Historic campus experiences new life as millennial and tech workforce retreat
Carey Institute’s unique access to outdoors, craft brewery and vintage Catskill feel add to rustic modern appeal
Rensselaerville, N.Y.— The entire 70-member international remote staff of Parse.ly, a tech company helping brands leverage data for digital audience engagement, gathered at the Carey Institute for Global Good this May for its annual company work-cation.
Sarah Gordon, Manager of External Affairs at the Carey Institute, has noticed a growing proportion of inquiries coming from characteristically young and tech-oriented organizations. Executives and human resources departments are seeking ways to unplug their more-wired-than-average staffs for a retreat that offers peace and quiet to rejuvenate creativity, recreation to engage team members, and a sense of value that retains millennial employees.
“Young companies want a chance to kick it old school, and this type of retreat is becoming more standard,” says Gordon. “Their employees are young, but extremely independent. On the rare occasion they get some old fashioned face-to-face time, executives aim to reward ingenuity with a little fun, build comradery, and make company memories – something that bonds employees in an environment where relationships aren’t forged daily around the water cooler.”
The Helderberg Brewery and Taproom on the Carey Institute’s campus is very popular with guests these days, offering teams the opportunity to unwind after a work session over a hand-crafted, New York State-sourced farm brew. New York State wine, cider and spirits are also available in the taproom. Brew sessions make for a great team building activity, led by the Carey Institute’s head brewer, Jamie Caligure, formerly of Cave Mountain, Rare Form and Crossroads Brewing Companies. Trivia is great, too.
Something else that really appeals to new clients is the Carey Institute’s unique access to the outdoors. Surrounded by the 2,000+ acre Huyck Nature Preserve, guests enjoy access to nearly 13 miles of hiking trails, the Rensselaerville waterfalls, swimming and kayaking in Lake Myosotis, beautiful Catskill views, evening hilltop bonfires and more. The Carey Institute’s own 100-acre campus boasts tennis and volleyball courts as well as historic stone patios, all atop Pond Hill overlooking the historic village of Rensselaerville—one of Albany County’s most historic and architecturally stunning hamlets.
“Our employees took many hikes, played all kinds of sports on the lawns and courts, chatted around the tables at the brewery, ate nightly s’mores over bonfires, had popcorn-fueled movie nights, and splashed a bit in the nearby lake,” said Colleen Quinn, Manager of People and Operations for Parse.ly. “Carey provided the perfect environment for thought-provoking team building—the kind that was able to occur naturally due to sublime scenery in a place that is well cared for and well run.”
This is all in addition to the Carey Institute’s long-established standard offerings including its onsite gourmet Carriage House Restaurant, 175-seat performance hall, 10,000 total sq. ft. of fully equipped and diversely sized meeting spaces and 50+ overnight guest rooms. New video editing suites have also recently been installed.
Beyond being a great retreat location, the Carey Institute for Global Good is a nonprofit organization that hosts programs for nonfiction writers and documentarians, educators, as well as a sustainable communities initiative centered on rural economic development (thus the New York State farm brewery). Retreats and meetings held at the Institute support this work, and provide companies a sense of corporate social responsibility.
As human resources professionals grapple with emerging challenges like millennial talent retention and digital nomads, the Carey Institute provides a unique setting where teams can work, stay and play together, cultivating social capital that may provide a competitive advantage as the culture of the workplace continues to evolve.
The Carey Institute for Global Good is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2012 by Wm. Polk Carey and is dedicated to building a strong, educated and just society. Through its programs, the Institute strives to bring together innovative and dynamic people from around the world to address the most pressing issues of the day.
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