adventure to build confidence and self-esteem for youth and team development and
camaraderie for adults.
Rippleffect owns Cow Island, a 26-acre
island in Casco Bay, and runs programs
from this remote eco-campus. Sustainability is important on the island with
solar powered meeting spaces, an organic
garden, a rainwater catchment system,
compost abilities, trails and secluded open
spaces. Groups can choose to use some
or all of the low- or high-challenge course
elements on the island as well as a 400-foot
zipline, climbing tower and 70 sea kayaks.
The island is also available for corporate retreats or company events. There
is a professional, solar-powered kitchen
on-site along with an executive chef ready
to prepare gourmet meals, like a traditional
Maine lobster bake served in a tent that
can seat up to 200. Cow Island can also
accommodate overnight guests with four
yurts that can sleep 40, as well as additional
Established in 1936, Maine Windjammer Cruises (MWC) features coastal cargo
schooners, Grace Bailey and Mercantile,
that have been restored and are recognized as National Landmarks. The boats
are not only painted green, they cruise in a
traditional and sustainable way, relying on
the wind for power, using local farmers and
fishermen for food supply and holding to a
strict policy of recycling.
The fleet has been used for all kinds of
events, teambuilding, fundraising trips,
cocktail receptions and banquets, and
provide groups a chance for an escape.
Four-hour day charters with capacities of
49 passengers on the Grace Bailey or
Mercantile are most common, but overnight
stays for up to 29 are also available.
“The experience is an adventure in
incredibly inspiring surroundings,” says
Margaret Jones, executive assistant at
MWC. “Our broad decks and spacious
galleys provide the stage for the relaxed
and creative exchange of ideas. With a full
boat charter we are able to customize the
experience to the needs of the group.”
Food aboard includes lobster, fish chowder
and other traditional Maine fare, but menus
can be customized based on group needs.
One of Vermont’s first lodging properties, The
Inns at Equinox, boasts over 200 years of history and visits by four American presidents.
Golf is what brings many to the resort,
which offers accommodation across three
buildings. Its golf club, known for its hilly
terrain, is a challenge to golfers of all skill
levels. Groups of up to 144 players can use
the course for special events like shotgun
golf. Golf, however, is not the only attraction
the property has to offer meeting guests.
Group options include falconry demonstrations and a Land Rover driving course,
according to Sean Reardon, interim director of sales and marketing at the property.
“Groups have also done fly-fishing demon-
strations at the pond during receptions.”
The fly-fishing is offered through the
Orvis Manchester Fly-Fishing School,
open April through October. Along with
demonstrations, the expert instructors
lead classes in the new Orvis schoolhouse
across from the Orvis Flagship Store, which
has fully stocked ponds, and also out on
the Battenkill River. Classes cover casting,
fly selection, knots, how to safely release
catch, an intro to freshwater entomology
and even one-day seminars, all which can
be tailored for groups.
Master falconer Rob Waite has been
practicing for over 30 years and managed
the falconry school at the Equinox for
18 years. Now he owns and operates the
Green Mountain Falconry School adjacent
to The Inns at Equinox and offers a variety
of experiences, ranging from introductory lessons and hawk walks to custom
programs for groups. Hawk identification, training, conditioning and hunting
methods of the sport are just a few things
participants can lean.
The Land Rover Experience Driving
School is open year-round and features
off-roading driving instruction and challenges on the 80-acre course. Participants
will learn techniques on ascents, descents,
side tilts and rocky terrain and have access
to the trails through the Green Mountains.
Founded by Chris Howell, Vermont Farm
Tours offers groups workshops and private
guided half-day and full-day tours. Howell is
active in the state’s local food and agricultural
scene and takes pride in Vermont’s bounties.
“The food we enjoy in Vermont reflects
the state’s farmers, landscape and history,”
Howell says. “I enjoy nothing more than
introducing guests to the people, farms and
flavors that make Vermont a truly unique
place to live and eat.”
One thing that comes to mind when
talking about Vermont, is, of course,
cheese. During the on-farm cheese-making
classes, groups tour the farm and learn
hands-on how to make whole-milk moz-
zarella. Classes are two hours long and in-
clude an apron and snacks like local bread
produced from the farm to go along with
the cheese. These classes can be structured
as a leadership or teambuilding activity.
In addition to making cheese, groups can
learn about Vermont’s product. The artisan
cheese tour focuses on the farmers, herds,
landscapes and cheesemakers that go into
making cheese in the region. During the
tour, which can range from three-and-a-half hours to eight hours, groups of up to 50
stop at different locations to talk with the
cheesemakers and taste some cheese.
One thing that does not come to mind
when thinking of Vermont is wine. However,
with all that cheese, it shouldn’t be a surprise
that there are over 20 wineries in the state.
The local vineyard tour takes groups by the
vineyards along the shores of Lake Champlain to meet the growers and vintners and
taste their creations. There are half- and full-day tour options and a lunch at the vineyard
is included in the full-day option.
NEW HAMPSHIRE DIVISION
OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM
More MAINE/NEW HAMPSHIRE/
VERMONT FARM TOURS