This is the story of two corporate retreats in Maine. Both were well planned, well attended, and both received positive reviews from the attendees.
Both retreats gave the attendees the opportunity to get away from the daily work grind and network with other employees. Both inspired collaboration and generated new ideas. But one did so better than the other.
Both retreats in this story are also completely made up. The events and people described aren’t real (at least not that I know of anyway). I simply use these as an example to help you visualize some rather interesting science that may help you plan your next corporate retreat.
Corporate Retreat in the City
John and a dozen of his fellow coworkers attend a retreat in the city. They stay on the top floor of a fancy hotel with a great view of the city’s skyline. They eat great food and have a great time socializing in the evenings.
The comedian the company hired was hilarious and the motivational speaker really got them fired up. They especially liked that the entire event was contained within the same facility giving everyone a break from the long daily commutes they’re used to.
John and his coworkers all agree it was a great event.
Corporate Retreat in Nature
Dan’s group attends a retreat in rural northern Maine. The information he read about it beforehand mentioned walks in the forest, beautiful mountain vistas, a lodge, and lots of time spent outdoors. Skeptical as he was, Dan wasn’t about to miss a company-sponsored trip away from the office.
True to promise, Dan found himself hiking in the woods on his retreat. With as much time as he spent walking uphill, he figured the health insurance company must have paid for part of the event. Maybe another one of their wellness initiatives?
But nothing could have prepared him for what he experienced at the top.
The view was something to behold. The sheer vastness of it all would have been breathtaking had the air not been so pure and crisp and free of exhaust fumes and city smells. There are precious few places on earth that offer the scenic views that Maine offers with its mix of mountain peaks and vast forests.
“I have got to come back here,” Dan thinks to himself before remembering to capture it in photos on his phone.
Hey by the way, we are expert corporate retreaters. We wrote a free guide to help you get started on planning your next event. Click this image to read more:
The Post-Retreat High
Both Dan and John came back to work with that post-retreat high that comes from spending days away from the office. They were invigorated, full of ideas, with a renewed ambition for their work.
By the end of the week, John had all but lost his buzz. He was back into the same routine with the same stress level and waning ambition. What’s worse, he felt himself getting sick.
“I don’t have time to be sick,” he thinks to himself, adding to his stress level.
Dan’s post-retreat high is slower to wear off. Three weeks later, he’s still sharing scenery pictures with anyone who will look at them. The coworkers that didn’t join him in Maine notice he seems to be less stressed and has a more positive outlook on things.
What’s more, he seems completely immune to whatever sickness is making its rounds through the office.
“What the heck did they do to him out there?” they wonder.
Nature Therapy for Corporate Retreaters
While these are purely hypothetical examples, there’s real scientific research that suggests these retreat outcomes are quite possible.
Dan’s experience in Maine’s forests was similar to the well-established Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing.” Scientific research has shown that leisurely trips into forests increases the activity of natural killer cells in our blood streams. The effect can last for weeks. There’s actually a lot of research into the positive health effects of forest therapy.
Maine’s Awe-Inspiring Views
Eastern therapies notwithstanding, the awe-inspiring views of Maine’s wilderness added to Dan’s improved health and vitality. According to research out of UC Berkeley, feelings of awe have a direct connection to positive health markers in the body.
According to a Stanford study, Dan didn’t even need the breathtaking views to improve his health (though they sure do make for some great profile pictures). The study found that a simple 90 minute walk in nature decreased activity in part of the brain associated with depression. A previous study found walks in nature reduced anxiety and increased positivity and cognitive function.
Notably, the researchers found walks in urban environments did not generate the same benefits.
So for your next corporate retreat, trade the motivational speaker for a hike in the woods. With more than 80 percent of its land mass covered in forest, Maine has nature in abundance.
No wonder Dan seems so happy these days.
Camp Katahdin is a luxury hunting retreat in Northern Maine. Our 15 person Hunting Lodge is set in the most beautiful hunting grounds in the Katahdin area. Step out the door and walk, ATV, or snowmobile to prime hunting locations.
Complete with a state of the art boardroom, your unique group will find a bit of luxury in the great outdoors.
Bring your group back from the days meetings and outdoor adventures and rest easy. We offer independent and guided hunts for all seasons, whitetail deer is one of our favorites. We are also commercially zoned for Pheasant hunting – that means, no license needed, 7 days a week hunts.
We are located right on Maine’s Interconnected Trail System. Step out the door and hop on your sleds. A bit of snowmobiling will thrill your group. Open to Corporate Meetings, retreats, hunting buddies, friends and family groups.
Find out more by clicking here:
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