Contact UsStanford Sierra Conference Center
P.O. Box 10618
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158 Physical Address:
130 Fallen Leaf Road
Fallen Leaf, CA 96150
What happens when you bring together experts in an assortment of different disciplines to give TEDx style lectures at a picturesque setting on Fallen Leaf Lake?You get Stanford in the Wild , the newest alumni program at Stanford Sierra Camp. The inaugural three day event, to be held April 16-19, 2015, promises to be truly unique. Below are our top five reasons why you should plan on attending: 5. Presenters at the forefront of their field: It's not every day you can hear from authorities on such a variety of subjects. Host Tina Seelig, Phd, '85, is a national leader in engineering education, teaching creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, who has put together a host of stimulating speakers. Presenters include J. Christian Gerdes, an associate professor of mechanical engineering whose laboratory studies how cars move, how humans drive cars an how to design future cars that work cooperatively with the driver or even drive themselves! At the other end of the spectrum, Kai Kight, '14, is a violinist and composer who challenges the perceived boundaries of the violin by creating music that connects the classical world with popular genres. 4. Networking: Not many TEDx events allow you to meet the presenters on quite the same level as Stanford in the Wild. Here you can connect with presenters and fellow attendees in an informal atmosphere. Chat over a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Dave, explore the hiking trails around Stanford Camp, or enjoy a port (and probably an informal jam session) by the fire in the evening. 3. Play time: While the mornings feature speaker presentations, afternoons are unscheduled, leaving you free to play however you wish. Whether it's something active, like hiking or kayaking, or a more relaxed approach, like enjoying the view of Fallen Leaf Lake from one of the many decks surrounding the main lodge, there are plenty of choices! 2. Escape from daily routine: Start your day with a yoga class overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake or sleep in! The relaxed and inspirational setting, the many different and interesting talks, and the unscheduled afternoon options are all fodder for creativity - and getting outside your daily routine. 1. The location: Stanford Sierra Camp's setting on the shore of beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake is truly special. The memorable and relaxing location includes comfortable lodging, healthy and delicious meals, plentiful outdoor activities, and amazing sunsets. Interested in attending? Download the reservation form or learn more.
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.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. 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. 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.
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 weekendThe 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. 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! 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. 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!
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.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! 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." 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!
What does Stanford Sierra on the edge of Desolation Wilderness have in common with Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA? Both destinations lie near and dear to the heart of Doris Hanson Cooper, '79. Doris was a camp counselor for our Stanford alumni family camp during the summers of 1978 and 1979, and she now lives and works at the family's winery in Saratoga. In her job progression, Doris replaced her gorgeous setting on Fallen Leaf Lake for a beautiful view of winemaker emeritus' George Cooper's Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.Doris and her vintner husband Bill, will return to Stanford Sierra for our Memorial Weekend Program, May 23-26. Doris and Bill are excited to be a part of the program and share their limited production wines at one of the weekend's signature events, the wine pairing dinner! Annually, Cooper-Garrod produces around 3,000 cases of wine from 28 hillside vineyard acres on the western edge of Silicon Valley. All Cooper-Garrod wines are CCOF Certified organic and CSWA Certified Sustainable. If you like the idea of Farm to Fork, you'll love these wines Grapes to Glass! the winery offers varietal wines from their Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Syrah - plus the Test Pilot series of proprietary red wine blends which honor founding winemaker George Cooper, a retired NASA research test pilot. What distinguishes Cooper Garrod Estate winery from others? The 120-acre property has been in Bill's family since 1893, with five successive generations involved in agricultural pursuits, the vineyards and winery being the most recent. George's Vineyard was planted in 1972, although other plantings followed, it wasn't until 1994 you saw the Cooper-Garrod label in the marketplace. Many of the bottlings are less than 200 cases, so this is a wine producer you have to know about, instead of read about on the pages of a glossy magazine. The Cooper Garrod family and winery staff produce wines with the vision that you will relax with friends and share their wines around the dinner table. Join us on May 25 at Stanford Sierra to taste Cooper Garrod's delicious wines with Chef Dave's five-course paired menu! Here's to enjoying a glass of Cabernet Franc on the deck overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake this Memorial Weekend - Cheers!
If you are planning a corporate retreat for fall and would like to keep costs down, we have a few suggestions: Where and when: For resort destinations including Lake Tahoe, pricing is better during our shoulder seasons, spring and fall, and midweek, particularly early in the week. At Stanford Sierra Conference Center our weekends and Wednesday to Thursday nights tend to book first, leaving Sunday through Tuesday nights available, so we're more likely to negotiate rates for these days. You can check our availability online. Activities: Skip the facilitated group activities and get meeting participants outside to relax and clear their minds. Guided hikes are part of our complete conference package and allow attendees to exercise and spend quality time together.Non-motorized boats are also included in our package. Guests can check out stand up paddle boards, kayaks, peddle boats and sailboats from our boat dock. Food & Beverage: Also save money by using pitchers of water versus bottled water at coffee breaks. Located at 6,250', we recommend guests drink plenty of water to acclimate. Coffee breaks are included in our package and are normally held outside on the deck overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake. You can also promote attendee hydration and your event by purchasing reusable water bottles as an event gift. We partner with Camelbak, so can provide logo-ed bottles with lead time. Entertainment: We have a couple signature events, a sing-a-long on the beach with s'mores or disco bingo! If you include disco bingo on your schedule, be sure to let attendees know to pack their grooviest outfit. Call me at 530-542-5600 or email email@example.com for a full description of disco bingo and a custom quote for your next corporate retreat!
Our third Alumni Creative Camp wrapped up last Sunday. Over the three days of the program, presenters and attendees relaxed, learned, laughed and created together. I participated in many of the weekend activities and towards the end of the program I sat down with a few guests to get their impressions. A wide mix of alumni and alumni affiliates attended this year's creative camp. Teresa Torres, '99 and Adam Wooley, '01 received the Camp emails for the past three years and finally found the time to attend this year. Teresa visits Tahoe often, but this was her first time at Fallen Leaf Lake and she was nicely surprised by Camp's intimate setting and she really enjoyed walking around the area. Teresa and Adam are both photographers and got the most out of sitting down for a one-on-one meeting with Joel Simon after dinner one evening.Kendra Arimoto, '05 and Alexis Boozer, '04 received the program email and both were intrigued. As an artist working in the tech industry Kendra was interested in the d.school component while the young alum pricing caught Alexis' eye and she realized she was in that group, was working and could afford the program. During the weekend, Kendra noticed how good she felt spending time outdoors in the beautiful, natural setting at Fallen Leaf Lake and realized she needs to take the time to exercise and get outside on a regular basis. With the open atmosphere among attendees, Alexis made some great connections and listening to others helped her come to terms with her struggle between her artistic side trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood and the Stanford side of her brain telling her to head in another direction. Sisters, Wendy Richards, '78, MBA '82, and Leslie Meagley, brought their mother Britta Franz, '50 to the Creative Camp as a surprise 85th birthday present. Living in different states, the three have a hard time getting together. Wendy and Leslie knew their mother was intrigued with the d.school after Britta toured the school in January, so when Wendy received the Creative Camp program she knew it was the perfect mix of what her mother would enjoy. Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (better known as the d.school) played a big part in the weekend events. Saturday evening the group took on a fun team-building activity, the marshmallow challenge. You should try the marshmallow challenge with your group and keep in mind kindergarten students outperform business school graduates on this activity! Photographer Joel Simon, BA '74, BS '75, MS '77 taught a couple of photo workshops. I sat in on the first and came away with a few valuable snippets including one I captured in this photo. The fourth annual Alumni Creative Camp is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 24 - Sunday, April 27, 2014. Stay tuned for details!
Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, April 28 is the third annual Alumni Creative Camp at Stanford Sierra Conference Center on Fallen Leaf Lake. Stanford alumni were given the first opportunity to register, now with some space remaining, reservations are open to the general public.The program includes excellent instructors from Stanford University including Professor Bernard Roth, co-founder of Stanford's d.school, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Join Dr. Roth for a 'hands-on' introduction to design thinking methodology. Check out the d.school blog to get an idea of what you will learn from Professor Roth (and your fellow campers!) Photography is another popular component of the Creative Camp with professional photographer Joel Simon and Stanford instructor Forrest Glick. Read more about Joel and see a collection of his beautiful images on his website. You will spend some time with Joel and Forrest in the classroom, then head outside to capture the beauty of Fallen Leaf Lake and the surrounding mountains. There is a writing component to this year's Creative Camp with two writing workshops. Stanford alum and popular food writer and cooking instructor, Tori Ritchie, will share her expertise in her workshop "Food as Memoir: How to Create Delicious Stories from your Life". To complement Tori's workshop, Hans and Jen Hartvickson will help you to create an ebook in three hours. Hans and Jen are high energy Stanford graduates who make a living writing children's books and teaching kids the importance of goal setting and making plans. For the full schedule visit the Creative Camp website. The weekend also includes time for hiking, kayaking and relaxing in front of the fire with a glass of port and your fellow campers. The all-inclusive weekend is at comfortable Stanford Sierra Conference Center, visit our website for more information on our delicious meals and comfortable lodging. The program is limited to just 50 participants, so register today for this fun and inspiring weekend!