The Uplands was delighted to welcome back the New Jersey Children’s Foundation, whose mission is to invest in people, programs, and partnerships that will improve public education and equity by putting the interests of children first. The aims for their retreat were to deepen connections amongst members of their team, define goals for 2023 and enjoy some self-care and wellness practices.
After arriving and enjoying a light lunch of mushroom soup, oat rolls and salads, the group participated in a guided nature observation on the Wellness Walk, followed by a discussion on our East-facing patio about their annual performance review process. Following some free time, they gathered for a candle-light meal of curry with coconut rice, saag paneer, sweet corn potato fritters and home-made chutney, with rhubarb cake and maple whipped cream. Their dinner was followed by a colorful sunset before gathering around a fire under the stars.
Their morning began with a nourishing breakfast and a tour of the garden, which set the stage for the day’s work evaluating the past year and identifying goals for the coming year, guided by the Uplands’ experienced facilitators. After updating their context analysis and evaluating their goals for 2022 – and a welcome break of soup, frittata and salads – the group engaged in a consensus workshop which enabled them to define their aims for 2023. After a full day’s work, the group enjoyed some free time before dinner featuring hand-made gnocchi with early peas and asparagus, roasted carrot tart, focaccia and several salads, topped with a flourless deep chocolate torte with raspberries. Their evening was spent playing games and enjoying time with their colleagues.
The Uplands is grateful to the New Jersey Children’s Foundation for coming back for this year’s annual staff retreat and for the important work they do to promote equitable opportunities for all of New Jersey’s children, and looks forward to hosting them again in the near future.