Going on Faith

Winter 2017

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] FUN ACTIVITIES Groups can take part in shared activities in addition to the activities planned as part of the leadership or marriage-building programs. Extra activities can include a pottery-throwing class, historical tours, and hopping on a tandem bike and enjoying the paved trails across the Berry College campus. The Winshape staff often incor- porates these programs into retreats and work- shops. For example, a team-building program may include a personality test to identify the strengths of each participant, followed by a break- out activity where members of the group will work together to escape a locked room as an exercise to recognize how all their strengths work together. Other activities, such as outdoor dining, fireside breaks and making s'mores can be added to a group's retreat experience and must be scheduled ahead of time. PROGRAMS The core of Winshape's programming is to "cre- ate experiences that transform," according to Betty Bergen, the senior sales manager for the center. This translates to experiences designed for both spiritual and personal growth and atten- tion to detail that even affects things like dinner and fellowship around the table. Weekends at Winshape are reserved for mar- riage retreats. Couples can take part in retreats led by the center's staff 12 weekends of the year. There are many options for couples, such as Successful Stepfamilies, Couples in Crisis and Keeping the Dream Alive: Passion After Parenting. One of the hidden gems at Winshape is a surprise you'll see in the closets of the rooms at the Normandy Inn. Couples leave encouraging notes and their own stories for future couples on the walls of the closets. Winshape is also known for its leadership pro- grams. Cathy believed that growing and cultivating good leaders was an important endeavor and wrote several books on the topic. His legacy of teaching future leaders and helping those already in the position to continue to grow lives at the foundation of Winshape leadership retreats. These workshops can be targeted toward corporate lead- ers or church leadership. One program, Dive Deep, helps leadership teams develop manage- ment strategies, mission statements and plans of action for their organizations. THE CENTER The buildings and grounds that make up Winshape were once the Berry College dairy farm, which operated on the campus for about 70 years. Originally built by Martha Berry, the founder of Berry College, the structures mimic the architec- tural designs of the Normandy countryside. When the property was converted to a retreat center, the interiors were renovated, but the French- influenced facades remained intact. Today, the guest check-in is in the old calf barn, the Hay Barn houses most of the meeting space, and the milk- ing barn is the main dining area. Touches like the dramatic vaulted ceilings in second-floor rooms of the former dairy barn have also been preserved. Overnight guests have the option of staying in the smaller Normandy Inn, also on-site. As part of the larger Berry College campus, the Winshape Retreat Center is located on 26,000 acres of wildlife preserve. Deer and wild turkeys are common sights around campus, and visitors often enjoy getting out and exploring the miles of trails that wind through the property. Winshape also promotes an "unplugged" experience so cou- ples and teams can focus on each other and their personal transformation without being distracted by the outside world. However, Wi-Fi is available in meeting areas. A PERSONAL TOUCH In all their endeavors, the Winshape staff strive to "create an environment that makes groups feel as if they are truly cared for," said Bergen. The staff comes together each week to pray as a team for the groups coming to the center. "We pray that God will enrich their stay and bring them transfor- mative experiences, either as individuals or as a group." The buildings at the retreat center preserve the Normandy-style architecture of the original dairy barns.

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