Windridge Tennis and Sports Camps is an institution—a retreat for generations of children that inspires their values while teaching them tennis. Ted Hoehn, who founded Windridge Tennis and Sports Camps, recalls a couple of campers who attended on scholarship: Bounce and Patience, from Antigua. “I had been to Bounce’s home, and it wasn’t as nice as the cabins at camp,” he says. “But Bounce met Thère du Pont (of the du Pont family) on the first day of camp, and the two were walking with their arms around the other’s shoulders to the dining hall. In this sort of environment, kids will just be kids.” There have been three camps throughout Vermont—Jeffersonville (1968–1988), Craftsbury Common (1974–2010), and Teela-Wooket (1986–present)—with allegiances to campuses as enduring as allegiances to colleges. Windridge is a club of sorts, with members who thrill in meeting fellow alums throughout their lives. As Ted Hoehn attests: “I run into someone with a connection to Windridge just about every day of the year, saying it was the best years of their lives.” Here, we chat with friends of Quest about their fondest memories:
Mimi Anthony, Head Coach at The Spence School
Crafstbury Common (Late ’90s)
I grew up in Millbrook, New York, and there was a large group of us who would go to Windridge. I remember when I got stuck with “yachting” as an elective, which was the most unpopular choice. But then I found out what “yachting” actually was: the secret society of Windridge called the Hosmer Historical Society, or HHS. I meet alums all the time, and my boyfriend actually went a few years before me. It’s always fun connecting because it brings you back to those happy times as a tween!
Ivanka Trump, Executive Vice President at The Trump
Organization and Founder of the Ivanka Trump Collection
Crafstbury Common (Early ’90s)
Pretty much everyone who attended Chapin attended one of the two Windridge camps. It was the first time that I was stranded out on a lake in a broken sailboat. (Although—between us!—I may have sabotaged the sail in an effort to avoid tennis the following hour.) I remember being so embarrassed when I forgot the name of “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum (which was the most popular song in the world at the time) while playing “Name That Tune” on Talent Night. I knew every word, but totally choked on the name.
Thomas Minc, VP, Director of Strategy at Cake Group
I’m from Paris, but after I went to Windridge, I made sure more French people went there. Every year, I would bring additional friends who, themselves, brought additional friends. I turned the place into a French camp! To this day, there’s a whole French Windridge mafia—it’s like a private club. Sneaking out of our cabins after the counselors shouted, “All Quiet!” was the best part of camp. There was this “Millenium Trail” built from our cabin to the end of the soccer field, so it was like they were asking for it. I loved playing soccer during “tournament week,” which felt as though you were playing in the World Cup.
Milena Duke, Associate Merchandiser at Ralph Lauren
Crafstbury Common (1998–2000)
My brother, sister, and cousin all went to Windridge—it was almost like a rite of passage. A “first” I remember from Windridge was the first time I ate what they called shepherd’s pie. I’ve never been able to eat it again! But, more fondly, I remember winning the lip-sync contest with “Get Down Tonight” by KC and The Sunshine Band. I run into people who went to Windridge all the time and in the most random places. I went to college with someone who had been my partner in the mixed doubles tournament at camp, but we didn’t realize for about a year!
Dani Stahl, Style Director of Nylon
Crafstbury Common (Early ’90s)
Windridge was like an institution—it’s what you did, as someone who went to a girls school in New York. When you remember Windridge, it sort of gets lumped in with Dorrian’s. After you stop talking about Windridge, you start talking about Dorrian’s. Most of my memories involve Eleanor Ylvisaker, including that time our cabin had bats and she leaped from the top bunk of her bed to the top bunk of my bed. I’ll never know how she did it, since we were positioned at a 90-degree angle. Also, I remember everyone wearing Betsey Johnson dresses for the banquet at the end of camp. Those were a big thing at the time!
Jeffersonville (Counselor: Late ’70s)
As a former counselor with children and nephews and nieces who attend the camp, I have Windridge green running in my blood. Once you know Ted Hoehn, the persona of the camp is so obvious. It’s all about competitiveness and graciousness. I had to provide 10 references when I was a freshman in college to be a counselor, but Ted Hoehn knows how to screen so that you never find a bad egg. I’ll always remember arriving from the Midwest and seeing the Northeast courts, with logs on the edges and chicken fence around them. It was my first experience with landscaping a court!
Nick Coleman, C.E.O. of Ship Sticks
Crafstbury Common (1985–1990); Teela-Wooket (Early ’90s)
I remember being introduced to Ben and Jerry’s as well as Bob Marley, UB40, and the other music of the time. I loved mud-sliding and making tie-dye shirts. My wife was a camper when I was a counselor in training, or CIT, but we didn’t meet until 10 years later.
I totally had my first kiss at Windridge, plus it was my first exposure to people from a lot of countries since there were campers and counselors from around the world. It piqued my interest to travel and live abroad, which I’ve pursued since.
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-Founder/CEO of GLAMSQUAD
Crafstbury Common (Early ’90s)
I went to Craftsbury Common one summer with my best friend, Elizabeth Meigher. It was great to play tennis (my favorite sport)all day and also have a chance to make new friends. I remember listening to lots of music by the Allman Brothers, Blues Traveler, The Dead, The Kinks, Phish, and The Samples—I guess I’m dating myself!
Will Mackie, Student at Trinity College
Teela-Wooket (Camper: 2008–2010; Counselor: 2011–present)
I’m about to be the male head counselor this summer, but I remember my first experience like it was yesterday. Everything from the opening campfire through the banquet dance seem like they happened last week. There’s nothing like the meals during the Teela Games, with all the teams chanting and cheering. It seems that everywhere I go, I’m meeting people from Windridge. I remember I was at the US Open and someone came up to me asking if I went to Windridge, having seen my hat. It turns out that she had been a camper in the 1990s!
For more information about Windridge Tennis and Sports Camps (with majors in tennis, soccer, and horseback riding), call 802.860.2005 or visit windridgecamps.com.