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A Magical Place

Friday, September 14, 2018

Head west toward Winchester. See the Shenandoah region of the Appalachians come into view. Exhale. Ride up I-81 or Rte 11, and turn onto Rte 50. Continue northwest over a ridge or two to the re-emerging hamlet of Capon Bridge and then a bit further on WV Rte 50. Turn onto Dillon’s Run, and then onto Burgundy Road until your GPS no longer knows the way. Follow the written directions, make your right turn on Margaret Sullivan and proceed to the ford. With the rain you may wonder if your vehicle will cross safely. You’ve come a fair piece, as Faulkner would say. Take the dip of faith. You enter. Slow down, roll down your windows, inhale. Listen. Smell. You have arrived at a magical place.

It is always a moment of gratitude to arrive at the Cove. Part nature sanctuary, part educational center, the Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies is the semi-hidden, fully precious gem of Burgundy, and thankfully, our fall trips, led by our 6th graders, in spite of the spectre of Florence, are underway.

We were especially glad that we could send our 6th graders to the Cove, Wednesday through Friday, as they continued to welcome some new classmates, experienced the incredible beauty in a thousand shades of green nature as a backdrop to study the trees, leaves, and insects in an ongoing study of life at the Cove. Students get to study the tree canopy, identify trees and plants and insects, and compare the life there to the life on the ground. All of this outdoor learning is complemented by water quality analysis, t-shirt print-making, storytelling, star-gazing and evening activities, communal meals, and of course, sleeping and waking up far from televisions and cell phones.

The Cove’s programs are such an absolute highlight of the Burgundy experience. The breadth and depth of the science and conservation learning and all the camaraderie -- all of the details -- accumulate over our children’s years of Cove visits, and they are different and better people for the experiences they’ve had. Even if you are not chaperoning this year, you can bring your children (or not) and help with Closing Weekend (November weekend, TBA) or Opening weekend (April) or attend Adult Weekend (late July) and be a learner and be pampered at the same time. Huge thanks to Vini Schoene, ‘73, our longtime BCWS director, David Sicree, her partner and Cove Caretaker, and Jennifer Smith, ‘10, our current season Assistant Director, for making this season possible!