We hope everyone is doing well and representing Vega Values everyday to try and make the world a better place! It is hard to believe that camp ended two months ago. Even though next summer is 8 months away, the cold air in New England reminds us that 2018 will be here before we know it! We have been so busy at camp and in the winter office preparing to make camp even better next summer. This installment of the Vega Star has an overview of two large projects we are planning for 2018.
One of the things were are most grateful for about Vega is its breathtaking natural beauty. Even though the state capital of Augusta is only 20 minutes away, Vega is still a secluded, beautiful, forested haven on Echo Lake. One trade-off for being nestled “off the beaten path” and with very few neighbors, is that the internet service is antiquated. Despite annual upgrades to our internal internet infrastructure, the DSL we have access to simply no longer meets our ever growing internet needs.
The internet and camp may not seem like they go hand in hand. We are firm believers in the incredible benefits of disconnecting, especially as the evidence is mounting as to the harm that things like smartphones and social media have on our mental health. We are resolute in keeping Vega “screen free” and promote this as an important reason that Vega is able to be the extraordinary and magical world that it is; camp may be the one place where we spend more time interacting with people in person. rather than via smartphone.
But as a business trying operate efficiently, and as a camp with the responsibility of keeping our community safe, the reality is that we need high-speed and reliable internet. So many aspects of camp administration are online – online forms, online database, electronic health records and charting, email, document sharing, etc. Not to mention staff members trying to keep in touch with the “real world” during their time off in the staff lounge. And parents will definitely be able to appreciate photos being uploaded in a much more timely manner!
The bottom line is that our dream of consistent, high speed internet has become a need, rather that a want. As such, we have begun plans for a new fiber internet service throughout camp. This is something that most of us take for granted living in urban or suburban areas, but will be quite the project involving multiple contractors and weeks of labor. Not to mention having our internet provider run fiber wire down Route 17 and then Echo Lake Road just for us. Needless to say, we are excited and proud to spread the word!
Finally, as some of you may know we have been looking at making improvements and expansions to the Dining Hall to allow for the entire Vega community to eat together at one meal, rather than a Junior and Senior meal. After looking closely at the project with engineers and officials we have determined that we need to focus our initial efforts and attention in the Kitchen. Some of the major Kitchen renovations planned for this Fall and Winter are: installing a new indoor walk-in refrigerator, replacing and expanding our industrial hoods, and replacing the existing concrete floor with polished concrete.
We will keep you posted along the way and also keep ourselves busy trying to raise everyone’s standards for next summer. While these particular projects may be a bit “behind the scenes”, they will undoubtedly improve the day-to-day camp experience for staff, administration, and most importantly, campers and their families.