GO Gathering Weekend

Car Camping

DATE: Jul 30, 2021
END DATE: Aug 01, 2021

Hike/Event Location: Fairlee VT

Trip Leader(s)

Fairlee, VT United States

Meeting Time: 2:00 PM

Max # People: 40

Hike Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying

Hike Difficulty Level:


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Disclaimer: The club and its members take no responsibility and will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur during club events. Outdoor sports are inherently dangerous and accidents will happen. By joining the club or participating in any events posted on our website you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. Anyone with an internet connection can post a trip on our web site. It is your responsibility to determine if this person has the experience and competence to lead the trip. We do not certify or confirm the qualifications of any of our members to lead or participate in trips.

THE WORLD IS OPENING UP AGAIN!  Our annual Men’s Camping Weekend!

Don’t get left out, join our annual Men’s GO Gathering weekend!  You are encouraged to reserve as soon as possible since the weekend is limited to 40 people.


June 8 UPDATE:  1. The Greenhouse is no longer available.  2. As multiple people have requested to also stay Sunday night, the Rescue has no blocked out the entire space on Sunday for anyone who wishes to stay on through Monday.

June 14 UPDATE:  1. The Greenhouse IS AVAILABLE.  There was a conflict and the person had to cancel. A request has been made but not confirmed for one of the RV sites with 30A electric.


This year we have coordinated with Willoughby Farm Animal Rescue in Fairlee VT for our summer GO Gathering and the Rescue has blocked out the entire weekend for us!

You will camp with the sheep, alpacas, donkeys, potbellied pigs, and rabbits who run free throughout the sanctuary when you pitch your tent or park your camper on their Vermont farm and forest.

This Rescue is a 501c3.  When you stay with the Rescue or book a tour, the money you donate goes directly for the care and feeding of the rescue animals.  The money you pay for the weekend is considered a tax-deductible donation.

The Rescue has an outhouse (supply your own TP and you do have to use a ladder-type stile to get to it).

Everyone is responsible for their own trash so don’t forget to bring your trash bags.  You can compost at the Rescue.

Dogs are OK but must be leashed at all times.  Please let the Rescue know when you register that you are bringing your dog.1

This is an opportunity for newbies to learn more about the club and for loyal members to have fun together camping for the weekend!   There are three small ponds on the property plus hiking on and near the Rescue’s 107 acres, kayaking, canoeing in Lake Fairlee, a network of mountain biking trails, and more!  There will be several outdoor activities posted for the weekend – and they will be posted as separate events on the website.

Some trip ideas are listed at the end of this post. You may have an activity that you would love to share with other members such as hiking & swimming excursions, biking, paddling, bocce ball tournament, morning yoga sessions, etc. We can help you organize it or pair you off with an experienced trip leader to co-lead the trip if you are a little nervous about doing it yourself.

Please post your event on the website and make note that it is part of this GO Gathering.


You are on your own with regard to meals including breakfast.

There are options in the area should you wish to dine out including Pizza, Chinese, and “Samurai Soul Food” (which is rated one of the best restaurants in Vermont).


Evening activities are where members can relax and socialize with everyone else.

Friday Night Beer/Wine Blast 7 PM: We’ll start off the weekend on Friday night with our traditional Beer/Wine Blast beside a communal bonfire. Bring a six-pack of your favorite local craft beer to share in our communal cooler and sample what everyone else brought! Or bring a bottle of wine to our Wine Table and sample what everyone else brought! We’ll have name badges and it’s a great way to meet the gang.

Saturday Night Potluck 6:30 PM: Calling all camp cooks! Let's have a potluck supper.  Please focus on main dishes since we usually have so many appetizers and desserts that they get thrown away; packaged food usually does not get eaten. If you prefer not to cook and still care to contribute to the feast, we will also need heavy-duty paper plates such as Chinet, plastic utensils, and napkins. Please indicate in the comments section on this page what dish you will be bringing. Please bring only 1 dish per person otherwise we end up with a lot of food going to waste. Please be sure to bring the serving utensil for your dish.  No firewood is needed as the 107-acre property was recently logged and there are downed branches everywhere!


Many people want to know how the Rescue got started and what life is like here in rural Vermont.  There are a number of experiences to help give you a glimpse into their life.

The Rescue offers four tours/experiences:

  • Take a behind-the-scenes experiential journey into farm life; you may learn to how to trim donkey hooves; you may have to wrangle an alpaca or two to give the medication; composting manure and more! ($30 suggested donation per person).
  • Learn to Grow Good King Henry / Cold-frame Gardening ($15 suggested donation per person)
  • Learn to Brew Kombucha! ($20 suggested donation per person)
  • Tai Chi Instruction ($15 suggested donation per person)


We have special pricing for this weekend. Unassigned, dispersed tenting is a suggested $20 donation per night for singles and a suggested $35 donation per couple.

In addition to dispersed tent sites in Rescue’s central grassy area, there are two developed private tenting sites that feature an 8’x10’ tent deck, picnic table, private fire ring, and commercial park grill.  These are great if you want to be a part of the group but still get away for some private, quiet time.

Have a camper?  There is one 30-amp site available, and two sites available with a standard outlet.  There are also options for campers without electricity.

Need a camper?  You can upgrade to a fully equipped glamping experience by renting out our WolfPup 16FQ.

The Greenhouse.  This unique accommodation sleeps up to two persons.  You will rest comfortably on military-style camping cots in this 8x14 greenhouse built by volunteers from recycled windows (yes, recycled windows).  Just bring your sleeping bag!  A commercial park grill and picnic table are also included with this site.

Please email the rescue at willoughbyrescue (at) gmail.com to learn more about these upgrade options beyond dispersed tenting.


Please RSVP on this page. In order to reserve your camping site (and tour if you are interested), book directly with Scott Graham-Stephens at the Rescue by emailing willoughbyrescue (at) gmail.com.  Tell Scott what you are interested in (for example, “Two nights dispersed tenting for one and one for the Kombucha tour” or “I want to find out about the cost for the tent deck for two nights for four people”).  Scott will first verify that you have signed up on this page.

You can arrive early or stay later!  Just let Scott know ASAP, because, while the entire weekend is blocked out for this GO Gathering, the days prior to and afterward are not and the Rescue is quite busy in the Summer months with campers wanting to sleep in the midst of the farm animals!

If your reservation is straightforward Scott will send you a total for the suggested donation.  If you have requested more information (for example if you are interested in staying in the Greenhouse), you will need to reply to the email Scott sends you with your specific reservation request.  Scott will then send you your total for the suggested donation.

Donate here:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/3910625

Once Scott has confirmed your donation, you will receive one more email with the subject title: “GO Weekend Confirmation.”  If you are wanting an upgraded camp experience (RV, private tent deck, greenhouse) be sure to go through the steps in a timely manner because you will not be confirmed for any upgraded camping until you do and someone else could book it!

Check-in on Friday is between 2-10 PM.  You must check in at the campground no later than 10:00 PM Friday night.  Please note that this property is gated (the rescues run free – everywhere).  When you arrive or leave, open the gate, drive past the gate, get out of your car then close the gate, then drive on.

You are encouraged to reserve as soon as possible since the weekend is limited to 40 people.

Never been camping? Never been to a GO Gathering? Have any questions? Post a comment and a fellow member will be happy to reply!

This is such a great event and we look forward to being with our GO members.  PLEASE JOIN US! And thanks for supporting the Rescue in making a difference in the lives of neglected, abused, and abandoned farm animals!

Your hosts,

Scott, the donkeys, alpacas, sheep, pig, peacocks…



This GO Gathering is the same weekend as the North Haverhill Fair (the fair runs from July 28-August 1).  This fair, which is 12 miles from the Rescue, has all the events you expect at a small-town fair including horse, pony, and oxen stone boat pulling, demolition derby, tractor and 4×4 pulling events, dairy, sheep, goat, and dog shows, and of course, lots of redneck eye-candy.  More info http://nohaverhillfair.com


** See these places on Google Maps! Click on this link and add them to your map:  https://goo.gl/maps/tAXtAbZJXmmjHChn8


  • Wright's Mountain -- easy, short, nice view at the summit
  • Black Mountain -- moderate but short, exposed 360 view at the summit.  Great for a night hike.  A great early morning hike to bring some breakfast along with you. Highly, highly recommended.
  • Moosilauke -- southernmost 4000-footer incredible loop hike with a mile of exposed hiking

The Buddha

  • Be sure to check out the 800-pound cement Buddha on the property (we can tell you how to find it)

License Plates.  How smart are you?

  • License plates from all 50 states are displayed on our garage.  They are arranged in a very specific order from top-to-bottom, left-to-right.  ARE YOU SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE IT OUT?\


Chip's Sculpture Garden

Fairlee Drive-In

Hope Cemetery

  • Large cemetery known as the museum of granite sculpture
  • Be sure to get your picture sitting in the full-size RECLINER / EASY CHAIR tombstone if it is not too creepy for you to take a seat!
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Cemetery
  • 201 Maple Ave, Barre, VT 05641

Thetford Center & Union Village Swimming Spots

  • We almost didn’t want to draw attention to these two spots because in many ways they are the quintessential swimming holes, the kind of places a Hollywood location scout would pick if a swimming hole were needed for a scene in a movie.
  • Sandy Beach (there’s a sign, so you can’t miss it).  It’s a half-mile down Buzzell Bridge Road from Route 113 in Thetford Center, VT. Turn right into the parking lot, only a few steps from a basketball half-court-size sandy beach and Olympic-size swimming hole big enough to do laps.
  • The Chutes.  Walk another 0.6 of a mile down Buzzell toward Union Village to the Chutes.  It’s a favorite among skinny dippers — indeed, a sign is posted that commands “Nude Bathing Prohibited.” Follow the trail down to the river, where the rushing water wends around and over several rock outcroppings before spilling over a small waterfall.  The spot is down a ravine and encircled by evergreens, providing a degree of privacy and perhaps explaining why the Chutes has been favored by those who prefer to go au naturel.

Directions To Trailhead Parking Lot

We are easily found on Google Maps:  https://g.page/willoughby-rescue?share

Trip Leader


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Fairlee, VT

United States
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Discuss This Trip/Event
beyoungyu Posted Jul 30, 2021 at 10:34 AM

If anyone not camping this weekend, but happens to be reading this post, feel free to join us for the hike. Send me an email and I will send you my phone number.

beyoungyu Posted Jul 30, 2021 at 10:33 AM

Hiking up Mt. Moosilauke Saturday morning. Going up the Appalachian trail/ Glencliff to the summit and then down Gorge brook trail, across Snapper to Carriage Rd trail, and then back to the Glencliff trail head via the Hurricane trail. The hike is rated moderate to strenuous. Leaving camp at 9:00 a.m. sharp and stopping for breakfast at North Woods Cafe in Bradford before heading to the trailhead. Estimated time to start the hike at the Glencliff s 10:30 a.m.

EZGoingMountainMan Posted Jul 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM

What a Hoot! Roger and I were just introduced to the Negroni 2 weeks ago, and love it (It's a good sipper) -- and since then bought Campari and Vermouth for our home in Maine -- HOWEVER, that being said, we we're just teased with a Boulevardier this past weekend -- but haven't tried it. Perfect timing. WE'RE IN! Don & Roger

kelbachus Posted Jul 30, 2021 at 9:44 AM

Because I'm a drink nerd, the cocktail menu. Donations for drinks will go to the Willoughby Rescue, of course. https://sites.google.com/view/gocampingcocktails/home

beyoungyu Posted Jul 24, 2021 at 5:31 PM

Bringing compostable heavy duty plates and bowls (40 each).

gsgraham Posted Jul 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM

July 24 UPDATE 1 I just sent everyone who is registered an orientation email. If you didn’t receive this email but you think you have registered, it means I missed it and we have our wires crossed. Please reach out to me ASAP.

gsgraham Posted Jul 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM

July 24 Update 2 Upgrades: Some have upgraded. We have an RV upgrade and an upgrade to the Grandmother Pine Tent Deck. There are still the following upgrades available: Buddha North Tent Deck, The Greenhouse, one more RV spot (with 30 amp hook up). Just like registration, if you think you have upgraded but the site you have upgraded to is listed as available, please reach out to me ASAP.

gsgraham Posted Jul 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM

July 24 UPDATE 3 Tour & Experiences: Some have registered for the farm experience tour. We will do that Saturday morning at 9:00 am. Some have registered for the Kombucha making class. We will do that Sunday morning at 9:00 am. If you are learning Kombucha, please bring a clean mason jar with you because I will give you a slice of kombucha “mother” to start your own batch when you get home.

kelbachus Posted Jul 23, 2021 at 10:37 PM

Bringing BBQ chicken with home made BBQ sauce, teriyaki chicken. I'll also mix drinks before the BBQ if anyone wants, maybe Boulevardier, Presbyterian and something froufy.

EZGoingMountainMan Posted Jul 23, 2021 at 7:09 PM

Roger and Don will be bringing a Caesar Salad and (marinated skirt) Steak to BBQ Sat eve pot luck. We're looking forward to hanging out with everyone. Cheers

gsgraham Posted Jul 10, 2021 at 10:20 AM

FLAGPOLE. There's 20-foot flagpole in the middle of the group camping area and anyone is welcome to fly any flag or flags they want to...

Pais Posted Jul 9, 2021 at 8:38 AM

Bringing pasta salad

gsgraham Posted Jun 19, 2021 at 1:08 PM

June 19 UPDATE: One of the two RV sites has been booked.

gsgraham Posted Jun 14, 2021 at 7:27 AM

June 14 UPDATE: 1. The Greenhouse IS AVAILABLE. There was a conflict and the person had to cancel. A request has been made but not confirmed for one of the RV sites with 30A electric.

gsgraham Posted Jun 8, 2021 at 11:24 AM

June 8 UPDATE: 1. The Greenhouse is no longer available. 2. As multiple people have requested to also stay Sunday night, the Rescue has no blocked out the entire space on Sunday for anyone who wishes to stay on through Monday.

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