From Vision Boards to Days on the Lake, Here’s How We Took Our Annual Team Retreat to New Heights
While I’m undoubtedly a beach girl at heart (born and raised in the OC), I have fond memories of the mountains.
Every summer as a child, I’d get sent to summer camp for a week of slumber parties with my best friends, banana boating on the lake, stargazing, pontooning, campfire stories and intense games of dodgeball. It was childhood bliss.
I’m now in my mid-20s, and when summer rolls around each year, it’s hard not to wonder why just kids get to have all the fun.
As the managing editor of Locale, I had the privilege of being part of our 2023 team retreat committee, where we flipped the script and decided to put on our very own Adult Summer Camps California.
Sprinkling in a little bit of nostalgia, relaxation and team bonding, reminiscent of those carefree summer camp days from my youth, we trekked up to Lake Arrowhead for 48 hours in the great outdoors.
Maybe it’s my OC-girl nature, but pitching our own tents didn’t sound like my idea of fun, so we chose The Perch at Twin Peaks for our mountain getaway. Nestled on 4.5 acres and just a few miles from Lake Arrowhead, this property was perfect for our intimate team retreat. With 13 individual cabins, each of us had our own private sanctuary with views of soaring pine trees. Each interior, recently refreshed, blended modern amenities with rustic charm. The wood accents and old-school fireplaces exuded a coziness, especially after the sun went down. It was the perfect balance of comfort and style.
One of the highlights of our retreat was our day trip to Lake Gregory. Channeling our inner children, we raced down the dueling waterslides, tackled the floating obstacle course (as best we could) and took a dip in the lake. When lunchtime rolled around, we headed over to Hortencia’s at the Cliffhanger—a cliffside restaurant with margaritas the size of your head and a hearty selection of Mexican classics.
After a day at the lake and a few margs, our team headed back to The Perch at Twin Peaks for a night of grilling and chilling. As someone who loves to chef it up, I fired up the grill and threw on some kabobs and corn. As we gathered for a meal together in The Perch’s rustic barn, we shared stories and took in epic views of the sunset through the trees.
Day two of Camp Locale kicked off with a hearty bacon and egg breakfast and some team bonding. We started with a yoga class in the barn, then gathered in one of the larger cabins for a spirited game of “Salad Bowl” (a fast-paced charades game), which is worth playing if you haven’t.
Our Adult Summer Camps California wasn’t just about fun and games though; we also took time for introspection and personal growth. We sat down together with a stack of magazines and created our very own vision boards! It was fascinating to see the dreams, aspirations and goals of each team member, and it ultimately gave us a deeper understanding of each other and how we can support one another.
On the last night, we gathered around The Perch’s outdoor fireplace to roast marshmallows and enjoy each other’s company before heading down the mountain the next morning. Pro tip: Take advantage of The Perch’s coffee and pastries offer if you plan on leaving early in the a.m.!
As the retreat came to an end, there was a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for the memories made, the bonds strengthened and the moments shared. At Camp Locale, connection and camaraderie came into focus—and it definitely lived up to the hype of those childhood summer camps days.