From the Lakeshore...

5 Reasons Why a Retreat is Good for Your Business!

As the long Winter season winds down, businesses are looking for ways to rejuvenate employee morale and efficiency.  What better way than to enjoy some time away from it all, yet completely connected?  True Friends Conference & Retreat Centers offer beautiful lakeside lodging and dining.  During meetings, connect to business with our wi-fi.  And when the meetings are through, connect with each other over s’mores at our campfire.  The following article goes in depth on the benefits of a retreat for your business (and yourself.)  Enjoy!

5 Reasons to Retreat

1) You need perspective to keep your business moving forward. "Retreats can be a fabulous way for entrepreneurs to pop the bubble they may find themselves in," says Beth Buelow, founder of coaching company The Introvert Entrepreneur. "There's a safety in the busy-ness that comes from putting your head down and throwing yourself into the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business. But that safety can lead to stagnation."

2) Sitting and thinking is work, even if it looks like goofing off. "There is value in learning and absorbing, but in the past, I did that only in my spare time," says Blue Buddha Boutique's Rebeca Mojica. "I thought, That's not real work. But it is real work, and it's the kind of work that only I, as the leader of the company, can do. I'm the one who has the whole picture."

3) You can connect with professionals with a range of skills. Kyle Kesterson, founder and CEO of Seattle-based animation startup Freak'n Genius, attended a Global Shapers retreat that included people from the worlds of technology, media, sports, engineering and the arts. In one session, participants listed their areas of expertise and discussed what they could do to help the others. "With such a high-performing group, it took up a whole board," he says.

4) You don't know what you don't know--and sometimes you need other people to help you see things differently. "You can look at what other entrepreneurs are doing and ask how does this happen, and they can hit you over the head with the most obvious thing," says Denise Blasevick of The S3 Agency. She hired an account manager after attending a personnel investment session at a retreat.

5) It's an investment in your business. "Generally the money isn't that big a deal unless you're doing something really outrageous," Blasevick says. "The cost is not doing it, in my book.

The right retreat should facilitate experience-sharing, resulting in new thinking." --S.D.

Although her jewelry-supply company is called Blue Buddha Boutique, Rebeca Mojica wasn't feeling particularly Zen at her first entrepreneurial retreat.

"I spent the first few hours feeling antsy because it wasn't moving fast," the Chicago-based entrepreneur recalls of her experience at Big Rock Valley, the Edward Lowe Foundation's property in rural Michigan. "The session was very conversational and cerebral. I was, like, 'No, we should be doing things, lots of activities! Boom, bang, c'mon guys, let's go!'"

Later, chatting with other participants by the fire, she started to get the idea. "I was more relaxed than I'd been in quite some time," she says. "I realized that the whole point of the retreat was to take a break from the daily grind. To not feel like you're juggling eight things while standing on one leg and trying to put out a fire across the room."

On her next retreat, Mojica was ready to slow down. One activity was a silent walk in the woods, contemplating questions posted along the way. "I wished there had been a little more time allotted to this activity," she says. "It was really nice to enjoy nature, to really be in the moment."

A retreat can be a great way to step back from your business for a new perspective, learn from experts and other entrepreneurs, and just refresh your brain. But before signing up, you'll want to do a self-assessment. "You have to evaluate what you really need," says Kimberlee Williams, CEO of Jersey City, N.J.-basedleadership coaching company ignitem. Some retreats are social, some emphasize motivation, some "are like one long infomercial," Williams says. "Make sure you're going to get value while you're there and it's not just a way of getting into their sales funnel."

Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency in New Jersey, took the same silent walk in the woods that Mojica did--but felt differently about it. "I'm just not into that kind of thing," she says. Nor motivational pep talks, nor trust exercises--Blasevick prefers a retreat that emphasizes learning and includes a "behind-the-velvet-ropes experience at a really cool company." In planning a retreat for her Entrepreneurs' Organization group, she's considering Memphis and Atlanta, where participants might visit the headquarters of FedEx, Coca-Cola, UPS or Home Depot.

Retreats can vary in length. "A two-day retreat has a ton of benefits, especially if it's off-site and in an area completely different from where your business is," Mojica says. "But at some point I would love to do a longer retreat, like a week, to get into more issues and more meditation."

Williams has found another way to go deeper: stay on-site. She did her first retreat in New York City and returned home to her own bed each night. Subsequent sessions further afield showed her the benefits of staying on-site. "In the hotel room at night, I would do the homework of the day," she says.

And finally, when you change your environment, you never really know what's going to trigger a new idea. At Big Rock Valley, retreat participants stay in restored railroad boxcars. That idea started with founder Edward Lowe, who used a caboose as his own retreat. "It was a thinking caboose, where he would go to think," Mojica says. "That was so inspiring to me. I need a caboose."

One of the most important elements of any retreat is what happens after it's over. "The learning is good, and you need that, but a lot of it is about the execution," Williams says. "A coaching component helps you with the execution."

Sophia Dembling's latest book, 100 Places in the USA Every Woman Should Go, comes out this year.

BY | February 28, 2014 | Entrepreneur Magazine

Find the original article here:

Chicken Enchiladas

Try this tasty camp favorite at home!

Sauce Ingredients:

1 Cup Milk

2 Cups Heavy Cream

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Canned Green Chili Peppers (I use Rosarita Brand)

3 Large Tomatoes Diced

1 Small Red Onion Diced

3 tbsp Jalapeno Juice

1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Dry Parsley

1 Clove Garlic Chopped

Corn Starch of Flour to Thicken (Corn Starch to Thicken)

Enchilada Ingredients

4-5 Chicken Breasts

Corn or Flour Tortillas (For Gluten free use Corn Tortillas)

½ Cup Cream Cheese

½ Cup Sour Cream

2 tbsp Taco Seasoning

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Start by placing chicken breasts in a stock pot and cover with water. Not too much water, just enough to cover the chicken. Add taco seasoning to the water and boil chicken until cooked. Chicken needs to be an internal temperature of 165.

Next make the sauce by adding chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic in a large sauce pan and fry over medium heat for a few minutes. After it is warm use a potato masher and mash the vegetables to let the tomato juice out. Juicy tomatoes will give you the best Enchiladas. Add milk, heavy, cream, and sour cream and mix all together and bring to a boil. Add salt, cayenne pepper, dried parsley, and jalapeño juice. Let simmer. If after simmering for awhile the sauce needs to be thickened, mix a little bit of milk with corn starch and slowly pour in while stirring until sauce is desired thickness. Should be a little thicker than gravy or an Alfredo sauce.

When chicken is fully cooked, drain the water and rinse the chicken in cold water. This will make it easier to handle for the next step. Using two forks pull against the grain of the chicken in order to shred it. Mix the shredded chicken in a bowl with ½ cup of cream cheese and ½ cup of sour cream. Mix until well blended.

To make the enchiladas (I use small tortillas 6-8 inches, smaller portions equals a healthier diet), spoon the chicken mixture onto tortillas and roll up. To make the process easier you may brush tortillas with olive oil and warm them up.

Using a well greased cake pan (9x13 or larger) put about half of the sauce mixture into the bottom of the pan. After rolling the tortillas with chicken, place in two rows vertically down the cake pan. About 15-20 enchiladas should fit in the pan. After you have your pan loaded with enchiladas, ladle the rest of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bake enchiladas at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa!

Tres Leches Recipe

We recently served this scrumptious dessert to a rental group and immediately received outstanding reviews! The group couldn't get enough (and that includes a few staff who snuck a taste)!

What you'll need:
1- 9 x 13 inch cake pan

1 1/2 c Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 c Butter
1 c Sugar
5 Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 c Whole Milk
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (12 oz) can Evaporated Milk

1 1/2 c Heavy Whipping Cream
1 c Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1) Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9x13 inch cake pan.
2) Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
3) Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar until fuffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 tsp vanilla extract; beat well.
4) Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5) Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork. Let the cake cool.
6) Combine the whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
7) Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together until thick. Spread over the top of cake.


A note from the Angel Foundation

Thank you to True Friends and you for creating a wonderful and memorable Facing Cancer Together Kids Kamp for all. The entire staff at Eden Wood was nothing but kind, flexible, helpful and considerate.

Thought I’d share some kind words from our families so you’d all know how much camp means to our families.

When cancer hit our house, and our little world was knocked around quite a bit. The Angel Foundation was there. We needed financial help. The Angel Foundation was there. When our children's fragile and frightened hearts needed reassurance. The Angel Foundation was there. When we found out it had moved to my brain. The Angel Foundation was there. When we were emotionally drained and feeling raw and alone. The Angel Foundation was there. How comforting to know that through every step of the shocking, fearful and yes sometimes the beautiful parts of cancer the Angel Foundation will be there. Thank you for all that you do.

So my kids are home, third year doing this at teens, and still super pumped and happy. I can't tell you what this does for them. Living with this hanging over us is hard, and they get a chance to just go away and be teens.

I could never fully express my gratitude for your foundation, Kids Camp, and the genuine kindness of your staff and volunteers so I will simply just say, Thank You. My Daughter just had so much fun at camp this year and it prompted us to talk a lot about her mother this week.

Janice H.

Waterfront accessibility project

This summer Camp Friendship near Annandale was lucky enough to be the recipient of funding for a new waterfront accessibility project.  The new waterfront will feature paved sidewalks to gathering areas and down to the beach area and beautiful landscaping. We are excited to have this new feature at our facility and cannot wait to share it with our guests!

What a Wonderful Winter

Another gorgeous snowfall provides a fresh white canvas across Camps of Courage & Friendship. Ice skates, snowshoes, cross-country skis and milder temperatures lure guests to enjoy winter's wonderland. After exploring, a crackling fire welcomes everyone back inside. On the menu, our savory stuffed baked potatoes bring comfy warmth to your insides. Life is good.

Contact Details

10509 108th St. NW
Annandale, MN 55302

Tel: 952.852.0104
Toll Free: 800.450.8376
Fax: 952.852.0123

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To be so close to our homes in the metro but feel so far away from "it all" was an amazing experience.

Akin Adeniyi, Deeper Life Church

We had a wonderful time at our weekend convention. I want to thank Gina our host and the staff at your kitchen. We've used various facilities but yours is distinct. We thank you for giving us such great service.

Confirmation Leader

Everyone loved Camp Friendship. Being close to the cities makes it a very convenient location.

Mill End Quilters

The lighting was great with easy loading and unloading – perfect for our age group. Very pleased. Everything was perfect.

Fr. Joseph

Thank you to all the staff. Our event was a huge success thanks to your hard work! We look forward to coming out again!

A Crafter

I was amazed! The cabin was beautiful with all the knotty pine and great natural light with all the windows.

Returning Guest

The food was excellent - very creative and tasty with many veggies & fruit. Very helpful, courteous staff. Thank you!

St. Timothy’s Leader

Anything I needed was retrieved or made for me. The staff and facilities were excellent.