Like all our New Year's retreats the one for 2008 was sold out. Staff and volunteers were busy making sure the participants had the best celebration ever. The front desk was open so men could buy from the gift shop, schedule a massage, etc The only problem for the man at the front desk was that the phone was "ringing off the hook"! The summer before, a man named Joe asked about having some of his friends come for a knitting retreat. We thought that there would be at most eight to ten guys sitting in the Sun Room knitting, so we scheduled it for May 9-11 - a weekend that had two other events. The retreat was announced, January 1, on "Queer Joe's Knitting Blog," with no price mentioned, just a statement saying, "There is no charge to attend the retreat, other than your accommodations and meals, payable directly to Easton Mountain," so the front desk manager was caught having to explain housing options to each person who called - in the middle of the busiest retreat of the year!
We ended up canceling one of the two other retreats for that May weekend, and the other retreat ended up in the Sun Room, while the knitting retreat had the Great Room. Joe said of the event, "The entire weekend was beyond delightful in more ways than I could possibly describe. On many levels, this event was brilliant...not because of any specific aspect, but because of how it all melded into an incredible experience. This was by far the most amazing aspect. We had an incredible diversity of guys at the retreat.
"Diverse in age, in philosophy, in education, in knitting experience, in background, in careers and every other possible aspect you could imagine. And they weren't just diverse...they were wildly diverse. And yet the group still came together in one of the most balanced, well-working group I have ever been with. Each person brought their best quality and threw it into the mix and the result was extraordinary. I fell in love with everyone there."
The Men's Knitting Retreat has been held every spring since then and has been expended to a three-day weekend with about fifty men every year.
Are you a member of a group that could benefit by holding a retreat at Easton Mountain? If so, call Mike Hands at 518-692-8023 for more information.