PCMA Convene Magazine

She Said It Better Than I Did – My Interview in Convene Magazine

Posted on Posted in Ann Voorhees Baker, Blog, WAW Community News, Workshops 2017

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle Russell, Editor of Convene Magazine, sent me a message asking if she could interview me about our retreats – how they’re organized, how they’re different, why they work, why they change some women’s lives.

“Me?” I thought. Why would a meetings-and-conventions magazine want to know anything about our gatherings? After all, our maximum capacity at both the Women At Woodstock Workshop Weekend and the Writers Retreat is 40 women. I’m thinking, I’m small potatoes as far as the world of meetings and conventions is concerned. Make that tiny potatoes, in fact. Fingerlings.

But of course I was more than happy to talk with Michelle, and she was more than happy to listen. And it was a great conversation. Michelle really seems to understand that there’s something about Women At Woodstock that makes it different and worth investigating.

What makes Women At Woodstock so different?

What is so different? That’s easy. It’s the type of woman who attends: creative, wise, seasoned, smart, compassionate; a woman who’s done interesting things and been through some shit and is finished with posturing or intimidating. It’s also the intimacy of the group; everyone gets to know everyone by the time the weekend is done; no one feels lost or small. And it’s the physical resonance of Lifebridge Sanctuary – a very special place in the Catskills that is natural and rustic yet clean and modern; eco conscious (solar-powered, no paper towels or water bottles allowed), spacious, filled with light, sitting atop a rise that overlooks sweeping views.

It’s also the pace and the content of what we do. We share information, we listen to each other, we encourage and offer assistance to help us achieve our dreams. We have long stretches of time to have private conversations or reflect in solitude. It’s a haven. The place and the people and the way we go about our days; yeah, it truly is a sanctuary. Exactly that.

Women At Woodstock – a national yet intimate virtual-reality think tank and support group.

Women At Woodstock and the Writers Retreat could well be described as mash-ups of Purposeful Meeting meets Networking Event meets Spiritual Retreat meets Summer Camp meets Slumber Party meets Girls’ Getaway. It’s all those things and it’s no one of those things. And always, I mean always at our gatherings, remarkable coincidences crop up, synergies happen, esoteric information is offered up, unexpected connections are made, and friendships and support flow throughout the weekend and on into the years that follow. There are women who came six years ago who remain in touch and supportive of one another to this day, from all over the country. Women At Woodstock is a national yet intimate virtual-reality think tank and support group. Virtual, but indeed very real.

The headline on Convene Magazine reads, “4 Ways to Build Networks at Retreats: The founder and organizer of an annual retreat for women shares what she’s learned about creating an intimate environment where people make meaningful connections.” Michelle describes our retreats and what we do in a way that’s better than how I actually said it, I’m sure. She really captures the depth and the spirit of Women At Woodstock. Click below to read what she wrote:

Convene Magazine cover

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