New travel reimbursement system available to Veterans and beneficiaries
Montrose NY — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on October 22, 2020 that the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System will now use the new Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS) to reimburse eligible Veterans and beneficiaries for travel to and from VA medical appointments.
The new system will allow users to submit and track transportation reimbursement claims using a secure web-based portal on the Access VA, available 24/7, 365 days a year.
“Thanks to the important innovations and dedication to information technology, we are proud to say we have streamlined this process making it easier for users,” said Dawn Schaal, Medical Center Director. “The BTSSS replaces the need for older, manual tracking methods, bringing this process in line with many of our other web applications.”
BTSSS has many advantages, for example, it:
Reduces the need for completing hard copy claim submissions in-person at the facility by replacing and eliminating the previous kiosk method.
Provides an easy to use web-based application that allows you to enter your claim over the internet via AccessVA.
Ensures timely processing and payment of travel reimbursements and reduces manual intervention and improper claim payments through automated features
Authenticates the Veteran or Beneficiary by: 1.) VA PIV card; or 2.) A DS Logon Level 2 account.
BTSSS will be available at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System beginning in October, 2020. As BTSSS goes live, the need for kiosk will be discontinued, however, in person and hard-copy claims submission will still be available. For information on eligibility, visit VA’s Travel Pay Reimbursement site.
Photo by Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter, courtesy of Louris Touma
Tentrr provides glamping sites at the Hudson Valley’s most scenic destinations and hosts activities like kayaking, fishing, and more.
By Raphael Beretta and Sabrina Sucato
Who’s ready for a camping trip in the Hudson Valley?
Spending a night under summer stars sounds like a romantic dream. Tons of sites throughout the world-famous Catskill Mountain region offer scenic getaways. Hikes showcase colorful vistas, and local waters are pristine for fishing and boating adventures. In other words, it’s the perfect corner of the world to plan a camping trip.
Creekside Solitude | Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter
Enter Tentrr. The free camping app, which launched in 2016, provides an Airbnb-esque experience for individuals who want a stress-free sleep under the stars.
Harriman State Park Interior | Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter
The Airbnb of the outdoors boasts over 1,000 camping sites across the country. Unlike the D.I.Y. alternative, Tentrr includes everything users need to camp in comfort. Each destination on the app comes equipped with a pre-set site ready to host first-time campers. Just as finding the perfect camping ground is a breeze, so too is listing land. Anyone with 10 or more acres of scenic, accessible property can fill out an application on Tentrr’s website. If approved, the company’s employees will visit to set up the campsite and provide landowners with hosting information and supplies.
Mills Norrie State Park | Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter
“We have extremely popular sites all over the Hudson Valley and Catskills,” Todd King, VP of marketing reveals. “We’ve found that a bigger indicator of campsite popularity is actually how active CampKeepers (ed. note: CampKeepers are the campground owners) are in adding extras. People will travel a little farther to have an experience that’s more unique to them. We provide an incredible outdoor experience that’s tailored to your interests and is as easy as booking an Uber to the airport.”
So if you’re itching to get outdoors for an au naturel Hudson Valley experience, plan a weekend trip on Tentrr. Camping has never sounded better.
Tentrr Signature Campsites
For those seeking a stress-free glamping experience, Tentrr’s signature campsites offer luxurious stays. There’s no need to pack a sleeping bag, since each spacious tent comes equipped with a cozy queen bed. Sleek wooden decks keep tents above ground and deter critters from crawling in. Each signature site also features a refreshing outdoor sun shower, fire pits, camp “loo,” and a five-person pop-up dome tent.
Enjoy a morning cup of coffee on an Adirondack chair just outside the tent. For dinner, prepare meals on a metal grill and enjoy them on one of the site’s picnic tables. Plus, many of Tentrr’s signature sites are winterized, keeping guests warm and toasty on colder nights.
Creekside Solitude | Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter
This Dutchess County site can host up to four campers who love to experience outdoor activities. Fishing enthusiasts enter paradise at the banks of the secluded and heavily stocked Wappingers Creek. For a more unique summer hiking experience, pack water shoes for peaceful creek wading. Nearby trails take hikers along former railroad properties and abandoned tracks. If visitors are traveling by train, drop-off and pickup from the Wassaic Metro North station in Amenia are available for a small fee.
Get cozy around the fire at night for some old-fashioned marshmallow roasting. S’mores packages for two cost five bucks, as do the fresh-baked banana or blueberry muffins for breakfast. Other perks and add-ons include a cooler packed with ice, chocolate chip cookies, and a ton of firewood and fire starters. Campkeeper Alec has decades of experience camping and shares a true passion for the outdoors with his guests.
Downing Wood | Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter
Just a mile off the Appalachian Trail sits the scenic Downing Wood Tentrr site. A Casper mattress and pillows keep glampers comfortable throughout their stay. This bucolic signature site features 12 acres of natures walks and easy-going hikes. Old Albany Post Road, on the National Registry of Historic Places, presents the perfect lane for mountain biking. Cold Spring is less than 15 minutes away from Downing Wood, if visitors want to hike Stony Point Beach or Breakneck Ridge. Plus, guests can reach a number of iconic destinations, like Graymoor, Boscobel House and Gardens, Constitution Marsh, and more in a matter of minutes.
Visitors by train can reach this site via a shuttle from the Garrison Metro North station, booked through Tentrr. Rent a pair of bikes for the day and explore one of the oldest paths in America, or visit nearby launch points for kayaking, canoeing, and more. S’mores packages and MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) kits are available for a small fee.
Walden’s Riverside Farm welcomes guests to a 50-acre hemp and hay farm that’s been run by the same family for over 100 years. The fourth-generation property has NYS and National Historic Landmark status. CBD products are made from the hemp grown onsite. Larger groups of campers and families will enjoy the additional five-person camping tent on site, as well as add-ons like corn-hole sets and farm-fresh eggs for breakfast.
A natural spring-fed stream drains into the Wallkill River just steps away from the Tentrr site. Large oak trees stand tall after a century, and the Bashakill Preserve offers awe-inspiring bird-watching. Sip small-batch drinks at Angry Orchard Cider House (just a mile and a half away). This glamping setup also conveniently sits along the Shawangunk Wine Trail.
The Old Game Farm in Catskill | Photo by Veronica Chewens
For over seven decades, families ventured to Greene County to visit the more than 2,000 animals that roamed free at the Catskill Game Farm. In 2006, the Hudson Valley zoo closed its doors to the public. The vast grounds and vintage décor mark a vividly unique experience and offer a peek into a special part of the region’s history. Visitors to the destination can explore 203 mountainside acres and the 100+ buildings, animal shelters, and other remnants of the abandoned zoo.
Tentrr sites popped up on the grounds to provide a four-season glamping experience in the Catskills. Four unique stays boast hotel-quality memory foam mattresses and access to over 25 miles of hiking trails onsite. Nearby, world-famous hikes like Kaaterskill Falls and the Hudson River Skywalk await. For foodies, the town of Catskill presents ample opportunities for delicious dining. (Tip: Rip Van Winkle Brewery delivers fresh four-packs and craft pizzas to The Long Neck Inn hotel onsite.)
Fans of fly fishing and all water-based activities need to check out this Orange County Tentrr site. Twin Ponds on the Farm sets up a secluded riverside camping experience in Montgomery. This site once served as a prominent dairy farm. The Wallkill River runs through the property, and the Campkeeper provides an hour-long lesson for $100. A ready-to-cast pole stands next to the tent.
At the camping site, an impressive 78 acres of majestic farmland are waiting to be explored. Visitors can pick their own fresh vegetables, raspberries, strawberries, and flowers or take a short drive over to City Winery Hudson Valley for award-winning vinos, inventive cuisine, and outdoor concerts at the amphitheater. Onsite, a novice-level walking trail takes guests on a tranquil tour of the nearby meadows and woodlands. Twin Ponds is a gateway to the Shawangunk Mountain region and a perfect home base for other Hudson Valley adventures like LEGOLAND New York, West Point, and a host of local cideries.
Harriman State Park | Photo by Dan Turrisi & Alyson Potter