Spring is coming faster than I anticipated and so is the Spring Retreat. Due to a "misunderstanding" with Camp Lutherhaven we lost our original retreat dates. But rather than cancel the Spring Retreat all together I decided to just find a new camp. Obviously this isn't an easy task as there are many considerations to be dealt with.
First, is it affordable? You wouldn't believe how much a retreat can cost! Personally I can't justify spending $200 per person for a weekend of scrapbooking. So that eliminated quite a few options. Second, will the camp allow us to cook our own meals? This is almost as important to me as the cost! I'm spoiled and do not enjoy eating frozen meals that are semi-heated by a minimum wage camp chef, er umm, cook! So I must be able to cook and plan the meals myself. Third, what kind of camp is it? Clean, modern and good sleeping conditions are all a must. Needless to say finding all three of these options in one camp is hard to find!
Luckily I came across Camp Friedenswald. It's not as centrally located as I would prefer but it also isn't too far of a drive for most people. The setting is beautiful and I think everyone will enjoy the seclusion of the camp. With over 400 acres, several lakes and lots of woods it really gives a feeling of tranquility.
I have rented the Lakeview Lodge which will house our entire group for the weekend. While it is smaller then I would prefer I figure we can just make due. The entire lodge is an A-frame structure with 4 sleeping rooms on each side of the meeting room. We have a floor to ceiling fireplace on one end and a wall full of windows on the other end. This allows lots of natural light into our scrapbooking space. There will be enough room to hopefully fit 35 six foot tables into the space. It will be tight but I think we can all work together!
The kitchen is a bit of a disappointment because it is located in the same central room. There is no separate dining area so meals will have to be eaten at your scrapbooking station. Good thing? Well, at least it will motivate you to clean up your area throughout the weekend! But regardless of the kitchen and dining situation you will still be treated to five home-cooked meals.
I have to say the best thing about this lodge are the sleeping rooms. Each bedroom contains 3 bunkbeds that have nice mattresses. (thick!) One bunk has a queen sized mattress on the bottom. Each room is a generous size so there is plenty of room for 6 people, or 7 if two people wish to share the queen. Each bedroom also has their own private bathroom! No community bathrooms for this retreat. I took note that everything in the lodge was clean, in working order and didn't smell. (yes, I have smelling issues--I'll save it for another blog)
Since our scrapbooking area is smaller then I would prefer I'm going to have to limit the number of guests attending. I can only accept the first 35 paid-in-full registrations. I do not like limiting my retreats but there just isn't another option this time around. Early bird registration will open on February 1 and close on March 1st. Late registrations, if we still have space, will be accepted until April 1--no joke. It seriously will be April 1st.
Ok, now for the tough news. There won't be internet access at the camp. More than likely there will not be cell phone access at the camp! Yes, that is how secluded we will be. They told me cell phones vary depending upon your carrier and where you stand in camp! Sometimes they work and sometimes they do not. We will have a phone in the lodge so that friends and family can still contact you. If you need to make a long distance call please bring a calling card or call collect.
What to Bring: The camp provides a pillow and quilt/comforter for each bed. You need to bring your own sheets or sleeping bag and possibly another blanket. Bring your own towels, personal care items and scrapbooking stuff. I do ask that you try to limit the amount of scrapbooking items that you bring. The central room will only hold so much stuff! I suppose if you can't do without 15 bags you could always store them in your car or bedroom. If you bring Cricuts, computers and such please bring an extension cord!! I forgot to look at the plug-in situation but I bet there won't be as many as we will really need! Plan ahead.
PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING. I am not responsible for lost or misplaced items while at the retreat.
Retreat Brochures will be coming out in the next week. I just finished them up tonight and hope to get them copied in the next few days. Sometimes what I consider a few days and what the rest of the world consider a few days are two different things. So bear with me! I am also going to try to put the brochure in a PDF (yeah, I'm just quoting my computer geek boy here...I don't really know what that means) so you can download it at home. If this works it would certainly cut down on my mailing and copying expenses. I'll let you know if we can figure it out!
Questions? Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to help you out.
Here's a few photos of the lodge. As you walk into the building from the parking lot the kitchen is the first place you come to. On the other side of the long counter on the left is the central meeting room. (bottom photo) All the couches will removed and the photo only shows a portion of the meeting room.