Friday, June 7, 2013

momstown Spring 2013 Conference at Fern Resort: Home Away from Home

Two weeks ago, I attended the momstown Spring 2013 Conference at Fern Resort in Orillia, Ontario. Like many of my colleagues, I feel that this conference was much different than the previous two. But I also recognize that I was different coming into it. I started momstown Victoria in June 2012, so I have one year of experience behind me, and I am no longer a "newbie." I had attended two previous momstown conferences, and returning to the comforts of Fern Resort and the sorority of the momstown team felt like I was returning to my "home away from home." Not to mention that I was no longer distracted by leaving an unweaned baby behind, 4000 km away. So I was looking forward to being able to focus on both my personal and business development, and I was ready to "lean in" to everything the conference had to offer. 

From left to right: Kim Edmiston from Georgina; Karrie Copelli from Barrie, Patricia Roy-Papineau from Ottawa, Sarah Ryan from Missisauga, myself from Victoria and Tracy Newman from Brampton. 

A rock star cake for a rock star team, made by a member from momstown Georgina & East Gwillimbury.

The conference kicked off with a presentation by Ann-Marie Burton on the history of momstown. Not only did this put my first year of owning a business into perspective, but it also set the tone for the entire weekend. On Saturday, we took focus in the morning with an archery lesson, and in the afternoon we met with Jennifer Bodenham, owner of Gleaming and Dreaming and life and career coach.

Taking focus with an archery lesson. From left to right: Janine Foot from Edmonton, Kelly Hodgson from Oakville, Kristin Heimbecker from Edmonton, and Erin McNamara from Niagara (who hit the bullseye!)

Jennifer Bodenham, owner of Gleaming and Dreaming.
Jennifer used Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map to help us identify our "core desired feelings" and confront some of the fears and past failures that may be preventing us from feeling what we want to feel. Being conscious of my core desired feelings has given me more clarity in my decision-making, both past and present. By the end of the conference, I was able to express to everyone in the room how I was truly feeling. Being able to trust both myself and everyone around me is an incredible gift, and I am forever grateful.

Sharing best practices and program development in the conference room.

Birthday planning on the patio. From left to right: Sam Kassam-McFie from Milton, Tracy Newman from Brampton, Janine Foot from Edmonton, and Sarah Henshaw from Burlington.

Highlights of the conference included team exercises in program development and sharing best practices among the chapters, and we also enjoyed the archery range, swimming pool, hot tub, cabins, hammocks, dining room, conference room, and gorgeous views at wonderful Fern ResortThank you to Fern Resort for all the delicious meals, food trays and coffee, and for making us feel like we were "home away from home."

Gorgeous view of the lake. 

Swimming pool - just before I did a cannonball! ;)

Trying out the hammocks.

Thank you to to Mattel Game On for sponsoring our momstown games night! Apples to Apples made me laugh so much my sides hurt!

Apples to Apples, Mad Gab and Blokus were all a hit. 
Thank you to our wonderful snack sponsors for keeping our energy levels up at the conference! My favourites were the new Chipotle BBQ flavoured Smartfood Popped Hummus Chips, Cheddar & Chives Twistos Crackers, and Quaker's new Quinoa Bars. These were all downright addictive! Also thank you to Walmart Canada for sponsoring all of our conference supplies, pens, notebooks, etc. 

Love those Popped Hummus Chips and Quinoa Bars.

We also each took home bright orange momstown goody bags, which included a detangling hairbrush and elastics from Goody Canada, personalized labels from Mabel's Labels, a box of Alpha-Bits (my kids love it) from Post Cereal, and full-sized bottles of adult and kid gummy vitamins (another family favourite) from Adult Essentials. Thank you to all of our national sponsors for continuing to support what we do, which is to support thousands of moms, kids and babies at the family and community level. Bravo!

Same bags but different swag will be at our momstown 6th Birthday Bash on August 10th! Left to right: Tanya Kitchen Johnson from Red Deer, Leanne Ballard from Guelph.

Thank you to Ann-Marie, Ally, Heather and Sarah for all of your work to plan and organize the conference, and to all of my momstown colleagues for continuing to encourage, support and inspire me. It has been a privilege to be part of such an extraordinary organization.

momstown Team 2013

Sharing our core desired feelings was a conference highlight.

More great blog posts about the momstown Spring 2013 conference:

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