The cost was worth every penny. And we had enough time and notice to prepare/save.
I did feel it was costly for commuters; cost was my main point of hesitation before I registered.
A lot. But I would pay it again--worth it.
It was pricey but the length, included food, accommodations and content made it worth it!
By Dawn Rhymer
I would like to thank everyone again who attended CMER 2016 and took so much time to thoughtfully fill out the surveys. I know I will be pulling them out again and again as we continue planning for CMER 2017. As time has distanced us from the last retreat, my memory has faded, and I'm thankful I can rely on the facts of the surveys instead my own general impressions or thoughts. As I sat down to begin this post, I was planning to address the concern which I thought many had voiced of the 2016 Retreat being too expensive.
But here is what I found as I began to read through the surveys:
Very reasonable! Impressively so!
There were some who potentially thought the cost was on the high side, but their comments were still positive and constructive:
I set the surveys to the side with my heart full and greatly encouraged--and a bit perplexed about what I would write. As I thought, I decided that where I would rather like to go with this post is to talk about the main change we made to the CMER which greatly impacted the 2017 cost.
To attend the full retreat in 2016 cost $248.00. This included two nights lodging and five meals. This year, if you attend the full retreat and stay in the bunks, the cost for two nights lodging and five meals is $175.00. As a commuter in 2016, you paid $208.00, which included five meals. This year, a commuter pays $125.00.
This is a significant difference. What changed?
Mainly, it is because we are in a different location. Our plan was to return to The Hideaway. Everything about The Hideaway was easy and beautiful (24 hour coffee). Jason, who runs The Hideaway was great to work with. In fact, the location of CMER 2017 wasn't even in question, but when I contacted Jason to schedule the retreat, I learned he was completely booked. So with much prayer, the search for another location began.
We were led to the Ponderosa, and the staff took several of us on a bumpy ride in a golf cart all over the 600 plus acres. We saw the cabins, bunk houses, meeting rooms, and dining hall. We asked many practical questions, including a fun discussion on the quality of the food--to which the young man conducting the tour could not say enough and, while patting his rounded belly, said, "Here is the proof."
We were also taken in by the raw beauty of The Ponderosa. We could envision the peace and tranquility which would surround us, the nature walks on the hiking trails (don't forget your snow boots this year!), the joy of singing around the bonfire, and the diversity of the facility which would address so many issues we ran into in 2016. I was a little concerned about having to walk between the buildings and having to do so in February, but the CMER team encouraged me with the words, "We are CM educators. A little nature is not going to scare us off."
As we prepare for CMER 2017 at a new location with a much lower cost, our hope is that we have not made any sacrifices with facility or food, but rather have been provided with a new, beautiful location which will make CMER accessible to many more who are on this amazing Charlotte Mason journey of a liberal education for all.
At the CME Retreat Blog we hope to share with you more information about a Charlotte Mason Education, the retreat, the speakers, the workshops and so much more!
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