As you know Town Hall is now open to the public on Sundays from 12- 5 PM and Joe Frye the Guitar Guy has been killing it at Cedar Creek on Sundays at Town Hall. He’s performed there most of July so hopefully you had a chance to come out and soak up some of the suds and sounds. In case you didn’t make it out we captured some of his set on July 18th to share with you below. Joe will be back again at Town Hall on August 15th and again on August 29th.
This coming Sunday, August 8th and August 22nd we’ll have Perry Thebeau, AKA TboLive, performing from 12-5.
See you there!
We hope you’ve a had a great start to the summer and we’re here to help kick it off right with live music, craft beer, and great grub at Town Hall! We are officially open to the public this coming Sunday, July 11th from 12PM to 5PM.
This week you can catch the musical stylings of Joe Fry the Guitar Guy, who will be performing on Sundays throughout July. Go Joe!
Bring out the family and celebrate in style again at Town Hall!
Starting on Saturday, July 3rd, Town Hall is back with live music, craft beer, and great grub.
After that, we’ll be open to the public on every subsequent Sunday starting on July 11th from 12 to 5 PM.
Spread the word and stay tuned for the music lineup and an updated seasonal menu.
See you soon!
Howdy folks and welcome to the blog! This is Cedar Creek’s platform for highlighting family history, short essays, and stories that in some way have a connection to Cedar Creek. This place has a wealth of multigenerational family history and we’ll be sharing that and some other things here. Consider this an introduction, if you will, to our online venue for storytelling. So tuck in and read on!
Improving Ourselves and The Property
2020 was one for the record books. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have left many of us yearning for a return to some type of “normal”—and hopefully with the widespread availability of vaccines we will get there soon. At Cedar Creek we remain cautiously optimistic. This past year many of us started working remotely, broadened our skill set, or were forced to cope with unforeseen challenges that left us feeling isolated but hopefully more resilient.
Like many of you, Cedar Creek spent 2020 improving itself. Instead of “waiting it out” we decided to invest in ourselves and have made substantial improvements to the property and added amenities to further serve our guests. And here’s why: we want be in a position to serve you or your group when you feel comfortable returning to a destination retreat in a rustic setting packed with modern convenience.
After working remotely for more than a year it might be time to get away for some team building, partnership, family vacation, and to feel more connected with community again.
Here’s a short list of what we’ve been working on:
- Implemented Covid-19 protocols based on CDC guidelines for guests and staff.
- Built an additional 6 Cottages with screened porches accommodating up to 18.
- Expanded the Swiss Chalet with an outdoor pavilion to increase capacity and for late night gatherings.
- Renovated the iconic five bedroom 1860 Manor House with modern facilities.
- Constructed a music and performance stage for special events and group activities.
- Upgraded and installed fiber optic internet for an ultra fast connection and security.
- Redesigned www.cedarcreekcenter.com with a better reservation system, this updated blog, and engaging visual layout.
If you haven’t been out to visit us for a while then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Keep us in mind when you are ready to meet again and we’ll be ready to serve!
1. Improved Communication
Team building can build bridges between individuals through group participation in activities. People, who are not used to working in an outdoor setting, get a chance to work as a team. By working through a set task, multiple strengths are highlighted in a very positive manner. The result is the emphasis on good communication and the development of multiple ways to accomplishing this.
2. Develop Team Roles
Naturally humans have roles that they are best suited to. For example, some people are best focusing on the big picture and delegating work; while others are most effective carefully checking finished work. Team Building allow for each member of the team to find his or her niche in a positive emotionally safe environment.
3. Time to Develop Skills
It can be difficult for employees to develop new communication skills in an office setting. It is also a challenge to find out what additional skill an employee possess. Carefully designed Team Building activities allow each member of a team to take charge and develop leadership skills, as well as learning about their colleagues skills and communication style.
4. Better Relationships
Team Building at Cedar Creek allows for team members a chance to participate on a level of equal knowledge about any given challenge. In order to complete the task successfully, a team must draw on team process skills. The challenge of a new experience also requires employees to communicate and work together to solve the mental and physical puzzle. Working in close proximity in an outdoor environment helps develop team relationships quickly.
Team Building days can help to reinforce the values and vision of an organization and can contribute to its overall organizational culture. Sometimes team building programs reinforce culture other times they may actually evolve culture in a positive healthy environment.
At the beginning of the summer, the Missouri Trucking Association came to Cedar Creek in an effort to build connections between the association’s different trucking companies.
“No one really knew one another, and we wanted the group to spend time getting to know one another both personally and professionally,” said Judy Stockton, Director of Business Operations & Meetings for the Missouri Trucking Association.
Since the primary goal of the retreat was building relationships and strengthening communication, Stockton contacted Jeni Grunzinger, Sales and Marketing Manager for Cedar Creek, to create an individualized retreat package that would help the group get to know one another in a fun and relaxing environment.
“Helping plan MTA’s retreat was a lot of fun,” said Grunzinger. “They took full advantage of the on-site activities, and scheduled a bonfire, 2nd Shift Brewing beer tasting, and a two-hour team building exercise led by one of our program coordinators on the low-ropes confidence course.”
Early afternoon the group gathered for the low-ropes confidence course. About an hour into the exercise, the group was talking and laughing, but more importantly they were working together to overcome obstacles and challenges.
“The Wall was one of their favorite parts because we told them ‘no’ and it motivated them,” said Stockton, who, when planning, took great care to ensure that the course was not too physically challenging for the group.
Originally designed as a resting point with waters and snacks, the group saw the Wall and asked if they could do it.
“We hesitated at first because the group had been on the course for a while already and it was quite hot,” said Grunzinger.
However, the group could not be deterred, and began to strategize how to get their entire team from one side of the 15 foot wall to the other.
“They did it!” exclaimed Stockton. “Overcoming an obstacle they thought was originally impossible was a great moment for the group.”
After the course, the group headed to the Western Town for their 2nd Shift Brewing tasting, which included five large samples and a pint before heading off to dinner and then the bonfire.
“We would definitely do it again! The group had a great time, and even expressed interest in getting their management teams out on the course,” said Stockton.
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It is not uncommon to find our property packed during the week with companies, not-for-profits, governmental agencies, and religious organizations all trying to strengthen office morale, empower employees, and streamline operations through Team Building activities.
Team Building comes in a variety of forms. From brainstorming sessions, roundtable discussions, and professional development seminars in our meeting and conference rooms, to “get-to-know-you” games and hands-on activities held both inside and outside, we welcome and support your plans and ideas to make your retreat a success.
Moreover, because we have become a popular venue for retreats, we now offer a variety of Team Building Activities led by one of our program coordinators, who will work with you in advance to discuss your group’s goals and objectives, and your current group dynamic to tailor a plan specifically for your team. Each experience is unique, but all are designed to encourage teamwork, taking overall performance to a new level.
Several of our most popular Team Building Activities include:
- Our Low Ropes Confidence Course – Designed to challenge team members in a series of planned exercises that encourage valuable skills like Leadership, Teamwork, Trust, Cooperation, Communication, Problem Solving, Overcoming Obstacles, and Supporting Others.
- Beer Tasting – Your group will experience the fine art of beer making and learn more about the raw ingredients used in the brewing process. Generous samples of at least 5 different beers will be tasted during this lively presentation. At the end participants will receive a pint of the beer they like the best! Snacks may be arranged per the Specialty Break and Hors D’oeuvres Menu.
- Western Town BBQ – Enjoy a chuck wagon style barbeque dinner in a unique vintage western setting. Complimentary cowboy hat and bandana for each guest.
- Wine Tasting Party – Guests will enjoy generous samples of fine wines. All are described by a wine expert as they are poured. Tasting sheets describing each wine will be provided to the guests for future reference. This is a great event for wine enthusiasts as well as beginners. Snacks may be arranged per the Specialty Break and Hors D’oeuvres Menu.
- Mystery Dinner – This comical and entertaining show has many themes available. Guests are encouraged to dress in theme attire and interact with the show.
- Campfire – Star filled skies, clean country air, and the warmth of a campfire is an excellent way to unwind after your meetings. Included in the set-up is building and lighting the fire, and all the makings for S’mores for your entire group.
- Historic Hermann, Missouri Day Excursion – Take a winery tour and visit historic Hermann Missouri. Transportation provided by coach bus or limousine to and from Cedar Creek.
- Golf – Our 9-Hole Par-3 Executive Course can be reserved for a friendly tournament or hole-sponsored contest.
Need help in the planning process? Download our Corporate Retreat Checklist, or contact Jennifer Buwalda, Manager of Meetings & Events, by calling 573.237.3672 ext. 510 or emailing email@example.com.
Sure, there’s a lot to do in the St. Louis area. But sometimes, you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head out for the perfect weekend getaway.
Should you tour a winery or stay at a quaint bed and breakfast? How about camp or attend a festival in a nearby town? Finding that perfect weekend excursion to recharge your batteries can be a draining exercise in of itself.
We get it, and therefore we’ve created an all-encompassing guide to help you determine the perfect weekend destinations: A St. Louisan’s Guide to the Perfect Weekend Getaway. In the booklet, we detail 18 different places within Missouri and Illinois, including wineries, bed and breakfasts, state parks, lakes and even a few small towns. And of course, we wouldn’t forget Cedar Creek.
Each page provides an overview of the destination, things to do once you’ve arrived as well as seasonal events taking place. We’ve chosen these 18 places since they each have their own distinct vibe and amenities that will suit every city dweller.
So check out the guide, make your plans and enjoy your relaxing weekend getaway.
The beginning of the year is a great time to get everyone at the company on the same page. Companies often add new employees to the ranks within the first month. New goals have been outlined and the company vision going forward has been set.
Now is the time to get people excited about 2015. But with employees scattered among different offices and priorities shifting constantly in a fast-moving business climate, it can be tough for employees to even get to know one another, much less move in the same direction.
In addition to all-company meetings, many organizations want to incorporate team-building activities into the schedule. These can be a great way for people to learn more about their co-workers, establish rapport and have fun. However, some team building activities are more effective than others. The best have a particular mission attached to them.
Here are some team building activities you might want to look into and the specific objectives they accomplish:
Build an obstacle course either in a large room or outdoor field. Each member of the team will take turns going through the course blindfolded, with the rest of the team members guiding verbally. When going through, prepare to feel confused and bump into things. When guiding, expect to feel frustrated that your message isn’t always getting across.
What the activity accomplishes: Building effective communication skills, learning to overcome challenges.
Break off into several teams. Each team has a certain number of legos and the goal is to make the largest tower possible. Or reach a certain height in the fastest amount of time. Or making the most cost efficient tower. Whatever the end goal, the group likely will need to reconfigure or even start over numerous times.
What the activity accomplishes: Becoming a better listener, learning to delegate responsibility, thinking outside of the box.
The group is assigned to develop and deliver a speech about a specific topic and each person is tasked with writing a specific portion and delivering that portion to the other attendees. The objective is, despite different writing and delivery styles, to make the speech come across as fluid as possible.
What the activity accomplishes: Fostering collaboration, enhancing both oral and written communication.
People are broken off into pairs and given a video camera. They are required to produce a one-minute video about the other person, and then everyone sits down and watches the videos together. The activity doesn’t have to involve competition, but it can.
What the activity accomplishes: Learning about team members more in-depth, building creativity, storytelling.
Sometimes, you aren’t necessarily looking to do these team-building activities in the strictest sense of the word, but are looking for events to get the team together for a fun excursion. Again, have an idea of why you want to do these activities, other than just for “having fun.”
Community service projects are very popular at companies. They provide a great way to reach out to the local community while also getting team members inspired and working together. Research has shown employees, especially millennials, place an emphasis on a company’s do-good image, so these types of projects can also retain talented employees.
What the activity accomplishes: Making a difference, networking, providing a good name to your firm.
We have reservations about this since sports aren’t always a great team-building activity. Some people can’t or choose not to partake, and less-skilled individuals who do end up participating often feel self-conscious. But bowling is often an exception since the majority of people can’t knock down pins to save their life. People can cheer one another on, and the bad bowlers can laugh it off. Plus, there is plenty of time to get to know each other between rounds.
What the activity accomplishes: Friendly competition, getting to know each other better.
A cooking class maintains the balance of fun but low-key. This activity can involve traveling offsite or having a culinary instructor come to the workplace or visit an employee’s home. The instructor facilitates the class but the participants (preferably in groups) create the dish from scratch. Also, you could consider having a cooking showcase in lieu of a class. At the end, people have the opportunity to try one another’s dishes and, if it involves competition, vote for the winner.
What the activity accomplishes: Learning to try new things, building collaboration skills, promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Have more good ideas for effective team building activities? Feel free to drop us a line.
Global business travel spending is expected to reach a record $1.18 billion in 2014, up nearly 7 percent from 2013. Much of that travel will involve traveling and participating in corporate meetings and conferences.
Corporations are clearly willing to host meetings out of town and spend more handsomely on them. But the way meetings have been planned and conducted have gone through significant change. Gone are the days when people travel to some random city and expect to sit through meetings before catching their flight home. In order for meetings to be most effective, they need to be lively, engaging and have some sort of fun group activities.
When planning a meeting and selecting a place to host the meeting, take into account some of the following tips and trends:
- Corporate meeting rooms are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing: When people think of a corporate meeting room, they often think of a stereotypical corporate boardroom with plush furniture where people sit around in a circular fashion. That works fine in some capacities.
But not every meeting should be that way. Simply put, the type of corporate meeting room should be based on the agenda at hand. If someone is giving a presentation, perhaps a theater-like venue is the way to go. Looking for more cooperation? Perhaps a more open-space venue will do. Looking for more group activities? Look to a place with lots of smaller meeting rooms.
- Neither are meeting venues: Obviously, you must take into account who will be attending this meeting. What might appeal to senior finance executives may not necessarily work with an all-company meeting for an advertising agency. Simply put, the target attendee, as well as the subject at hand, will determine the location and venue of the event.
- It is about the experience: When people go to corporate meetings (especially out of town), people want it to be more than just a business meeting. Rather, they want it to be a part of a larger experience in order to truly make the travel worthwhile.
When planning a large meeting, try to incorporate an all-encompassing experience. For instance, try to give away mementos and prizes focusing on the specific city at hand. If the meeting is taking place at a retreat center, try providing a host of different activities (golf, hiking, etc.) during the evening that allows people to take their mind off work.
- The meeting takes place before and after the “official” meeting: With the rise of social media in every aspect of our lives, people will be talking about the “meeting” both before and after the actual meeting. Not only should you be aware of this, but you should also take advantage of this opportunity to promote your company/organization.
How so? How about a hashtag for the event that people can follow while they travel there. Perhaps a prize may be in order for the best Tweet leading up to the big event? Or even a good-old raffle drawing may do the trick to get people excited.
CAVEAT: If the meeting will be discussing private company matters (financials, M&A, personnel, etc.) it needs to be made abundantly clear that social media will not have a role in that particular meeting. In 2014, you can’t assume that people will keep quiet unless you tell them explicitly, especially if they are not in a role that often requires them to zip their lips.
- Technology, technology, technology: It’s 2014—which means that the technology at the meeting better be stellar. This means high speed Wi-Fi connections should be available throughout the event venue. Make sure that any information that you provide in a large binder is easily accessible through a smartphone or a tablet. Make sure that the projectors and video technology used throughout the meeting are up to date.
But take it further: If the meeting is a large conference, be sure to utilize conference event guide apps. Alluding to point 4, make sure that people have ample the opportunity to connect and share their experience through social media and other apps geared at connecting meeting/conference-goers.
Cedar Creek offers modern conference facilities to accommodate groups large or small. Our thoughtfully designed meeting rooms and break areas provide you with the flexibility needed for informal discussion, committee, lecture, or executive meetings. Need help in the planning process? Download our corporate retreat checklist.