Several years ago, I was invited to do a brainstorming session at an offsite meeting in Algonquin Park.
What I didn’t know as I was packing my blow-dryer was that the location Northern Edge Algonquin was off the grid.
I hate to admit that I had never set foot in Algonquin Park … nor had I ever been anywhere that was off the grid … at least intentionally!
It’s not that I am a high maintenance city chick … I have just never been presented with the opportunity!
Northern Edge was breathtaking. The sights, the sounds, and the bugs were truly incredible!
And, it was tough, really, tough … like every few minutes I would reach for my phone tough.
The other guests were struggling as well, but none of us wanted to admit it!
Composting toilets, well water, and flashlights were markers of a strange new world. What on earth had we gotten ourselves into?
And then suddenly, like a light switch (or not in this case) it all changed.
We gathered in the dining hall filled with beeswax candles and bouquets of wild flowers.
We sipped local wine with our well water, and we talked. We listened to the haunting call of the loons on the lake. We ate the most exquisite organic locally grown food I had ever tasted.
After dinner, we sat around the campfire gazing at the stars and listening to the sounds of silence.
By the time I headed off to bed in a little cabin in the woods, it was raining. I listened to the rain drops, and the leaves hitting the canvas roof of the cabin. I had the best sleep of my life.
The next day the ideas generated during the brainstorming session were big and brilliant! The guests had picked berries and done yoga before breakfast. They had also attended a drumming class by the lake. Several had gone skinny dipping before the sun was up.
Was it connected? Was being disconnected making us more connected with nature, with each other, and with ourselves?
Yes … in fact it was … and the positive effects on our minds, bodies, and souls was palpable!
When I spoke with the owners of Northern Edge (Martha and Todd Lucier), they explained how vital, and magical it is to experience firsthand the great sense of freedom that comes from being off-the-grid.
Every day they watch their guests transform from frenzied, tech-addicted executives, to peaceful, nature loving, connected humans.
I am a believer that offsites off the grid are the best possible way to get real with each other. Besides, there is no possibility of boring slides!
If it’s time to ramp up your team’s engagement and collaboration – we can help! Contact us today.