Feedback Needed!

by SierraMerril

10 16, 2014 | Posted in Dining, Lodging, Meeting, Special Events, Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the best ways for a company to improve and grow is through feedback from its customers. Feedback with praise lets a company know what they’re doing right, while negative or constructive feedback tells a company about problems or issues (ongoing or new) that can be improved.

Groups may choose to have an outdoor barbecue lunch or dinner. A majority of the main courses and sides are gluten-free.

Groups may choose to have an outdoor barbecue lunch or dinner. A majority of the main courses and sides are gluten-free.

At Stanford Sierra Conference Center (SSCC), we give all of our guests an opportunity to supply us with feedback about their stay. After a group departs, we provide them with one of two ways to let us know how we’re doing. A handful of our program attendees receive paper surveys at check-out while we email electronic surveys to attendees of most events. Almost all of our departments benefit from these surveys, especially our kitchen, maintenance and housekeeping. Having a guest mention a squeaky door, a tree branch scratching a roof, a burned-out light bulb or a running toilet is a great way for us to gain knowledge when it comes to general maintenance and upkeep. While we do our best to keep an eye on everything around Camp, without actually sleeping in a cabin, it’s hard to know what small details can make someone’s stay better.
Wireless internet is available throughout Camp. In the past two years, it has gotten faster and is available in more areas of Camp.

Wireless internet is available throughout Camp. In the past two years, it has gotten faster and is available in more areas of Camp.

Over the past few years, we saw two things continue to appear on our surveys as items for improvement. The need for stronger and more consistent wireless internet was the most mentioned, while providing more gluten-free food options was the second. SSCC has made big strides in both of these areas. In the past two years, SSCC has added four more T1 lines, bringing the total to eight. T1 lines increase bandwidth, making internet faster. In addition to faster internet, cabins on the east side of Camp have had Ethernet cables hardwired to them, which increases signal strength and helps to eliminate dead zones in cabins. More improvements will continue next year with the last set of cabins becoming hardwired. In the dining room, gluten-free bread is now readily available at breakfast and our hiker bar. In addition to increased bread options, most entrees on the buffet hot carts are gluten-free. Our chefs have made purposeful changes to many of their classic dishes to limit the number of items containing gluten on the hot cart. Our staff will be happy to point out items that do and don't contain gluten. Surveys are also a great way to boost staff morale! SSCC prides itself in having professional, helpful and friendly staff members. Weekly staff meetings include shout-outs for specific staff members from surveys as well as overall staff compliments. Praise for a job well done is always motivation to continue providing the highest level of service.
A group of staff take a break from swimming on one of Camp's floating docks off of Baby Beach.

A group of staff take a break from swimming on one of Camp's floating docks off of Baby Beach.

Looking back at the last season of survey responses, I see quite a few that are helpful. Our website could include better information for individuals who need ADA accommodations, and tips for combating altitude sickness would also be helpful.The expression “It never hurts to ask,” is what comes to mind when I read some of our survey responses. And it’s true-- it never hurts to ask, but there are some things we just can’t control. Suggestions like “heat the lake, ” “more chocolate!” and “less wind” always make me smile. So whether it’s negative feedback, positive feedback, or a rather large request, let us know! We can't make any promises, but we'll try. Our surveys help us to improve our facilities, our service and our overall programming.  

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Photography Tips from Brooke!

by SierraMerril

10 02, 2014 | Posted in Location, Preparing for your visit, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you ever looked back at a photo and thought: "Hmm, it was so much prettier in person!" ? I have definitely thought that, and I'm never sure if it's me, my camera or that photography can be hard to perfect! On a mission to take awesome photographs at Fallen Leaf Lake, I sought out Camp's summer photographer, Brooke Davis for a few tips.

During the spring season, Fallen Leaf Lake is surrounded by bright green vegetation.

The Stanford Sierra Camp boat dock from the water. During the spring, the lake is surrounded by bright green vegetation. If you're talented enough, you can catch the reflection of the trees in the water!

This is Brooke's third summer at Sierra Camp, and she'll be back for a fourth summer next year as the summer staff director. After two summers of teaching people how to wakeboard and water ski, she was tasked with capturing Camp’s special moments in photographs this past summer. Her work culminates each week with a 25-minute slideshow of the week’s highlights.
Brooke

Brooke Davis (right) and Jan Schlereth (left) in front of Camp's main lodge.

As a child, Brooke used to write storybooks and illustrate them with her photographs. She also took a lot of fishing and sports action photos--  activities that she and her family enjoyed together. What is Brooke’s favorite thing to photograph at Camp? People! Brooke enjoys taking both portraits, and candid photos of Camp’s guests. She uses a Nikon D300 with a big zoom lens, but she promised me that either a camera phone or point and shoot digital camera can produce good photos.
Virginia doing art

Portraits, especially candid portraits, are one of Brooke's favorite types of photographs to take.

 

Brooke’s Tips for Taking a Great Photo:

Take a lot of photos. Bad pictures happen, but if you take enough, you’ll be sure to get a good one. Brooke takes approximately 1,200 photos a day. At the end of the week, she has more than 7,000 to choose from to co-create a 700-picture slideshow with her fellow Camp photographer, Chipper Stotz. Make sure you have an extra memory card on hand so you don’t run out of space! Use the things around you to frame a shot. Trees, water and scenery can help create a natural frame for your subject. Change your perspective. Try zooming in on your subject or photographing it from an atypical angle. Up-close and microscopic perspectives can represent an object or subject in a different way.  

Looking up at a tree

Always carry your camera with you! You never know when you might find something photograph worthy. Brooke believes that photography makes you much more observant. Once you’ve started taking photographs, you’ll want to take as many as possible.
Silhouetted Water Skier

Silhouetted water skier on Fallen Leaf Lake at dawn

Trying to take an artsy photo? Try a silhouette or reflection. To take a silhouette photo, make sure the sun is behind your subject. Shooting straight into the sun will darken the subject and can create awesome photos. Reflections can also create artsy photos. Sunglasses, windows and water are all good places to be looking if you’re trying to take a photo that’s more outside of the box!
Sunrise at Camp

Sun rises over Angora Ridge each morning casting a beautiful glow on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Get up early and take sunrise photos. Early morning is Brooke’s favorite time to take pictures. Later in the afternoon, the light can be harsh, and parts of Fallen Leaf Lake are usually in the shadows by 4 or 5pm. Sunrise is also a great time to catch Fallen Leaf Lake when it’s still. The sun is best at Camp in the morning, so this is also a great time for portraits and people shots.

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Kids Camp at SSC!

by SierraMerril

09 18, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After twelve wonderful, but long weeks of Stanford Sierra Family Camp, there is one last hurrah for the Stanford student summer staff before they head back to campus: Kids Camp! In early September, more than 100 fifth and sixth graders, along with approximately 15 chaperones, arrive at Camp for an unforgettable weekend. Half of the summer staff stay the extra two days to volunteer their time to guide nature walks, go boating and crawdad fishing, do art projects, host a campfire and sleep in cabins with kids. What are the highlights of the weekend for the kids? Ski boat rides with trained staff and the Saturday night dance!

Stanford Sierra Camp has many different boats for you to use on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Ski Boat rides are a highlight of the weekend for many of the kids!

Stanford Sierra Camp has been partnering with different schools for more than twenty years to host the two day and two night program. East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS) has been coming to Kids Camp for a weekend of outdoor adventure, environmental lessons and fun for approximately ten years.
Crawdad fishing is popular among young kids at Stanford Sierra Camp on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Crawdad Fishing at the Ski Dock is a popular activity during Kids Camp.

Kids Camp is an incentive program for EPACS students who meet grade, behavior and attendance criteria in the previous school year. Brant Bishop, Camp’s assistant director, has been designing and running Kids Camp for the past four summers, and it’s a highlight of his year. He says Kids Camp is a chance for Camp to give back to a community that is just minutes away from Stanford University and to fulfill Camp’s mission to “provide fun, safe and educational experiences in a unique wilderness environment.” For many EPACS students spending the weekend at Fallen Leaf Lake, Camp provides them with a number of first-time experiences like fun-yaking, hiking, and crawdad fishing.
Fun-yaking to Baby Beach

Fun-yaking on Fallen Leaf Lake is just one of the activities that is a new experience for most kids. 

Different from family camp when kids are accompanied by their parents, staff chaperone the kids close to 24 hours a day, and sleep in the cabins with them. This unique opportunity provides staff and students a chance to form real relationships and really get to know the kids in a short amount of time, says Macy Zardenata, a summer staffer who has volunteered at Kids Camp for the past two summers.
During Kids Camp, counselors lead kids on a naturalist boat ride on Camp's pontoon boat.

During Kids Camp, counselors lead kids on a naturalist boat ride to talk about Fallen Leaf Lake's wildlife and the geology of the Tahoe Basin.

Ending the summer with Kids Camp is a great way for our staff to give back, act like a kid and cap off twelve weeks at Fallen Leaf Lake!

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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!  

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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!  

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Going the Extra Mile for Your Guests: The Coordinator Checklist

by SierraMerril

08 21, 2014 | Posted in Event planning, Location, Meeting, Preparing for your visit, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Conference Coordinators should be sure to schedule free time for their participants during their stay on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Allowing your guests free time to explore the Fallen Leaf Lake area can be inspiring, reenergizing, and a welcome break from meetings. Views like this on the Clark Trail are only a 30-minute hike from Camp!

Are you planning a meeting, wedding, retreat or conference at Stanford Sierra Conference Center? Camp’s staff takes care of most everything while you’re here, but there are a few extra things you can do prior to your arrival to make sure your participants have the best experience possible while at Fallen Leaf Lake! As hosts for several conferences a year, we also go through this coordinator checklist to make sure our guests are prepared for a well thought out and planned event.
  • Look at your agenda and make sure you’ve scheduled free time for your guests. Attending a conference at Fallen Leaf Lake, but not having time to paddle on the lake, hike, or relax and read a book just isn’t right! While the main focus of your stay with us may be work, free time can inspire and reenergize your participants.
  • Give your participants a packing list. We’re happy to provide a basic list for you and your guests, but do they need to bring specific items for the conference? Slides for a presentation? A nicer outfit for a formal dinner? Their best 70s garb for Disco Bingo?
  • Provide your guests with clear directions for getting to Camp.  Your first visit to Stanford Sierra Conference Center can be unnerving. We are at the end of a winding and narrow, but beautiful road. Watch our driving video and share it with your guests so they know what to expect on the drive into Camp.
    Tote bags are great conference gifts! As a coordinator, think about what gifts a guest might use while at Camp.

    Creative Camp participants show off their new tote bags!

  • Create a #hashtag for your event. Use your social media hashtag to advertise your event and connect your guests before and after their stay. You’ll also have access to your guests’ great pictures. Be sure to connect with us (@stanfordsierra) and tag us on Instragram and Twitter so we can see how much fun you had!
  • Create gift bags or schwag for your guests. Everyone likes free things. Even better? Free useful things! Think about what your guests may be able to use during their stay. Hats? Sunscreen? Flashlights? We’re happy to hand your gifts out at the front office when your guests check-in, or have them waiting in their rooms.
  • Have a craving for a special menu item or snack? Be sure to let us know if you’re hoping for something special at your social hour, coffee break, or any one of your meals. Our baker, Steve, receives several requests a year from repeat groups who can’t wait to enjoy his seven layer bars!
  • Request selected wine and beer. The Fountain, Camp’s store, is stocked with a variety of beer and wine. But are you looking for something special? Perhaps a few cases of wine from your favorite Stanford affiliated vintner? Let us know and we can ensure your group has all of your favorite beer and wine on hand.

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Catering Rules from Geoffrey Zakarian

by stanfordsierra

08 14, 2014 | Posted in Dining, Special Events | 0 comments

I get regular emails from an online event website, Bizbash , and usually find some useful nuggets of information. A recent post included  catering rules by top professional chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The article was my introduction to Geoffrey Zakarian, and now I'm a fan! I think his advice is great (plus he's kind of cute). He has successful restaurants in NYC and is the recent Iron Chef winner, so I think he knows what he is talking about. He also has one cookbook and another available this fall, My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients Sounds great to me, I'm going to pre-order that book! Here are a few of his catering rules and how to apply them to an event at Stanford Sierra: Create a story from start to finish - Take advantage that your event is at a Camp in the mountains. Our events are spring or fall, so plan seasonal menus and use appropriate decor. Here are a couple photos from a fall wedding where the bride and her planner did a great job with the decor and Chef Dave created menus to complement the theme of the weekend

The rehearsal dinner was a casual BBQ theme on the dining room deck

The rehearsal dinner was a casual BBQ theme on the dining room deck

Decor for the reception dinner included burlap and live centerpieces in rustic wood planters

Decor for the reception dinner included burlap and live centerpieces in rustic wood planters

Chalkboard signs directed guests to weekend events

Chalkboard signs directed guests to weekend events

The cocktail hour should be no more than ... one hour - Whether your guests spent the day in a meeting or out on the hiking trails, (hopefully at least a little bit of the latter!) I think the fresh mountain air makes people hungrier! So even more reason to keep the cocktail hour to an hour, then get your group up to the dining room. The best place for social hours at Stanford Sierra is in the Old Lodge and on the deck.
Christina setting the wine for a social hour in the Old Lodge

Christine setting the wine for a social hour in the Old Lodge

The Old Lodge deck overlooks Fallen Leaf Lake

The Old Lodge deck overlooks Fallen Leaf Lake

Dress up a buffet-style table Chef Dave and his staff will take care of this for you. Let us know if you have particular requests, otherwise, we'll set our Stanford Sierra creative geniuses to work!
Smoked salmon set for a spring brunch with a creative shape and basil sprigs

Smoked salmon set for a spring brunch with a creative shape and basil sprigs

Take care of yourself, exercise and never forget that you need to be the seemingly smartest person in the room at all times I do my best to follow the first two, and for events at Stanford Sierra, I leave the third part to Chef Dave and our dining room manager Jess.
 Jess, dining room manager, and Chef Dave

Jess, dining room manager, and Chef Dave

Dave and his crew create wonderful meals, then Jess makes sure the serving is seamless. Jess has added many creative details to rooms sets for our recent events. Let us know your requests for your next event at Stanford Sierra and we'll make it happen!  

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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.  

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Charlie Wants Your Fall Conference Season Application!

by stanfordsierra

07 24, 2014 | Posted in Employment, Staff members | 0 comments

Next Thursday, July 31 is the last day we will accept applications for employment during the fall conference season. The season begins Sunday, September 7 and ends on Friday, November 14. Applications are available on our website. We are hiring all purpose staff, so job responsibilities include cleaning cabins, serving meals, setting meeting rooms, staffing the boat dock. etc.

Setting meeting rooms is a common shift for all purpose staff

Setting meeting rooms is a common shift for all purpose staff

Charlie Powers is our conference staff director who hires and supervises the staff.
Charlie meeting with a staff member

Charlie meeting with a staff member

Charlie has an interesting work history at Stanford Sierra. He started in the kitchen in 2005 and worked year-round through the spring of 2008. Charlie then returned to the East Coast and worked in his family's insurance business. Charlie missed the weather, snow and hiking in the Lake Tahoe area, so he returned to the Stanford Sierra kitchen in the spring of 2011. It was a fortuitous move as Charlie met Alissa, his bride-to-be. The next year Charlie was hired to be the conference staff director. During his tenure, Charlie has done an excellent job of hiring friendly, hardworking staff for each conference season.

Dee, one of our hardworking, friendly & well-dressed staff, prepping for a social hour in the Old Lodge

Starting with the application, Charlie is looking for applicants who present themselves well including a complete, accurate and grammatically correct application. If the application meets Charlie's scrutiny, he invites the applicant to a Skype interview. Again, Charlie is looking for applicants who present themselves well including appropriate dress for a job interview, clear and concise answers to interview questions and a friendly, outgoing demeanor. Conference season staff work hard, but enjoy many unique benefits during their two-month stint at Fallen Leaf Lake. Staff members share lakefront cabins on Fallen Leaf Lake, enjoy delicious meals prepared by Chef Dave and his staff and enjoy excellent recreation including paddle boarding and kayaking Fallen Leaf Lake, hiking in Desolation Wilderness plus friendly staff competitions including volleyball and soccer.
A group of staff paddling Fallen Leaf Lake

A group of staff paddling Fallen Leaf Lake

Our spring and fall conference seasons fits well with other resort season jobs that tend to run summer and winter. If you are hardworking and love the outdoors, submit your application!      

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

by SierraMerril

07 24, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When a conference at Stanford Sierra Conference Center ends, I always hear people say “I wish I could spend more time in  Tahoe!” While some people may have no choice but to get back to work, school, family or other commitments, I recommend adding an extra two days to your trip and spending some time on Tahoe’s South Shore if you can. Tahoe’s South Shore has an abundance of hikes, restaurants, lodging options, scenic spots and entertainment for adults and families. I love having visitors in town so I can show them my favorite spots. Stay tuned for 'Part Two' of this blog post with suggestions for family activities and scenic spots!

South Shore hikes are a short drive away from Fallen Leaf Lake.

Even with a storm rolling in, the views from Van Sickle Bi-State Park are beautiful.

Hiking on Tahoe's South Shore

Van Sickle Bi-State Park: Straddling California and Nevada, Van Sickle Bi-State Park has great hiking right in town. You’ll find the entrance to the park behind the casinos and just beneath the Heavenly Gondola. Almost any hike from Van Sickle gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to views. From the parking lot, walking just 10-15 minutes gives you a view of town and the lake. The trail gets steep on the way to a waterfall, which is about 30 minutes in, but the trail is well-maintained with plenty of places to pull over for a water break. It is just over 3.5 miles to the  junction with the Tahoe Rim Trail. Adventurous hikers can continue on this trail. Kahle Meadow Walk: If you’d like to get outside for an easy walk, or if you’ve got kids in tow, walking through the Kahle Meadow to Nevada Beach might be a great spot for you! Park at the corner of Highway 50 and Kahle Drive in Stateline, NV. Walk through a beautiful meadow on a paved trail until you reach the campground or Elks Point Drive. To get to the beach, turn left and loop through Nevada Beach and back to the meadow.
The view from the Tahoe Rim Trail looks directly across Lake Tahoe at Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness.

The view from the Tahoe Rim Trail looks directly across Lake Tahoe at Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness.

The Tahoe Rim Trail (leaving from Kingsbury Grade toward Spooner Summit): Looking for a longer hike? This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) starts at almost 8,000 ft. but doesn’t gain much more elevation in the 14.2-mile stretch between Kingsbury Grade and Spooner Summit. The trail is wooded for the first part, then opens up with amazing lake views. You can venture as far as you'd like down the trail before turning around, or you can park a car at Spooner Summit and drive back to Kingsbury if you're feeling up to hiking the whole section! To get to the TRT, turn left off of Kingsbury Grade on to North Benjamin Drive and continue to Andria Drive through a residential area until you reach a parking lot on your left and the trailhead for the TRT.

Restaurants on Tahoe's South Shore

There are quite a few restaurants to choose from on the South Shore. My favorite lunch spot is Tahoe Keys Cafà ƒ © near the Y intersection. The sweet potato sandwich is awesome! The portions are generous and you can take it to go, or eat it outside at one of their tables. This is also a great breakfast spot with coffee, smoothies, breakfast burritos and sandwiches. Thai One On is a small Thai restaurant on the other side of town off of Kingsbury Grade. The food is tasty, affordable and comes out quickly! They even have outdoor seating if it’s a warm summer night. MacDuff’s is a great spot to meet friends for a drink and pub fare in South Lake Tahoe. Right off of Highway 50 by the bowling alley, MacDuff’s has an extensive beer menu and their truffle macaroni and cheese is amazing. Looking for dinner with a view? Try Riva Grill or the Beacon Bar and Grill. Both have waterfront dining, great drinks and snacks, and full dinner menus. These hikes should keep you busy while in town and the restaurants should leave you feeling satisfied! Check back later for a list of scenic spots and fun family activities!  

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