One of my highlights this summer was planning a glamping retreat for my work team this past June.
The theme was “summer camp”, and we landed on a 3 day retreat at Whispering Springs.
Even though I no longer work as an event or wedding planner, it felt nice to dust off my planning skills, and make a vision board come to life.
After all, during the early pandemic, I had to re-create a new vision board when planning our backyard wedding. Naturally, planning this rustic and elegant retreat felt pleasantly familiar to me.
This experience confirmed what I love most: designing memorable experiences that connect people together.
The outcome of our retreat:
- Taking a break from work, collectively.
- Enjoying a wilderness escape outside the city
- Forming friendships with people we see every day in virtually meetings
- Having fun
It felt really good to bond with the 18 humans I work with every day and getting to know them as people, and not two-dimensional faces on a screen.
It was a much needed disconnect, to reconnect.
Below are the highlights of my time at the beautiful and magical Whispering Springs.
My luxury safari tent
My tent was called “Firefly” which set the tone for a whimsical and romantic little accommodation.
The shabby chic furniture and details welcomed me with the familiarity of camping mixed with luxury.
It was my first time experiencing glamping, and it was glorious.
My favourite memories of staying at Firefly tent was:
- Taking a warm bath inside my tent and washing my hair with the sound of morning birdsong surrounding me.
- Making myself a cup of coffee in the still morning, wrapping myself up with my scarf and swaying on my hammock outside, with nowhere else to be but right here.
Being surrounded by nature and animals
My first morning there, I was woken up by the chirping of birds at 6am. The morning light above the white canvas of my tent was so bright that I couldn’t fall back asleep.
I wasn’t meeting with my team until 9:30am, so I had three and half hours to myself.
I ventured outside and explored the beautifully lush property.
I said hello to gentle horses, geese honked as they wobbled down to the pond, and birds chirped above my head as they fetched their breakfast.
It was a quiet morning in the sense that I didn’t see anyone else, but the activity of the local fauna around me was a natural cue that a new day has started.
It felt nice to start a day this way. No rushing, no emails to check, no scrolling, no to-do lists. Just waking up and being alive in a lush green corner of our physical world.
I had the pleasure of creating menus and arranging gourmet food experiences with local caterers.
I also arranged having breakfast boxes delivered at our tents each morning. The introverts on my team appreciated that.
For beverages, we all quenched our thirst at the Watering Hole, the property’s onsite bar.
Good food and drinks were had by all.
What impressed me about Whispering Springs was the attention to detail all around the property.
The fire pit came with complimentary S’Mores kit. Seeing the marshmallows and chocolate biscuits elegantly placed in glass jars for anyone to use was so inviting and cozy.
From the pool, the sauna, the hiking trails, the yoga session, the lawn games…everything.
You felt so welcomed and taken care of, and the overall message was clear: relax, enjoy and play.
The Forest Chapel
The most unique feature at Whispering Springs is their Forest Chapel.
When I passed through it on my morning hike, I got a pang of familiarity.
The forest, the white antique furniture, and the green ivy spilling down the tree trunks. Every detail of this scene reminded me of my own woodland wedding.
Pausing the wedding tones in this forest, this forest was a peaceful little sanctuary for anyone and everyone. Chipmunks included.
I will definitely return back at Whispering Springs with my husband next year. I imagine the magic of Fall being pretty remarkable here.
I leave you with my main takeaways from this experience:
- There is more to life than your job. My boss said so!
- Nature is so healing
- I work with pretty awesome people
- Put down your phone and listen to the birds sing once in while
I hope you find some time to reconnect and reset in the way that energizes your soul.
What has been your biggest highlight this summer?