What is the atmosphere or feel of Brown Ledge?
Brown Ledge has a friendly, relaxed, welcoming, yet active atmosphere. There’s an energy and joyful buzz in the air as campers gleefully run from one activity to the next, eager to fit in as many things as possible each day; lounge in the sun down on the waterfront, enjoying the view or cheering on bunkies as they learn to waterski; or set to work mastering a new skill, challenging themselves as they strive to achieve an intermediate or vanguard. Here, we want everyone — campers, JCs, and counselors alike — to feel comfortable being their authentic, unmediated selves, and the openness and inclusivity of the community make that a reality each year. Because of the acceptance and encouragement found throughout Brown Ledge, campers are not afraid to try new things, to maybe fail at them, and to try again anyways. We grant campers a great deal of freedom from Day 1, and they quickly feel a sense of belonging at Brown Ledge. The ongoing tradition of embracing others for who they are creates a true community spirit.
Why do campers choose BLC and why do they return in successive summers?
Most campers initially choose Brown Ledge because of a particular activity or set of activities, the quality of instruction provided, and/or our Freedom of Choice philosophy. Many campers are attracted by our general program design, which allows them to choose which activities they will attend, when they will attend, and with whom they will attend. The diversity of activities — from Waterskiing to Windsurfing, and Archery to Arts and Crafts — draws many others. And the promise of a welcoming community, where friendships thrive and self-discovery abounds, certainly leads many campers to make their way to BLC.
Campers choose to return year-after-year for these same reasons: the strong friendships they develop, the investment they feel in the camp community, and the lasting sense of accomplishment they derive from their achievements. Our traditions, routines, and daily schedule create a close-knit community, in which connections and mentorship relationships thrive. Campers love their bunkies like sisters; they look up to junior and senior staff members alike as role models; and often, they develop close connections with the counselors who are teaching and challenging them daily. Of course, the energy and joy at camp are also contagious, and many returning campers describe Brown Ledge as their home away from home.
How many girls attend Brown Ledge each summer and what are their ages?
180 girls from 10 to 17 years of age attend, with approximately 80 attending for 8 weeks and 100 for each of the 4 week sessions.
What is the staff to camper ratio, and what ages are the staff?
Brown Ledge employs approximately 80 senior staff members, of whom around 65 are considered counselors (with the other ~15 serving as support staff). This creates a counselor-to-camper ratio of better than 1 to 3. Staff range in age from 19 to 65+, with an average of about 26 years of age. A good number of counselors are themselves former Brown Ledge campers, who have completed the JC program and chosen to return and to carry on the traditions and joys of Brown Ledge. Others have been counselors at Brown Ledge for many years, and their steady presence provides much continuity and experience. As with campers, staff represent a variety of backgrounds, personalities and skills.
Who is the director of Brown Ledge?
Abby Lovshin-Smith is the Director of Brown Ledge Camp. She began her Brown Ledge career as a camper in 1993, graduated from the JC program in 2000, and spent five summers as a Sailing counselor through the summer of 2006. She returned home to Vermont and to Brown Ledge as the new Director in 2019, following Bill and Kathy Neilsen’s honorable and cherished 36-year run.
What sessions does Brown Ledge offer?
Brown Ledge Camp offers one 8-week and two 4-week sessions. All sessions, regardless of length, are open to girls ages 10-17. We do not have a two week session.
How much is tuition for Brown Ledge?
From the Brown Ledge Foundation’s Board of Directors:
Brown Ledge Camp would like to announce a new approach to pricing for camp. This model is based on our strong belief that camp should be financially accessible to all families. The Brown Ledge Camp experience exists to develop community, responsibility and achievement — and it strives to do so by allowing self-directed participation in our high-quality summer program. We are excited to introduce a new pricing model that aligns with our philosophy of self-direction. Every family now has the opportunity to choose their role in supporting the true cost of a Brown Ledge experience.
Are Brown Ledgers predominantly from a particular city or state?
No. While the majority of campers hail from the northeastern part of the United States, usually more than 25 states and a dozen countries are represented each summer.
Do most new campers come to Brown Ledge with a friend?
No, while some new campers do come with a friend, most do not. By the end of the summer, though, nearly all new campers leave with many fast friends: the closeness and coziness of cabin life mean that relationships with “bunkies” develop quickly and naturally. In addition, the design of our activities and schedule allows campers to attend any activity they wish with whomever they wish. Once at the activity, campers meet a variety of other campers and JCs. Because of this, new and old campers quickly and easily meet and make friends with a variety of Brown Ledgers.
Where is Brown Ledge located?
Brown Ledge is located on Lake Champlain in the town of Colchester, VT. We are situated just north of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city. Nestled in the western edge of New England, Brown Ledge has the perfect mix of lake front, and wooded forest. The University of Vermont, the state’s finest hospital, and an abundance of restaurants and shops are within a fifteen minute drive of camp.
How easy is travel to Brown Ledge?
Brown Ledge is easily accessible by air or automobile. The Burlington International Airport (BTV) is about 10 miles from camp and is served daily by numerous flights by United, US Airways, American Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue and Porter Air. Direct flights are available to and from New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Toronto. We will gladly meet any flight into, or out of, Burlington. In addition, our proximity to Interstate 89 permits easy access by automobile.