Featured Co-op Connection Business – Green Mountain Adventures
Summer in Vermont is a spectacular time to hike, bike, paddle, and swim your way through some of the most scenic vistas New England has to offer. Regardless of your outdoor sport of choice, Middlebury’s Green Mountain Adventures is the perfect place to get outfitted with everything you need to explore the forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes of Vermont and we’re excited to collaborate with them through our Co-op Connection program! Thanks to this partnership, card-carrying Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 10% discount when shopping at Green Mountian Adventures! Read on to learn more about this family-owned local business and its wide variety of offerings for the outdoor enthusiast in all of us!
Co-owners Steve and Marion Atocha first opened Middlebury Mountaineer (d/b/a Green Mountain Adventures) in 1998 on Middlebury’s Mill Street in a spot above the Storm Café. Around five years later, the store moved to a Park Street location formerly occupied by Ben & Jerry’s. After a short stint there, the business inched a little further up Park Street to the storefront next to the Henry Sheldon Museum, and finally, in the Spring of 2017, they found what they’d been looking for all along — a prime location with great visibility in the heart of Middlebury’s Main Street.
Steve is the co-owner and founder of Green Mountain Adventures. On the store’s webpage, he is described as a father, a fly fishing enthusiast, and a certified American Canoe Association Kayaking Instructor. He spends his free time hiking for out-of-the-way fishing holes or backcountry skiing on the Lincoln Gap. Green Mountain Adventures is co-owned by his wife Marion, who also serves as a clothing buyer for the store. She divides her time between the shop and working full-time as a nurse in Bristol. An avid hiker, swimmer, and nordic skier, Marion’s real passion is raising her three boys and working on her family farm. In true family business fashion, their boys pitch in as part of the Green Mountain Adventures team. Their son Brewer works in the store as a sales associate after school and on weekends and helps guide their kids’ summer adventure programs. Their son Abel also pitches in as a store sales associate. Lorenzo, their youngest son, helps tune skis in the wax room.
Green Mountain Adventures provides only the best gear and apparel with a commitment to quality merchandise and a high standard for personalized customer service. You’ll find many of your favorite brands including Patagonia, Darn Tough, Prana, Blundstone, Howler Bros., Hydro Flask, Yeti, and more. They also carry a wide range of cross country skis, boots, poles, wax, and accessories from Fischer, Rossignol, Bjorn Daehlie, Salomon, Rottefella, Craft, and Swix. If you’re not ready to commit to an equipment purchase but want to try out some of the best gear in the industry, check out their summer and winter gear rental and lease options.
If you’re looking for a guide for your adventures, Green Mountain Adventures offers professional guide services and equipment rentals for fly fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing. Whether you’re a beginner interested in learning the basics or a more experienced adventurer looking to hone your skills, Green Mountain Adventures will personalize any full or half-day trip to meet your needs.
Now in their 24th season, Green Mountain Adventures offers a variety of outdoor adventure day camps uniquely designed to safely lead children and young adults (ages 6-14) into the vast playground of rocks, rivers, and mountains surrounding our Central Vermont community. Participants engage in multi-activity wilderness adventures including canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, river tubing, and rock climbing. Each GMA camp provides imaginative and unforgettable journeys in some of the most beautiful backcountry wilderness areas in and around the Green Mountains. Their programs offer a low camper-to-guide ratio to ensure your camper receives individualized attention and support. Guides are hand-picked from the local community based on their extensive wilderness experience and skills, intimate knowledge of the local environment and terrain, and youth service experience (as teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, etc.). In addition to providing outlets for youth to immerse themselves in nature, there is also a strong focus on relationship building. According to Steve, “as an outdoor adventure camp in the local community for over 20 years, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to witness the personal growth of many returning campers as they develop confidence in themselves and their ability to relate with peers in a group setting. Our programs are very small and inclusive, without much room or opportunity for cliques to form. We encourage a “come as you are” ethic where campers can be fully themselves, without external pressure to act or perform in a certain way.”