Our company has been going through many changes lately. Changes in our camp location, the curriculum we are integrating into our stories, the culture we are studying, our international presence, the new Hero Makers who have joined us, and more. With all of the change, it’s important for a company of any size to take a break and work through what we are doing, why we are doing it, how we are doing it, and who we are doing it for. This was our objective as all of our full-time staff piled into the Guard Up van and headed out to the Catskills…

We arrived at Spillian, an 1800’s mansion in the small town of Fleischmann, NY. We were greeted by my dear friend, Leigh Melander, former Vice President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. Leigh and her husband own the historical and quite magical Spillian mansion. Every morning before breakfast over the next 3 days, our staff were able to wander the many miles of woodland trails and abandoned railroad tracks. Or sit and read while munching on Chocolate Biscotti and sipping coffee. Then we got down to work. We were immersed in exploring our company culture, deciding what actions to take in order to expand and amplify that culture, and sharing stories that illustrate our mission, vision, values, and purpose. Yes, we also got a bit silly with every staff person being given an animal onesie to call their own (and dance in), playing in the rain, sharing outrageous stories by the campfire, or indulging in the exceptional meals provided by the Spillian Chef (including JRR Tolkein’s elven Lembas Bread). We worked and we played. And we return to you, our community, refreshed and ready to take on another year of educational adventures.

We look forward to sharing with you our actionables from this retreat as we roll them out over the year. We know that you will love them as much as we are excited about enacting them. So stay tuned and keep in touch. We appreciate you and your part in our community!