|Address||Hooksett Crossing, Vermont|
|Employees|| Marie Castleman|
Leicester Lodge is a resort in Hookset Crossing, Vermont. The resort hosts the population of Stoneybrook Middle School for four and a half days each winter, during which the Winter Carnival is held. The visit and carnival are depicted in Super Special #3, Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation.
The lodge is a huge hotel in the Vermont mountains. Its amenities include several skiing trails (ranging from "snowbunny" to advanced levels) and a skating pond. It was established in 1920; huge additions were built in the 1940s and 1950s. Thomas George and his wife, a wealthy couple, bought the lodge in 1963.
The Georges enjoy being able to give schoolchildren an away-from-home experience and host visits from many schools throughout the winter. For the annual SMS trip, students' parents are asked to make a donation to the Winter Carnival fund, but the Lodge covers any shortfall in funding. The trip is mandatory for SMS students. During their stay, students have free access to all the lodge's amenities as well as skiing lessons from the lodge's staff of instructors, which include Mr. Olsen, the head ski instructor, and Guy, who befriends Claudia.
The main room of the lodge is the common room, where the check-in desk is located. It's a long, lofty room made of brick and wood, with beams in the ceiling, a huge fireplace, and a woolly carpet. It has tables and chairs for games, and easy chairs for reading. There is a large collection of games (Scrabble, Monopoly, Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, Candy Land, and Risk, among others) in a cupboard behind the front desk.
Other public areas in the lodge include:
- the library, which adjoins the common room. The library has many books, mostly novels, mysteries and skiing guides, for guests to enjoy. A shelf of books on local history is located near a floor-to-ceiling window; its titles include A Brief History of Hooksett Crossing, Rutledge County: A Retrospective, Ski Resorts in Vermont, and Leicester Lodge, 1920 to 1980, written by the lodge's owner Thomas George.
- the dining hall, which is so large that footsteps in the room echo when it's empty of guests. The dining hall includes a salad bar. Swinging double doors lead from the hall into the kitchen.
- the grand ballroom, which hosts the talent show and the all-school dance as part of the Winter Carnival. During the talent show, it's set up with a curtained stage at one end and rows of folding chairs for the audience. During the dance, it has a dance floor.
Most of the left end of the lodge is made up of dormitories, to allow several schools to visit at the same time. (Rooms and suites for paying guests are in another part of the building.) The SMS dormitories are in the lodge's D-wing. Each dormitory is large enough for fifty-six people, with two rows of bunk beds and an adjoining bathroom. Next to each bunk bed is a dresser with a mirror above it. The dormitories have soft tan carpet. Only students stay in the dormitories; teachers have their own suites. After agreeing to move in with the visiting children from Conway Cove Elementary School, the BSC are moved with the children to a small, oddly-shaped dorm with only twelve sets of bunk beds.
Floors two, three and four of D-wing have an identical layout, with an elevator connecting them and a candy machine on each floor near the elevator.
The lodge is rumored to be haunted. A ghost story about the lodge originated with the death in the late 1930s of a lodge visitor, who was found dead in his bathtub. Upon hearing of his death, the visitor's relatives seemed relieved, apparently because they suspected he was evil (one relative said the dead man was in league with the devil). The guest was buried in the woods at the resort because none of his family would agree to take the body.
Since the man's burial there, lodge visitors and employees have reported occurrences such as "windows that opened themselves on rainy nights, vague white figures drifting down dark hallways or staircases, [and] odd moaning noises, also usually at night," according to Mr. George. Mr. George and his wife have never experienced any of these things personally, and Mr. George attributes the story to people's imaginations.
Many people who work at the lodge grew up in the area. The lodge's staff include Marie Castleman, the head housekeeper; Teensy Mooseman, who supervises the gardeners and handymen; and Curtis Oates, the head cook, all of whom appear to be in their seventies. The lodge also has an on-site doctor.
The Georges bought an old school bus for the hotel's use in emergencies eight years before the events of SS3 (in which they use the bus to rescue a group of children whose bus had an accident).
The lodge's boiler often breaks down in winter.