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  • Writer's pictureDani Hatfield

Serving Retreat Groups is an Honor

Groups come to Carol Joy Holling Center seeking to accomplish goals of growth and development. Sometimes that means they are a family looking for intentional time to reconnect and play. Sometimes it means they are an organization needing time and space to focus on making strategic choices and building team. Regardless of their specific goals, they are always seeking time away from the daily distractions that keep them from focusing on each other and their mission.

“We know that a group has set aside time and money to come here to focus on their goals, and our job is to free them from distraction so they can stay focused,” shared Brent Thomsen, Carol Joy Holling Center’s Director of Guest Services.

Boystown National Research Hospital came to CJH recently for a weekend workshop for families of children who have recently been diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing. According to Lupe Medina, Special Projects Coordinator, “we offer this opportunity for families to learn about the hearing loss, network with other families to create support systems, attend sessions on child’s development and education and learn about resources available to them.”

When groups come to CJH, there are some simple steps they take to make the process simpler. First, they connect with Jessica Weltz, our Manager of Events & Planning. Jessica works with the group to choose their facility. Then, through a basic contract, the group books their meeting, event or retreat. Finally, the group plans their program and invites Jessica to support them as needed. “It can seem really overwhelming to put together something like this," Jessica shared. "We really work hard to make it as easy as possible.”

Medina said of her experience with Carol Joy Holling Center, “The facility and staff literally gave us the place and comfort so we could meet our goals. We were safe and cared for in clean and well-stocked facilities which made it so much easier for us to focus on the goals of our retreat.” She added, “When we mentioned that some of our younger kids might have trouble getting to the dining hall for meals, our host automatically made sure he was there to give us all a ride. We really appreciated the extra care.”

“It is an honor to be asked to host the people that book our retreat facilities and services, and we want to make sure we live up to that and support their goals the best ways possible,” Thomsen said.

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