderness for a hike or out on the water. We sell a few different types of sunblock in the Fountain, including Badger Balm and Surface Sun Systems.
  4. A warm jacket. Although weather from May-October in the Tahoe area is usually very pleasant during the day, it can still be chilly at night. A simple fleece jacket or warm sweatshirt will most likely get the job done. Weather can also take a turn for the worse at anytime in the mountains. A rain jacket is always a good idea. Even if you don’t end up needing it, it’s never a bad idea to have one just in case!
    A bonfire at the beach can get chilly, even in the summer! Make sure you have a jacket for the walk back to your cabin.

    A bonfire at the beach can get chilly, even in the summer! Make sure you have a jacket for the walk back to your cabin.

  5. Sturdy footwear. While Camp’s paths and walkways are walkable in almost any footwear (except maybe for high heels!), taking a hike anywhere outside of Camp requires sturdy footwear. Trails outside of Camp, especially in Desolation Wilderness have rocky terrain that can easily lead to a sprained ankle if you’re not wearing proper shoes.
  6. A backpack or beach bag. Packing a bag in the morning when you leave your cabin ensures that you have the basics with you all day. Pack your bag with a water bottle, sunblock, jacket, book, room key, and anything you might need for meetings. Camp isn’t big enough that it’s too much of a hassle to return to your room during the day, but it’s always nice to have some of these essential items with you.
  7. A reusable mug. Bringing your own coffee cup or traveler’s mug is a great way  to reduce paper waste. Our Fountain staff would be happy to make your coffee drink in your own mug. This is also a great way for you to take coffee to go!
  8. A camera or phone that takes good pictures. After a few days at Camp, you’ll wish you could stay longer. Being able to take a picture of the lake at its calmest in the morning, or the sun setting behind the peaks in Desolation Wilderness is a great way for you to remember Camp. Make sure you carry your camera with you—you never know when you might want to snap a quick picture!
    Sunsets in the Sierra Nevada are breathtaking!

    Don't forget your camera!  Pictures are a great way to remember Fallen Leaf Lake until you can make it back again.

  9. Cash. The closest ATM is in South Lake Tahoe. During the conference season, wine, beer and sodas are cash only during meal times. During the summer, and for a few confereneces, we have an outside masseuse come out to Camp. Massages are also cash or check only. Don’t get caught without any! Cash is also the best way for you to leave a tip for staff at the end of you stay
  10. A sense of adventure! Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time at Fallen Leaf Lake, there’s always something new to try. This summer, Camp purchased new paddle boards to add to its fleet, and in the past two years, Camp’s geocache course has grown. Our  22 acre property (along with 100 square miles of protected wilderness in our backyard) is a great place to explore and try something new. Make sure you leave Camp without regrets. No one wants to feel like they missed out on getting on the water or hiking at Camp. Nervous about trying something new? Ask a staff member. Chances are they’ve probably done it before and they have some tips for you.
    At Stanford Sierra Conference Center you can take out a sailboat.

    Sailboats on Fallen Leaf

See more

Working, Living and Playing In Tahoe

by SierraMerril

06 26, 2014 | Posted in Lake Tahoe area, Location, Meeting, Recreation, Staff members, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Stanford Sierra Camp and Conference Center sits at the base of Cathedral Peak on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Camp sits at the base of Cathedral Peak on Fallen Leaf Lake.

When I tell people that I live and work in Tahoe, the most common follow-up question is: Do you work at a ski resort? While it was a ski job that originally brought me to South Lake Tahoe in the winter of 2010-2011, I have since found myself working at the end of a five-mile road with no outlet and no cell phone service, but gorgeous views of mountains, ridges and Fallen Leaf Lake. Stanford Sierra Camp and Conference Center isn’t a rustic set of tent cabins, nor is it a four-star resort, but it’s somewhere in between. It’s a place where families enjoy mountain activities, city residents relax in the woods, and companies host conferences and retreats outside of traditional office or conference spaces. As the reservations assistant manager, I work year-round in a two-person department that corresponds with guests and takes reservations for Stanford University alumni programs and summer family camp. I also take reservations and assign housing for several retreats and conferences that are not affiliated with Stanford University, but have been coming to Camp for many years. After several seasons of assigning housing for conferences, I’ve learned quite a few quirks and perks of the 64 lodging units at Camp. People always ask, “What is the best cabin or area of Camp?” You would think that would be an easy question, but it all depends on what you’re looking for! Lake views, peace and quiet, sunlight and proximity to the lodge are different for all of our units. Individuals and families have different priorities and needs, which makes this question so hard to answer!  
While cabins in the "Hills" area of Camp can be a bit of a walk, they get some of the most sunlight and offer a different view of Camp and the lake.

Cabins in the Hills area of Camp get some of the most sunlight and offer a different view of Camp and the Lake.

Throughout the year, I stay busy preparing guests for their stay at Camp, whether it’s for two nights or seven. I simultaneously help prepare Camp and our staff for the abundance of guests that descend upon Fallen Leaf Lake when the weather warms, the snow melts off the mountains, and the lake is calm, beautiful and a bearable temperature. I am part of a management team that works hard to create memorable experiences for families, couples getting married and conference attendees. While most of my work is at my desk; sending emails, collecting money, ordering cakes, and working on housing assignments, I also have the pleasure of enjoying Fallen Leaf Lake and Camp's mountain surroundings. I get to have weekly barbecue lunches outside during the summer and greet guests when they arrive at Camp. After having worked here for the better part of three years, I’ve paddled the lake, looked down on Camp from Angora Peak and Cathedral Trail, explored Desolation Wilderness, watched the sun rise from over Lake Tahoe and set on Gardner Mountain.
Mt. Tallac is one of the Tahoe Basin's tallest mountains and can be a day hike from the Tahoe conference center.

Mt. Tallac is a long hike from Camp, but the views of the Tahoe Basin and Desolation Wilderness are unbeatable from the top!

    My life as reservations assistant manager is filled with paperwork, emails, small details and customer service, and it is enhanced daily by a constant flow of wonderful guests, a workplace filled with active coworkers and Desolation Wilderness in my backyard.

See more

It’s Time to SUP!

by stanfordsierra

06 04, 2014 | Posted in Recreation | 0 comments

Weather has warmed, the trees are in bloom and the lake is calm in the morning. This means it's time to paddle Fallen Leaf Lake! I stopped on my drive to work this morning and took this photo.

Look close to see the geese!

Look close to see the geese!

We have a fleet of 12 stand-up paddle boards at our boat dock.
Our fleet of paddle boards

Our fleet of paddle boards

In advance of meeting or event here at Stanford Sierra, the group coordinator chooses open boat dock hours. During open boat dock hours, our staff members will fit you with a life jacket and help you check out the watercraft of your choice. The first time I tried paddle boarding I was hooked! We bought boards soon after and spend most of our paddling time on Lake Tahoe. When I can sneak out of work, I paddle on Fallen Leaf Lake.
That's me! Paddling with Leticia from Stanford Technology Ventures last fall

That's me! Paddling with Leticia from Stanford Technology Ventures last fall

If you haven't SUP'ed before, when water is calm is the best time. Check out our video below, Matty gives an excellent intro and some more advanced tips on how to paddle. If you want a quick lesson for your first paddle on Fallen Leaf Lake, find me in my office on the first floor of the main lodge. I would love to join you at the boat dock for a quick paddle!        

See more

Meet Our Conference Season Yoga Instructor and Maseusse

by stanfordsierra

04 01, 2014 | Posted in Event planning, Recreation, Staff members | 0 comments

Lake Tahoe native Ryan Goralski is a Sadhana Yoga Chi instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist who provides his services for attendees of all-inclusive conferences and retreats at Stanford Sierra Conference Center.

Ryan Goralski, yoga instructor and certified massage therapist

Ryan Goralski, yoga instructor and certified massage therapist

We recently sat down and talked to Ryan: What is your current job? In my role at Stanford Sierra Conference Center, I am a yoga instructor and massage therapist for attendees of spring and fall conferences and retreats. I usually lead yoga classes in the morning, then provide massage therapy sessions in the afternoon. This will be my third season. What is the best thing about your job? It really starts on my commute to work, when I’m driving or riding my bike out to Fallen Leaf Lake. There’s no better way to start the day.
The route to Stanford Sierra

The Fallen Leaf Chapel is part of the scenic commute to Stanford Sierra

  I also love the Cathedral Room, where I hold yoga sessions.
One of Ryan's fellow instructors teaching yoga in the Cathedral room

One of Ryan's fellow instructors teaching yoga in the Cathedral room

It overlooks the lake, but more than that, it allows me to lead the class into a sunrise session and embrace the yoga tradition. As we do sun salutations, the sun comes right over Angora Ridge and reflects off the lake. I can’t think of a better indoor location to do yoga.
Sunrise over Fallen Leaf Lake

Sunrise over Fallen Leaf Lake

Seems that most folks just want to unwind or decompress from their everyday busyness... I get to guide our guests into achieving a more relaxed and fluid well-being whether it's yoga or massage therapy or a bit of both. For guests coming in the spring or fall conference season, what is a ‘can’t miss’ activity or place to see? Start off with a yoga session in the Cathedral Room, doing sun salutations as the sun rises over Angora Ridge. Certainly the views from the top of Mt. Tallac are some of the best in the universe. It’s hard to beat an early morning paddle on Fallen Leaf Lake – either in a paddle boat or on a stand up paddleboard (SUP).   It’s beautiful when it’s glassy and calm.
A morning paddle on calm Fallen Leaf Lake

A morning paddle on calm Fallen Leaf Lake

Do you have a favorite memory of your time working at Stanford Sierra? It’s hard to narrow it down to one event, because it’s always a breath of fresh air to go out to Stanford Sierra and participate in the daily activities. It’s not so much the weather, as I also love it in the rain. It’s more the experience of being in the great outdoors – you’re surrounded by incessant natural beauty and the overall experience is truly unique. Currently there is no cell service at Fallen Leaf Lake. What do you think are the benefits of disconnecting? My perspective as a health practitioner is that it’s all about creating fluidity and spaciousness in the body.  Fallen Leaf Lake helps us to unfold our bodies from the closed modern gadgetry posture and open our peripheral awareness back to the natural environment. The lack of cell service frees you up to be truly open to our surroundings, helps boost creativity, and reconnects you with your higher well-being.
Ryan hiking with his son, Tomas

Ryan hiking with his son, Tomas

See more

Dave Bunnett Keeps the Camp Magic Going

by The Aviator

02 04, 2014 | Posted in History, Location, Recreation | 0 comments

Every fall Stanford Sierra Conference Center hosts a group of fifth and sixth graders from East Palo Alto. Briefly liberated from their urban environment and enthused by mountain air, water games and sugar--the children run wild. On one of my first days at camp I stood in the lobby watching a competitive game of tag. One boy running helter skelter, nearly collided with the Camp Director, Dave Bunnett. Tilting his head to look at Dave, the boy's jaw went slack. Dave looked down, smiling. After a moment of appraisal the boy broke the silence, “You're a giant!”

Dave 'the giant' giving a crawdad lesson to a group of preschoolers

Dave 'the giant' giving a crawdad lesson to a group of preschoolers

And he was right. Dave is 6'5''. Bemused at the child's assessment, Dave watched the boy walk away. That was one of my first encounters with Dave and it encouraged me to subscribe to the general consensus here at camp: Dave is a nice guy. Dave has been the Camp Director here at SSC since 1995, but he began at the bottom. He was a Stanford University student and summer staffer here in the early 80s. Feeling at home on the lake, Dave stayed on and began working his way up through the ranks. “I can still remember the day I drove onto Fallen Leaf Road for the first time,” Dave told me as we sat and talked in the old lodge. “I was coming to work and I drove in on the road and I looked around and I just said, 'Wow, this is pretty incredible! I have to figure out how to stay around here.'”
The beauty of Fallen Leaf made Dave want to stay

The beauty of Fallen Leaf made Dave want to stay

After Dave worked as a summer staffer responsible for supervising children, cleaning dishes and making beds, Dave was promoted to DOPO, department of plant operations, where he handled maintenance issues.
Dave likes to stay 'hands on' with maintenance projects

Dave likes to stay 'hands on' with maintenance projects

Then Dave traded his work belt for a telephone when he assumed the position of assistant camp director. Seven years later he was made the camp director, a position which he has held for nearly two decades.
Dave working at his desk overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake

Dave working at his desk overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake

The annual visits for the East Palo Alto youngsters is one of the accomplishments of his tenure for which Dave is most proud. It was not his idea. During a midseason interview with a summer staffer, Dave was informed that while happy, the student felt unfulfilled. His reasoning was that while he was having an excellent summer, it was a selfish pursuit--he hadn't helped anyone but himself. This sparked a long, involved conversation. The result of that conversation was the pro bono, annual visit of underprivileged children which continues to this day. It is fairly evident to most people who encounter Dave that he has an adventurous spirit. That spirit is imbued within Stanford Sierra Camp. After Dave graduated from Stanford, he joined the Peace Corp and worked in the Solomon Islands. He said of his experience, “At the time it was very, very third world with very little medical care. People were happy and well-fed because they had a good supply of natural resources, but it was very, very primitive where I was.” Some of Dave's best adventures were sailing.“At one point I sailed a boat from Spain to Venezuela,” he told me, his signature smile beaming across his face. “I'd done some Hawaii trips before. But Spain to Venezuela, we had some good times. We got caught in a big storm at one point, and that was sort of fun.” That's they type of guy Dave is, someone for whom storms are an adventure - not something to keep you from going out again. Dave keeps the sailing program going strong at Camp with a good fleet of boats and staff training every season. See Dave in our Stanford Sierra sailing overview video.
Dave training summer staff at the boat dock

Dave training summer staff at the boat dock

Since assuming his position as Camp Director, Dave no longer backpacks across Europe, but he still partakes in the adventures that can be found around camp. He runs the Angora Loop nearly every day during the summer and often sails Lake Tahoe. Dave shares his camp experience now with his wife, Tamara, (they are about to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary!) and his daughters Danica and Tatum. During the second to last week of the fall conference season, we had our first heavy snow. The clouds hung low, hiding the mountain peaks. Snow drifted serenely to the ground, as if each flake had all the time in the world to fall. Standing in front of the Main Lodge and looking out at the lake really felt mystical. The clouds and snow buffered all other sound, leaving camp a tranquil refuge seemingly all on its own. Dave believes that it is his responsibility to make this feeling of magic last, allow it to permeate everyone's experience here—from guests to staff.
A magical day with a fresh layer of snow at Fallen Leaf

A magical day with a fresh layer of snow at Fallen Leaf

When I asked Dave about whether that initial feeling of magic has lasted his thirty-years at Stanford Sierra Conference Center, he said, “It's different in my position now. I have to worry and take care of stuff to keep it magical for you guys.”
Dave out on the waterfront

Dave out on the waterfront

 

See more

Bring Your Meeting to Camp

by stanfordsierra

01 24, 2014 | Posted in Event planning, Meeting, Recreation | 0 comments

Each summer for over 50 years, we host Stanford alumni and their families for one week of blissful summer camp on the shore of beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake.

PT6A6126

A typical summer day at Sierra Camp

Our summer program is hugely popular with Stanford alumni, who wait up to five years to secure a spot for their family. The key components of the program are outdoor activities in our amazing setting on Fallen Leaf Lake, quality educational programs including faculty speakers and fun activities to get the group interacting. You can incorporate these successful elements of our summer family camp into your group event at Stanford Sierra Conference Center. Many groups hold meetings in the morning and evenings to have afternoons free for fun, outdoor activities. Excellent options are either a guided hike or boating. Maybe a kayak relay race? We can help you plan your activities and schedule a staff member or two to join your group for a hike or to run your boating race.
DSCN0434

A group gathering for a hike

For an overview of hiking in the area, watch our hiking video. During the day, plan plenty of breaks for the group to relax and network together. Weather permitting we hold coffee breaks outside on the deck overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake. The serene setting seems to put meeting attendees at ease.
IMG_9956

Coffee break on the Old Lodge deck

For evening activities we have two good options to borrow from summer camp, a bonfire and sing-a-long on the beach with s'mores and disco bingo. If you have guitar players or singers in your group, encourage them to bring their instruments to lead your group in singing camp songs together. We can provide the bonfire on the beach, song books and s'mores. If you don't have any musicians in your group, we can recommend local groups you can hire for your bonfire sing-a-long.
Campfire06

Summer bonfire on Baby Beach

Disco bingo is a Sierra Camp tradition that continues with guests maintaining their enthusiasm for it year after year.
Stanford Sierra staff leading disco bingo

Stanford Sierra staff leading disco bingo

Disco bingo is bingo, with disco music (costumes strongly recommended) added. Maybe your bingo caller will play "Dancing Queen", then all female attendees get up and dance. Some beer and wine at dinner can help get your group in the mood to boogie! We can provide the enthusiastic bingo callers in disco attire. You can add other summer camp activities to your Stanford Sierra meeting including yoga classes and lunch or dinner barbecues. Contact us and we can help you plan your event and suggest activities so you meet your event goals and your attendees have a relaxing and fun visit to Fallen Leaf Lake.

See more