The buzz at Retreat 2017 was it was 'the best yet'. Every year the event grows and improves. This year was no exception: the classes, the teachers, the swag bags, the food. Everything was fabulous. There were the tried-and-true events that have become traditions like the Friday night Make-n-Take and Saturday’s shopping and appetizers, both at Funky Hannah's. Of course, there was the swag bag that was chock full of goodies including three patterns from Adele Kimpbell, one of this year’s guest teachers. The Special Events chair, Maureen Bartz, had begun working on filling it at the 2016 Bead and Button Show and it her efforts were obvious and appreciated. The classes offered a variety of techniques and new challenges and the daily project kits were varied and fun.

And then, there were the improvements. This year was no exception with changes both big and small like offering a class on Friday afternoon and dropping the Saturday night classes and replacing it with the Teacher's Marketplace. Judging by the swarm of people who shopped as soon as it opened, the Marketplace was a hit and hopefully a success for the vendors. But the little improvements that were made were noticed and appreciated too, like the personalized schedule printed on the back of everyone's name tag, and the schedule board in every room, listing that day's events. And this year, the return of the sandwich and soup buffet at noon on Saturday had most people satisfied.

The Special Events Committee worked hard on making sure everything ran smoothly. Prior to the weekend, a list of suggestions on how to get the most out of the weekend was shared via email and at the beginning of each class, a room monitor introduced the guest teacher and reminded everyone to silence their cell phones. As a result, there were fewer distractions in the classrooms and people could concentrate – and concentrate they did. Everyone’s head was bent during every class – an indication of how serious everyone was working on the new projects.

Evaluations were handed out at each session and an overall evaluation was handed out to everyone. It’s safe to say, judging by the great turn-out, the fact that no classes were cancelled and the high caliber of the instructors, this year’s retreat was a great success. The Special Events Committee, lead by Maureen Bartz can be very proud. Thank you everyone and can we start counting down to next year?

Below are photos from Retreat 2017. (Note: photos from Sunday's classes can be found here.)





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