Cabins in the Woods: A Visit to the Highlights Foundation Retreat

The folks at the Highlights Foundation invited me down for a visit last week, to see the beautiful property where the Founders Workshops take place and to visit with the writers who were there on retreat with author/editor extraordinaire Carolyn Yoder. The drive through New York’s Southern Tier and the Delaware River Valley to the Poconos was beautiful – so many great small spots along the way. Like the Masonville General Store…

…and Butterfields Cafe.

If you’re ever hungry in Deposit, NY…Butterfields is a tiny, charming place with all organic produce and poultry.

Once we arrived in Honesdale, Miss Annie, one of the Highlights interns, welcomed us at the foundation’s offices in Honesdale and took us on a tour that included this office mascot, Giggy.

(It’s actually a model a model of a Giganotosaurus Skull that was used in a promotion a while back)

We got to see some fun sample crafts that Highlights creates to be photographed for all of their craft features in the magazine…

…and the piles of children’s writing and artwork submissions being considered for the kids’ pages.

My daughter was delighted when the Highlights folks pulled out the September 2009 issue in which her mermaid poem appeared. She was tickled to know that her original poem is living in a giant creativity warehouse in Ohio, where all the other past submissions are stored.

We got to see the very first issue of Highlights from 1946.

Some of the features made us smile.

It was great fun to see how the style of the magazine and the depiction of kids and parents (moms especially!) has changed over the years.  And then it was off to Boyds Mills to the retreat property.

It’s easy to see why the Highlights Foundation Workshops draw people from all over the country. It’s a remote and beautiful place to write and learn.

Thanks, Highlights family, for a lovely visit to your corner of the world.

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10 Comments

  1. Sandy Brehl
    Posted August 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Oooh! Ahhh! What I wouldn’t give to be a hitching a ride on your tour. A summer Highllights Foundation conference has been on my bucket list for years, but now I’ll add a Honesdale to the list. Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

    • Posted August 15, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I hadn’t been to the retreat center before, Sandy, and I was so impressed. Just a lovely, lovely spot.

  2. Posted August 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    How lovely! I thoroughly enjoyed my Highlights magazines when I was little. :D

    • Posted August 15, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Me too! It was great fun to see some of those older issues – interesting how some things like Goofus & Gallant, have stayed constant but also evolved over the years.

  3. Posted August 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a lovely place. And I just love that skull. :-)

  4. Mom
    Posted August 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    ……..and lucky for me that our house was on the way !! Great weekend. Love, Nan & Pop

  5. Posted August 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    This makes me even more excited about my upcoming visit in Spring 2012. Thanks, Kate!

    • Posted August 18, 2011 at 12:59 am | Permalink

      You will have a wonderful, wonderful time – can’t imagine a lovelier spot!

  6. Posted October 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    kate, sounds like and incredible journey. thanks for stopping by and sharing a moment. we enjoyed the short but impressionable visit with you and your lovely daughter.

    george, naoki, sady & mikie
    butterfields

    • Posted October 5, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment – if we’re ever passing through, we’ll be back for sure. Loved your farmer’s pie!

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