Our Experience at Candlelight Forest
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Words by The Good Grit Team
Photos Provided by Candlelight Forest
Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself, or your team, in a place where you really need to ‘press pause’ on distractions and dig deep into strategy and/or planning. Now, raise your other hand if you have ever tried tuning out the world and attempting to make this kind of thing happen in the ‘comfort’ of your own office. Well friends, I obviously can’t see you, but I’m guessing that like our team here at Good Grit, you’re sitting with both hands lifted high. I’m also guessing that the second hand-raise request wasn’t a success…at least not as much as you wish it would have been. Don’t worry - we get it! But there is good news! We like to consider ourselves to be solution-oriented people around here, and that’s what we’ve got for you today.
Just a hop skip and a jump from ever-growing Chattanooga, TN (literally, it’s a 30-minute drive), you’ll find a quaint little gem of a place called Candlelight Forest (candlelightforest.com). And truth be told, from the moment you pull through the gate, things really do slow down. In the best way possible, the hustle & bustle falls away and alas, there is peace. I can think of about fifty different reasons why you could and should schedule a visit to this simpler times resort (weddings, anniversary trip, family weekend, just to name a few), but our revenue team was in dire need of what we lovingly refer to as an unplug. We were all feeling the excitement of amazing things in store for coming months, but we knew if we didn’t eliminate disruptions and dig in, we wouldn’t be ready and wouldn’t have the needed capacity to accomplish our goals! Plus, lets be honest, we are ALL better humans when we engage in real, human connectedness with our friends and colleagues, and throwing a little bit of fun (*cough* wine *cough*) definitely doesn’t hurt the situation.
To begin this two-day refresh, we settled into the cozy treehouse bungalow, Sophie’s Roost (there are several accommodation options available - see them all here). While Sophie’s Roost has the ability to sleep six, our team of three unpacked and claimed the entire amount of space comfortably. With the intentional and charming decorations, we really did feel as if we had escaped to the treetops and were worlds away from the busyness down below. Not only did the atmosphere of Candlelight Forest allow our bodies and spirits to unwind, but it provided the perfect area to spread out, buckle down, and plow through our list of “to-dos” on our retreat. Because you see, not only does this quaint retreat provide cozy cottages and relaxing spaces, but there are plenty of other buildings onsite where you can get work done and more are being added! For example, The Bellewood is a new lodge that will sleep up to 18 people and will also include full conference services for corporate retreats. The venue will be ready just in time for Spring 2020 reservations! We spent hours working hard, with every accommodation afforded to us in our offices (Wi-Fi, Privacy, COFFEE, etc), but with the added luxury of being in full on retreat mode. By the end of the first day, we realized we had made it through more than expected on our list of tasks, and we all unanimously agreed we could accredit our success to the atmosphere Candlelight Forest had created for us.
Candlelight Forest was the escape our team not only wanted but needed. On top of accomplishing our goals, we had FUN. And by fun, I mean laughing until our bellies hurt type of fun. Our three team members explored the properties’ grounds. including beautiful winding streams, magnificent venues, and we even paid a visit to the infamous Pygmy goats on site. This added bonus of exploration and fun was the cherry on top during our time at Candlelight Forest. Not only had we found a spot to hammer out our ideas and work, but we had found a place to build stronger bonds between our team, which is always our overall goal. So, next time you find yourself needing a place to unwind, step back in time, and truly experience the definition of a retreat, book a trip to Candlelight Forest. You will not regret it.
Learn more about Candlelight Forest and schedule your perfect retreat by visiting candlelightforest.com.