I love scrapbook retreats! I attended my first retreat a year ago and was amazed at how much I accomplished in just 48 hours. If you've never attended a retreat, I encourage you to consider giving it a try. It's a wonderful way to knock out a big project, make new crafting friends, and maybe even learn some new techniques.
Before you book a retreat, here's a few important things to consider:
- Location - How far are you willing to travel? Depending upon where you live, you may be able to find a retreat in or near your city. If you're looking to be far enough away to avoid distractions (but still reachable in an emergency) a few hours' drive might be for you. You can even attend scrapbook cruises or international crafting vacations! For me, I usually travel a distance of two hours or so -- far enough to justify an overnight stay so I can crop as late into the evening as I wish. If you can't get out of town, look into a day retreat or crop party at a local scrapbook or craft store.
- Crop Room Accommodations - Will you have adequate room for all your scrapping supplies? Are power outlets available for your Cricut? Is internet access available, if needed? Are attendees limited to a certain number of boxes or totes? Will a supply store be available for any unexpected needs? You'll be spending the majority of your time in the crop room, so be sure you're happy with what is available and any limits on your space or supplies. I've found the most comfortable crop rooms are found at retreat centers specifically designed for scrapbookers. Those hosts think of everything -- individual wastebaskets, lumbar supports, and even access to Cricut cartridge libraries!
- Survival Accommodations - You may be scrappin', but you've still got to eat and (maybe) sleep. Do you want meals prepared for you? Full-service retreats provide meals and snacks so you don't even have to step into a kitchen, but you'll still want to pack some treats if you have a late-night craving or need a morning soda or coffee. What are your preferences for sleeping arrangements? These accommodations vary greatly -- from single-occupant rooms to cabins for you and your friends to dormitory-style setups.
- Extras - Do you want to learn a new technique during your retreat? Some hosts offer classes or even individual guidance for beginning scrapbookers. Want a massage? Every retreat I've attended has featured this special extra! (And it's worth it by Saturday afternoon for those sore shoulders and neck!) Depending upon your locale, the retreat may even have some non-scrapbooking fun available. The retreat I'm attending this weekend has horseback riding and canoes!
If you're convinced, enter "scrapbook treat" and your location into a search engine and see what's available in your area. Here's a couple resources for finding a retreat in North America:
Scrapbook Retreat Directory (directory of paid sponsors)
Scrappin' Retreats via Squidoo
Crop Across Canada: Scrapbook Events
Have you attended a retreat or plan to in 2012? Tell me about it in the comments! I'd love to hear what you enjoy most about retreats or even some of your favorite retreat memories.
Have a happy, scrappy weekend,