Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Get-Away

This week I attended a great retreat/continuing education event at Good Earth Village, a summer camp and retreat about an hour from here. The cold was brutal, but everything else was comfy and cozy. I think I found my perfect retreat setting! I just wish I could invite you all to Minnesota to go to Good Earth Village with me. The shot on the right is the meeting space at the Log Lodge where we met and stayed. Everything was very "North Woods-y" and very, very cozy.

The workshop was about Multiple Intelligences. There were three main segments devoted to: 1) getting to understand the theory of multiple intelligences,2) learning about our individual strongest intelligences, and then 3) figuring out how to use this information in a congregational setting. Good stuff!

Since I'm blogging about this, it's probably no surprise to hear that Linguistic (Words) is my favored learning style/intelligence. Reading, writing, talking, listening . . . all my favorite ways to LEARN. Learning is really what multiple intelligences are all about.

So far researchers have identified eight separate ways to learn. These are the "intelligences": Linguistic (Words), Logic (Math/Patterns), Visual-Spatial (See/Visualize), Body-Kinesthetic (Move/Touch), Musical (Music), Interpersonal (Getting along with others), Intrapersonal (Going within), and Naturalist (Animals/Outdoors).  We all have all eight,  but each of us leads with some more than others.

We took a simple assessment where we gave each statement a score of 1-4 from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. I made some predictions before I took it and got one surprise from my final score.

Music rose to the top and surprised me. While I have made music for most of my life, I don't usually think of it as a way that I learn. As I thought about it I remembered something I discovered at another retreat long, long ago. My faith life has a definite sound-track. Every major milestone as I have grown in faith has a theme song. The first was Oh Who Can Make A Flower? from my very first Vacation Bible School experience (I'm told I sang it in my sleep in the camper on the family vacation that immediately followed) to the most recent background music of the Kyrie we sing here every Sunday. My kids have long teased me that unlike most people, I do actually live in a musical. It is not unusual for me to accompany daily life with a bit of song so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. I just need to remember how easily I learn things set to music and seek out more music in my life! Sadly, rhythm, which is spatial, did not rise to the top.

My roommate for this event was a Children Youth and Family person from a nearby congregation. We had previously met but I really enjoyed our time together and made plans to travel together to future CYF events and save the gas and the planet (that's where Naturalistic Intelligence shows up.) She got engaged two days before this event (Interpersonal) so we are also getting together to talk about stamping and DIY weddings. It was a very happy pairing. We also had a great room with a private bath. Check out the picture on the right.

There are nine rooms with this set up in the Log Lodge. It would be so perfect for a women's retreat. I'm mentally working on how to build interest in a retreat for the women of my congregation.

One other thing made this the retreat center of my dreams: a double-sided fireplace in the center of the upper level. We kept it roaring the whole time we were there. Welcome heat in the cold winter!  
Saturday night I went to a heart-warming event at the Servicemen's Club - a gala to raise money for the local Boys & Girls Club which is a very important organization in Blooming Prairie. The Club provides a lot of child-care in the summer and after-school care all year round. It won't be quite the scale of the gala for the New Life Center that many of you attend, but it should still be an evening of fun for a very good cause.

Another familiar thing to warm my heart here in the cold north: I looked out my front window this weekend and saw that the minivan that lives across the street is FILLED with Girl Scout Cookies! It filled me with fond, and not so fond, memories, and a longing for a cookie. I'm very much looking forward to keeping cozy with a side of Thin Mints, 1100 miles north.