2022 The Year of Non-Reunion
After the long Covid two year isolation Betsy Ryan and Myself (Christopher Smith) have been working to renew our Windsor Mountain School (WMS) relationship with Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI). We had hoped to restart the tradition of a yearly September WMS Reunion Picnic in Lenox as we had done 2016 to 2019. As you may know, BUTI began to operate a Music Summer Camp on our campus in 1966, then shortly after Windsor closed in 1975, purchased our campus. All Reunions beginning in 1996 were negotiated with BUTI via a contract agreement. Because of Covid, BUTI closed the camp and mothballed the campus for 2020 and 2021. When BUTI decided to reopen the camp in 2022, none of the four Boston office staff remained, including the Lenox Property Manager Mike Cunningham who Betsy had worked with. With only a new two-person department (down from four), without prior experience, the camp reopened and held several summer sessions June to August thanks in part to the return of some former teachers and new onsite staff. It was only after the camp ended in mid August that I was able to meet with the Business and Operations Manager, Valerie Williams in Lenox. More on this in a recent Newsletter (click here)
This meeting was productive in re-introducing our school to BUTI, and to work out logistics and contract issues such as reducing the use fee from $2000 to $1000, limited access to Main House bathrooms only, and insurance policy requirements (an Umbrella Rider remains a sticking point however). After spending the afternoon with Valerie, walking the campus, talking about her challenges to maintain the campus, and sharing our history as part of the Winthrop Estate (Groton Place), she was very receptive to hosting our next WMS Reunion, if not Fall 2022, then either Spring/Fall 2023.
Perhaps the more important casualty of post Covid has been that we alums are not interested in a Reunion for 2022, either in Lenox or back to Windsor VT. And to be fair, this may have a lot to do with not planning a Reunion earlier in the year. But there are other factors such as ongoing travel issues, inflation, we’re getting older, etc … or simply not wanting to put pants on quite yet.
So let’s start thinking about 2023. Another Annual WMS Zoom Assembly will happen November 27, 2022 at 7:00 PM EST. Most alums will get an email with link info. If you are reading this but are not on the email list, go to the Contact Form.