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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: Retreat Reflections

    Retreat Reflections: Our Lady of Lourdes Hospice Business Training

    November 19, 2018 / By Bettye Canestaro

    We, at Lourdes Hospice and Lourdes at Home, have scheduled our staff and volunteer daytime retreats at Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center for 10 years.

    We schedule retreats for both our staff and volunteers to be a source of inspiration and introduce some peace into the work life. We have found Sky Lake a perfect location with its respite, peace, and quietness.

    We have always gathered at Founder’s Lodge. The lodge is spacious and affords a beautiful panoramic view of the lake and is comfortable and well appointed. The upper portion of the lodge is perfect for a larger group and the stone fireplace is so inviting. The lower portion is well suited for a smaller intimate group and there is a fireplace there as well!

    We always encourage a walk around the lake at some point during the day. During that time, you can find wild flowers and sometimes wildlife on the lake. Some have said, “I took the walk alone………..I wanted to hear the silence.” Others have said, “The walk around the lake was a great time to be together with my co-workers and talk to them … about family, trips, children’s activities … we rarely have time at work.”

    In Founder’s Lodge, there is always a nook to take some time for oneself … to read or just be alone. One volunteer related that she “finds a quiet place to journal – it’s hard to find that quiet at home!”

    The Sky Lake staff is not only courteous and efficient but attentive to details of our event, always responding in a prompt manner. They are professional, and have positive attitudes and excellent customer service skills. The meals are delicious, flavorsome and appetizing. Working with the kitchen staff has been more than pleasant. They are more than willing to adjust the menu to adapt to dietary needs and special requests such as, the ice cream sundae bar - a favorite of all.  When I requested it, there was a resounding, “No problem … now, what toppings would you like?” It’s a sweet way to end our day at Sky Lake.

    The retreat committee and myself who schedule and plan the day always look forward to working with the staff and we look forward to future dates.

    Sky Lake is a perfect place. We always feel welcomed and well cared for. There is kind hospitality. We have never been disappointed.

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    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."