By Sue Wemyss
In March of 2012, Great Glen hosted the annual New England Bill Koch League Festival. Over 600 kids in eighth grade and under came with their parents for a weekend of fun on snow which included cross country races, ski touring, snow tubing, an obstacle course, a fairy house trail, face painting, food, a parade and more. Very honestly, it was the highlight of my working career here, seeing all these families at Great Glen in winter, enjoying what we have to offer. I’ll never forget looking out from the lodge and seeing literally hundreds being active on snow—some skiing on the race course by the pond, some tubing down the hill below Cadiddlehopper, kids climbing up and sliding down through the birch grove. So, when this spring the opportunity to bid for this event again rolled around, I jumped on it.
I have another very strong image in my head from that Festival. It’s one of Howie driving the Auto Road dump truck back and forth from the gravel parking lot south of the Auto Road, to the trail by the pond. He was making trip after trip hauling snow to cover the race finish area. That winter, you may remember, was a very lean one in the Northeast for snow. Great Glen opened and stayed open, with lots of extraordinary efforts including snow making, snow farming, shoveling and moving snow. The BKL families arriving at Great Glen were happily stunned when they arrived to the great trail conditions we had created.
That image represented another powerful realization for me. Howie was “all in” on making this event a great one, just like I was. He had plenty of other things to be attending to as the General Manager. But he was out there for hours, making sure our event was as good as it could be.
I know he and I weren’t alone in this. Our staff was “all in”. Just like they are when it comes to any event we do here at Great Glen/the Auto Road. Employees chip in readily without being asked or told. It’s a team effort and our team knows how to put on really great events. I’m proud to be a part of this team. And I am looking forward to the return of hundreds this March, even knowing all the time and effort it will require.
March 4-6, 2016: we’re doing it again, TEAM!
In the months to come, more info on Great Glen’s 2016 BKL Festival will become available both on our website and through the New England Nordic Ski Association website, www.nensa.net.