Almost every day, I am asked the same question. I wish it was about what species of tree has those beautiful flowers outside the dining hall or how I got into doing my job. But no, it’s always, “How do you live here without service?”

I love to make the joke that we turn the clocks back to 1995 here when it comes to our connection. Buy a phone card and you can call home from any of our phones at camp. This may sound odd in 2015, but most of us still have a landline at home (I think).  They work just as well.  If you ever did have an emergency, we have staff answering the phone 24 hours a day, and we can track anyone down if needed. By the way, in case you’re wondering, I use those phone cards too. All of our program staff live right on site, and I use the cards on my personal landline to call my own family and friends. There is no secret cell phone service for our staff, another regularly-asked question. I’m also one of the people who will answer the phone at two in the morning if your group or family has an emergency.

One of the ways that Frost Valley is not living in 1995 is the Internet. Long gone are the days of AOL 3.0 dial-up. We do have wifi hotspots across the camp, and you’re welcome to take advantage of them. However, these are carefully placed so you’ll be able to enjoy all of the beauty that Frost Valley has to offer. The Welcome Center, Margetts, The Dining Hall, and Geyer Hall are all equipped with a connection, and although I don’t have a Smartphone, I’m told that you can even use that wifi to send texts and use an app to place phone calls.

What I love more than anything about being a little disconnected at Frost Valley is that we’re having conversations. Sometimes after classes are over on Saturday and before dinner begins, I’ll go to the Lower Solarium of the dining hall to get online with my beloved Kindle that you see above. However, I usually don’t do more than turn it on before I’m wrapped up in a discussion with everyone who is back there. We all talk about our day and bond over our love for Frost Valley. Along with mobile devices, you’ll almost always see our guests knitting, reading, and sharing conversation. It’s incredibly refreshing.

And what is like to live here? Pretty amazing. There are nearly 50 staff members living at Frost Valley, and we’re pretty close. We play board games, do dance classes together, hit the staff gym, take a lot of hikes, and even use the Archery Range in our free time. We also go into town together, and I’ll often go with lists from other people who need a few things. It’s a really special community, but just like you, we also sneak away to get on our mobile devices and text.

I invite you to join us for a weekend and see just how great life is without a direct connection. Whether you’re climbing up the Y tower, getting up close and personal with a salamander, or taking a canoe around the lake, you have the opportunity to relax without worrying that you may have a text or email. So take in those beautiful trees outside the dining hall – they’re Crab Apple Blossoms by the way – and join us for a weekend where you can unwind with your group or family and know that you’re in the hand of nature’s beauty and a staff that is excited to work with you. I look forward to seeing you soon!



Ashley Ritzheimer

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Ashley Ritzheimer

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