In the first of a two-part series our tour planner, J’nice Wiltrout, discusses her recent visit to Deep Creek and Garrett County, MD to learn more about their student programs. This trip could also be combined with Washington, DC (3.5 hours travel distance) or Gettysburg, PA (3.2 hours).
I met Lisa Ratliff, Wisp Resort’s Director of Sales and Jen Durben, Garrett County Chamber’s Groups Manager at the resort. We began our adventure at the mountain coaster. Ropes courses and zip lining are also offered. The coaster ride is a lot of fun! The climb is high but once you start your descent, you can control how fast (or slow!) you travel. Next was a visit to the resort’s control center. We went behind-the-scenes to view the control room and hear about the equipment used to run the snow making system.
At the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI), we met with Mike Logdson of Garrett College for a tour of the whitewater rafting course. Mike explained how groups choosing this activity would receive 20-30 minutes of outfitting and orientation before heading out on the ASCI course for a guided raft experience. This beautiful, man-made course offers adjustable rapids to accommodate any skill level. This is a seasonal activity, but if you choose to visit during the off-season, Mike can offer programs at the college.
All student trips need an evening activity. How about one that also incorporates STEM programming? The Alley takes you behind-the-scenes to see how it operates, provides a STEM activity, an hour of bowling, and a pizza party.
A driving tour of the area included a visit to a lavender farm and a stop at the Farmers Market, home of Candyland. They have over 700 varieties! After our lakeside dinner, I went back to ASCI to walk the trail around the whitewater course. It was a good way to end a fun day of touring and sightseeing.
The next morning, we visited the Simon Pearce Glassblowing Factory. We were able to go behind-the-scenes onto the catwalk and watch the glassblowers in action. It was fascinating!
Nearby Oakland is a quaint town housing several museums: B & O Museum, Transportation Museum, and Historical Museum. We were able to visit the Transportation Museum. Upstairs is a small museum dedicated to the history of Deep Creek.
I really enjoyed my site visit to Deep Creek and Garrett County. Lisa and Jen have worked very hard to come up with programs that will excite and educate students. Deep Creek has much more to offer than their famous lake! Part two of the series, contributed by Lisa and Wisp Resort, showcases a myriad of student programming. Contact us for more information!
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