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

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Tips to Prepare for a High Altitude Trip

by stanfordsierra

07 03, 2014 | Posted in Event planning, Location, Preparing for your visit | 0 comments

Stanford Sierra is located at an elevation of 6,377, so some guests coming to attend a conference or retreat here in the Lake Tahoe area from sea level do experience negative side effects from the higher altitude. There is less oxygen, about 16% at 6,000 feet compared to 21% oxygen at sea level, and how your body responds to this stress determines whether you notice the elevation change or not. The Trail Girl posted a thorough explanation of the effects of decreased oxygen. There are a few things you can do to minimize experiencing negative effects from the altitude:

  • Acclimate slowly: If you are driving to Stanford Sierra from the Bay area or from the Reno Tahoe Airport, make a stop at a lower elevation. From the Bay area, stop in Placerville, 1,800' elevation. The downtown has cute shops and restaurants for a leg stretch before heading up and over the mountains. From the Reno Tahoe Airport, you can stop at the Summit Mall in Reno for shopping or a bite to eat. In Carson City, Schat's Bakery, is a local favorite for sandwiches, sweet treats or amazing, fresh-baked bread.
  • Drink lots of water!: Drink a minimum of an 8 oz. glass of water per hour. Water is always available in the Stanford room and dining room, and we set water at all meetings and events.
  • Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills
  • Rest and relax when you arrive at Stanford Sierra - There are plenty of great spots in and around the main lodge to relax with a good book. indoors, both the Stanford Room and Old Lodge have fireplaces, outdoors there are decks off the lakeside of the lodge or all cabins have decks with lake views.
  • Maintain your iron level Red meat and spinach!
  • Increase carbohydrate intake Consume pasta, rice, potatoes and bread to comprise 70% of your diet and reduce your fat intake.
  • Medication If you have experienced negative effects on a previous trip to 6000 ft elevation, you can ask your doctor to prescribe Diamox. Read more about Diamox on the Trail Girl's blog.
Whether you are visiting Stanford Sierra for a camp wedding, business retreat or conference, you want to feel your best. If you have tips to share that have helped you acclimate to a high altitude stay, let us know!

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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.

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Meet Morgan Marshall – More than ‘Head of Housekeeping’

by stanfordsierra

06 20, 2014 | Posted in Dining, Staff members | 0 comments

Morgan Marshall's title is officially Head of Housekeeping, but it's clear upon meeting him that he does quite a bit more than clean toilets and change sheets. Morgan is our resident stargazing cruise expert, the go-to person for local hiking trail conditions, volunteer fire fighter, Omelet Bar mastermind and Linen Bar guru. (We'll cover his disco bingo, volleyball and improv talents in another post)

Morgan in the middle

Morgan in the middle

Beyond his talents and contributions to Stanford Sierra, Morgan has found a way to have fun with his job and various responsibilities while putting his stamp on things. Take the Omelet Bar. According to Morgan, this isn't your "Typical Marriott omelet bar with peppers and mushrooms". While those items are options (plus 21 fruits & vegetables, 16 types of protein, nine cheeses, and a slew of sauces and extras including gummi bears), Stanford Sierra's Omelet Bar goes beyond that.
A few of the fresh omelet fillings

A few of the fresh omelet fillings

With his fellow chefs Morgan created the signature 'Pro Series' omelets including the Omnivore's Dilemma, the Taco Bell, and one served in a sushi roll. For adventurous guests, Morgan will ask them to name an omelet, then he will interpret the ingredients!
Morgan aims to satisfy the omelet desires of all guests!

Morgan aims to satisfy the omelet desires of all guests!

"Why not have fun with it? I like to think that we are purveyors of experience here." Clearly not always too serious. How many conference centers can boast whimsical omelet bars? Or a Head of Housekeeping with a tongue in cheek Instagram account. "The great part here is the latitude to put your reflection on whatever it is you're doing." This is evident within his department. From his Linen Bar during the summer family camp, which Morgan explains is more than just towels on a table (think 'Experience'), to the deliberately campy housekeeping training video he put together for staff. Morgan's stamp of quirky fun with a purpose ensures that even the expected is unexpected. Morgan points out that he wouldn't have the ability to explore his creativity without the hard work  and support of Jan Schlerth, Head of Housekeeping Assistant.
In addition to her hard work, Jan has an amazing smile!

In addition to her hard work, Jan has an amazing smile!

(We'll tell you more about Jan in a later post.) It's staff members like Morgan that help make a conference or retreat at Stanford Sierra a unique, personalized and memorable experience. Even if you don't like omelets.      

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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!        

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Coffee. What’s in Your Cup?

by Kaffeeman

04 18, 2014 | Posted in Dining | 0 comments

We love coffee! Many of us cannot start a great day without our morning ritual of imbibing a cup of the revered bean.

Christian with Alpen Sierra's espresso roast

Christian with Alpen Sierra's espresso roast

No matter how excellent, sustainable, micro-lot, direct-trade sourced the coffee in the bag is, the ultimate determining factor of its enjoyment in your cup is defined by the roast. Here’s a quick guide to roast degrees and their attributes: First Crack - Light (Third Wave / Artisan): Dry bean surface, cinnamon to light brown in color. Minimal point of development for enjoyable consumption. Best representation of country of origin’s terroir. Accents coffee’s varietal qualities and subtleties of flavor, but often lacks good body and richness. This roast can be over-acidic, disrupting the balance of flavor. Highest degree of caffeine and potentially gastric disturbing acidic compounds. City (medium): Dry bean surface. Light to medium brown in color. Full and balanced representation of the coffee’s true flavor characteristics in all their glory. Good body, true acidity and outstanding flavors. High degree of caffeine, with reduced gastric disturbing acidic compounds. Full-City: Slight spotting of oils on surface, darker brown. Believed by many, including this author, to be the best all around roast degree for full spectrum coffee enjoyment. All of the attributes of medium roast plus enhanced richness from a slight carmelization of sugars, which adds intensity and richness to the cup, especially aftertaste, which is critical and indicative to quality coffee and expert roasting. Dark: Dark brown to black with shiny, oily beans. This is a broad, high temperature range of development, which starts with Vienna on the lightest side (medium dark) and ranges up to French and beyond for Full Dark. Italian Roast is regarded as the darkest degree for the east coast, USA, and French Roast as the darkest on the west coast. Full carmelization of sugars creates the greatest intensity in the cup, and all but mutes truer terroir attributes. The darker the roast is, the greater its intensity becomes, with much less actual flavor in the cup, due to more carbon (flavorless) conversion of the bean’s cellulose. All degrees of roast, single origin and blended coffees, can be brewed by any manner suiting the coffee drinker. Espresso does not have to be extracted with a Dark Italian Roast, nor does a pour-over cone drip brew need to be prepared using a First Crack roasted single origin bean. Although, there are brewing applications which tend to best accentuate specific types of roast, and those we all are witnessing in today’s dynamic specialty coffee scene. The veteran's of the industry are well known and have been roasting mostly dark for decades. The roster includes the ever-populars: Peet's, Starbucks, Cafe Roma, Tully's, et al. The newcomers, which are quantified as the Third-Wave roasters, who proselytize the one and only roast for coffee is the First Crack (light) roast, are taking the specialty industry by storm and upping the information game and artisanal, culinary level of experience. These attention-to-detail organizations include Blue Bottle, Verve, Four Barrel, and a whole and ever-increasing host of new players. The aforementioned companies comprise each end of the roast spectrum, offering something for very distinct target markets, but provide little in the way of roast degree variety. To be recognized and celebrated, are the "classic" roasters, who offer a variety of roast degrees, based upon what best represents the particular coffee's origin and varietal cultivar. These roasters, definitely artisans in their own right, include experts, such as Intelligenstia, Stumptown and Weaver's Coffee and Tea, to name a few. Alpen Sierra, Lake Tahoe's local classic specialty coffee roaster, is a proud purveyor of small batch roasted coffee for Stanford Sierra Camp. For the guest's enjoyment, the team at the Fountain and in the dining room, serve many coffees, which include the Full Dark traditional French Roast, Medium Dark Italian Roast for the espresso, a Full-City Certified Organic Mexico, a Viennese Brazil Yellow Bourbon, and a Medium Decaffeinated Colombia. Over the season take a gander and enjoy the variety of Alpen Sierra Mountain Roasted coffees!
Christian giving an espresso 'how to' to our staff members

Christian giving an espresso 'how to' to our staff members

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One week to the start of spring conference season!

by stanfordsierra

04 11, 2014 | Posted in Location, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Next Friday, April 18, we open for the 2014 spring conference season and welcome a group of Stanford faculty and staff and their families. The signs of spring are all around as we get the main lodge and cabins ready for our first guests of the year!

It's spring - the trees are budding!

It's spring - the trees are budding!

Late morning and the lake is still calm

Late morning and the lake is still calm

With no guests during the winter, it's project season at Stanford Sierra and the crew made some great updates this year. They removed the bar in the Old Lodge and added this new sitting area. We will add final decorative touches in the next week.
new sitting area in the Old Lodge

new sitting area in the Old Lodge

New carpet in the Stanford room and furniture is on the way!

New carpet in the Stanford room and furniture is on the way!

There was a crew of about 15 working through the winter. A few more staff members arrived this week, and the remainder of our spring staff arrive tomorrow!
Jan is part of the hard-working winter crew

Jan is part of the hard-working winter crew

I'll post more pictures next week as we get new furniture in place and clean things up. Bruce and his woodworking crew made some beautiful new tables for our board room, the Tallac room and the dining room. Stay tuned!        

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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

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Update on Spring Menus from Chef Dave

by stanfordsierra

03 21, 2014 | Posted in Dining, Staff members | 0 comments

Dave Dennis is the Food & Beverage Director/Executive Chef for Stanford Sierra Conference Center, a position he has held for 26 of his 27 years here. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Dave worked for various French restaurants in the Sacramento area before joining Stanford Sierra.

Chef Dave at a fall wedding dinner on the dining room deck

Chef Dave at a fall wedding dinner on the dining room deck

Dave is responsible for everything that happens at Stanford Sierra related to food and beverage. Dave designs custom menus for each group during our spring and fall seasons, and he orders all the food staying within budget. Dave prepares most of the food, and relies on two assistant chefs, Tara and Katie, and a pastry chef to manage the day-to-day cooking duties.
Pastry chef Steve loves to share his delicious baked treats

Pastry chef Steve loves to share his delicious baked treats!

Dave, Tara and Katie manage a staff of up to 15 working in the kitchen. Dave puts together the daily schedule for the staff, trains and supervises all of the kitchen staff plus an additional manager and crew for the dining room. According to Dave the best thing about his job is the wealth of great products and the great coworkers he works with on a daily basis. Dave also commented "There are not a whole lot of boundaries here. This allows me to explore eclectic foods along with various ethnicities, and it keeps the job exciting because I am not constrained. The clientele varies within each conference season and within the summer family camp, which makes my job both interesting and challenging. In the summer season it's much more than just family-camp style cuisine. It's become more upscale. Stanford alumni are requesting healthier and more interesting options. We offer many options and integrate as many organic and sustainable options as are available in our area." For the upcoming spring conference season, Dave plans to focus on Mediterranean cuisine with lots of fruits and vegetables being offered throughout the menus. Dave plans to use as much organic produce as possible, keeping things simple and fresh with limited ingredients.
Veggie crudite at a social hour

Veggie crudite at a social hour

Dave prefers to bring out the flavor of say, wild salmon, with a few added flavors like lemon, versus a heavy, cream-based sauce. Dave also plans to incorporate more whole grains like quinoa and bulgur. We welcome any suggestions or requests for menus for your upcoming spring event!    

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Meet the Creative Teaching Team for Creativity in the Wild

by stanfordsierra

03 11, 2014 | Posted in Special Events | 0 comments

One of my favorite job responsibilities is putting together our spring alumni programs. I get to collaborate with friendly and inspiring faculty and staff from Stanford, then participate in the programs when they happen here at Fallen Leaf Lake. Last week I headed to Palo Alto to meet with the creative teaching team for Creativity in the Wild. The team is headed by Tina Seelig. Tina has unbounded energy and I am so honored to work with her! She made us all jealous by talking about her recent meeting with singer, Jason Mraz. Tina is collaborating with Jason and other Warner Group musicians for an online class this spring, Creativity: Music to My Ears.

Tina Seelig presenting during a program at Stanford Sierra

Tina Seelig presenting during a program at Stanford Sierra

Joining Tina for the Creative Camp are newcomers Elizabeth Bailey Weil and Justin Ferrell. Elizabeth was one of Twitter's first employees and now works at venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. In her free time, Elizabeth is an ultra-distance runner, and she was nice enough to slow down and let me join her for a run in the gorgeous hills of Portola Valley. (Coming from Tahoe, I did benefit from the abundance of oxygen at sea level!) I look forward to running the trails around Fallen Leaf Lake with Elizabeth during the retreat in April! Justin is an instructor at Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, better known as the d.school.  Justin recently joined the d.school after working in journalism, most recently at the Washington Post where he was part of a Pullitzer-prize winning project. The meeting was my first with Justin and he is super nice and approachable. He is bringing his family along with him to the program in April, and they are all excited to visit Fallen Leaf Lake. Rounding out the d.school portion of the creative teaching team is return instructor Rich Cox. Rich has been a popular member of the teaching team for our alumni creative retreat for the past few years and his sessions always receive high reviews. Rich tends to sneak in some improv, and participants can't believe how much fun and non-threatening improv can be! Rich travels internationally for work, ask him about his stint in Turkey, helping the Turkish Olympic committee put together a bid to host the games!
Rich Cox with his supplies and ready to create!

Rich Cox with his supplies and ready to create!

Tina, Elizabeth, Justin and Rich will bring the d.school methods to Creativity in the Wild. Past participants have commented that the skills they learned were easily transferable to both their personal and professional lives. Aleta Hayes, Stanford dance instructor, was also at the planning meeting. Each day of  Creativity in the Wild  Aleta will lead the group in a movement session to get everyone in the creative frame of mind. A comment from one of last year's participants describes it much better than I can: "I was not planning on liking the dance movement session so much and couldn't see its relevance before we got there. The creative "flow" and physicality of it was awesome for me. I tend to be really stuck in my head and not pay attention to my body and how opening it up can really help me personally, collaboratively, professionally, etc."
Aleta Hayes getting the group moving

Aleta Hayes getting the group moving

The teaching team will lead workshops in the morning, afternoons are free for boating, hiking or photography sessions with two amazing professional photographers,  Joel Simon and Mark Leibowitz. Evenings are for delicious dinners and fun activities including music hour in front of the Old Lodge fireplace, so bring your singing voice and/or instruments! Or you can just sit back and enjoy the scene with a glass of port. A few spaces remain for Creativity in the Wild. Email or call us if you have questions!

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