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Our brand new Disc Golf Course is ready for you to play!

We’ve had quite a busy fall here in the Group and Family Retreats Department at Frost Valley! We started the season off with almost 500 guests joining us for our Annual Family Camp, and I had a BLAST getting to know everyone and learning why this weekend is so special. Thank you to all of the traditionalists who showed me the way during my very first Family Camp, and I am happy to report that it was definitely not my last!

As soon as Family Camp ended, we hosted a big weekend that included a global Family Reunion and a large Church Retreat. From then on, each weekend has blessed our department with over 500 wonderful guests! Thank you to everyone who has made my first fall as a coordinator so special – families, Girl Scouts, churches, community groups, schools, and every other group that has entered the dining hall and enjoyed a meal with us.

To help meet the needs of all of our weekend guests, we have begun to allow participants the chance to sign up ahead for High Adventure Programming. If you have booked a weekend with us, be sure to check your email. We ask a question about what adventure programming you are interested in. This means that instead of waiting to sign up for the Zipline or Flying Squirrel, you will have a spot when you check in on Friday evening. We have also opened up other High Adventure Programming – The Leap of Faith, High Ropes, and The Giant Swing – every weekend that there is enough interest. By signing everyone up ahead, we are able to plan on enough staff and blocks for these popular programs. However, we do our best to leave some space for those of you who would still like to sign up in the dining hall like usual.

Although I have been at Frost Valley for over five years, I am a new coordinator and still learning what programs everyone enjoys. The last thing I would ever want to do is get rid of something that people enjoy, but at the same time, one of my biggest goals is to grow and evolve our programs. My hope is that the next time you visit, you’ll be greeted with lots of new programs that you’ve never seen, as well as all of your old favorites. Brand new this month is the completion of our Disc Golf Course. You can bring your own discs or borrow some from The Welcome Center (deposit required). Enjoy a full 18 holes. We even hosted our very first tournament at the beginning of October!

Guests ask all the time how we create new programs, and it really is a result of our staff members. I am so proud to work with 31 creative Program Instructors this fall who are full of new ideas. The cover photo of this blog is from our brand new Fairy Hike. In this program, everyone wears wings and carry wands as they venture into the forest in search of fairies. They build houses for the fairies before they begin their search, and I’m told that sometimes the fairies will visit the houses and leave them something special! The program was created by our staff and has been a big hit so far.

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Glazed Tiles last weekend in the Pottery Studio

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Pottery ready to be fired Columbus Day Weekend

One of Frost Valley’s growing areas is Program Village. Located between the dining hall and Geyer Hall, this area is home to our Pottery Studio, Wood Shop, Dance Studio, and Painting/Screen Printing Room. Very soon we will have a Candle Room here as well. We have been experimenting with pottery this month and have created the projects that you see above. We have also created Tic-Tac-Toe Boards in our Wood Shop:

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To create a Tic-Tac-Toe Board, participants use a palm sander to smooth out a tree cookie. They then use a hand saw to cut the small pieces and wood burn the project to complete the game. We have a few staff who have been really excited about the Wood Shop, and new projects will be available soon.

Last spring a couple Program Instructors developed a Parkour class, and we have been running this class during the past few weeks as well. Everyone has has fun trying to leap over picnic tables and benches under the safe supervision of our staff. We invite you to join us and give it a try!

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Program Instructor Alex S. demonstrates Parkour

As we get ready for the seasons to change, I’m looking forward to creating new schedules filled with exciting programming! Please let us know if there is anything that you would like to see. When I took my job last spring, I read every single evaluation from the past five years. Programming that our guests want to see is incredibly important, and thanks to your feedback, we now have a Fishing program. We are working on developing other programs that our guests have asked for as well. Thank you for joining us in our weekend programs, and I look forward to seeing you this year!

Ashley Ritzheimer

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Ashley Ritzheimer

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