Craigville Retreat Center

People may be wondering about how CRC compares to our other sites.  Is it the same thing or is it different.  I am here to tell you it is very different.  It has required me to change how I work and how I relate to our customers.  It is a "retirement project" that has demanded that I grow and continue to learn even more than other transitions have required.

When I was the Site Director at Pilgrim Pines, during the month of July, we had four groups. The same leaders ran all four months.  Most of the counselors were the same also.  I had a very close relationship with the groups leaders.  Once they arrived and we got started, each following week was pretty much the same.  We were a close team with a familiar relationship.

At Craigville during the month of July, we had 38 groups.  Guests came and went almost before I knew them by name.  I developed a relationships with very few of them.  This fact alone was a great disappointment to me because I have always prided myself on my ability to create relationships very quickly with groups.  One week we had 16 groups including families in the cottages.  Many times, just to have an opportunity to interact with guests, I would go out and water the window boxes or trim the plants.  On the flip side of this, I think our guests were wondering why I was always asking them if they needed anything.  Many of them were resistant to me giving their group a welcome speech.  This past weekend as I was about to give a welcome speech to one of our groups, the group leader said, "why, we have been coming here for years".  So the learning curve goes both ways.

Another huge difference for Craigville, is the neighbors.  Most of our board members are neighbors.  I see many of them everyday.  We stop and talk and discuss the weather.  They know when the grass needs mowed.  They also visit with our guests, so they have a very good pulse on how we are doing.  But the part that I like the most about having board members for neighbors, is, it is them with whom I have the relationship.  I feel their concern and quite often their appreciation for what we do.  I truly am in tune with our partnership. 

Craigville is kind of a Norman Rockwell painting.  When I drive or walk through the neighborhood, I wear a smile and have my hand ready to wave.  Folks will be out walking their dogs, strolling with their children, sitting on a park bench staring into space.  Most folks wave back or speak.  Quite often I stop and pet their dogs who are more than glad to oblige.  It is a happy place, unique in everyway.  We treasure the relationship with the community. I truly feel blessed to have this opportunity.

~ Cynthia Diggs, Site Director