Those We Serve

Charlson Meadows serves a growing variety of non-profits throughout the year. Whether they come for team building, vision casting, or yearly planning, they always leave inspired and refreshed. Their time is well spent in the beautiful Nancy Nelson Lake House and out on our 142 acres of land. We love welcoming guests to our spaces and it is a true joy to read the letters they leave behind sharing what they have accomplished and what their time here means to them. 
We would like to share a few highlights from three non-profits we have been able to serve this past year. Renaissance SoilMission: A St. Paul MN-based non-profit dedicated to promoting soil regeneration through education, outreach, and action opportunities.
What was the goal for your retreat? Renaissance Soil is celebrating one year of life as we enter 2019. As a very small non-profit, our Board of Directors is critical in driving the direction and success of the organization. The relationships between our board members and Executive Director (the only staff person, albeit unpaid) are even more critical. The retreat we held at Charlson Meadows allowed us to pluck ourselves out of the chaos of daily life (and the impending busy-ness of spring – we’re all gardeners & farmers after all) and focus on how we work with each other. As a non-profit focused on reviving the life of the soil by engaging others, we as individuals also need the space to center ourselves on why we care deeply about the earth, the issues we’re facing, and what we think we can do about them.
How did being at Charlson Meadows help you reach this goal? Charlson Meadows offered a beautiful, energy-giving space for our team to connect and hold great conversations. The space encourages reflection and a deeper sense of possibility, so it greatly enhanced our team’s dynamic and sharpened our focus for the coming season.
What was your favorite thing or place about/at Charlson Meadows and why? On the Saturday of our retreat, there was a white-out snow storm in the evening, and we had the great privilege of watching the wintery scene unfold from the warmth and coziness of the lake house. Although we didn’t get to hike or explore the outside property, the incredible views and connection with nature meant a lot to all of us.

Dakota County Housing Team
Mission: Our team supports people experiencing homelessness in Dakota County. We work with families and adults at every stage of the housing continuum from awaiting access to emergency shelter, during homeless and domestic violence shelter placements, connection with housing assistance programs, housing search advocacy, and housing stability services once housed. The members of our team are all extremely passionate about providing person-centered, trauma-informed services to everyone that enters the housing system in Dakota County.
What was the goal for your retreat? This gathering served as an annual retreat for our team. Our team is comprised of amazing housing social workers and housing resource developers who work extremely hard during the year to support people experiencing homelessness. Unfortunately, we have limited resources, and this frequently results in challenging situations that have a significant emotional impact on everyone involved. Our hope for this retreat was to focus on our emotional well-being and depart with a fresh feeling of renewal and a strengthened team bond.
How did being at Charlson Meadows help you reach this goal? Charlson Meadows gave us the opportunity to spend time together in a beautiful setting where the sole focus was relaxation and rejuvenation.  It delivered in a big way!  Not only did we have a lot of fun together, but we also were incredibly touched by the mission of Charlson Meadows.  I think that added such a special layer to the experience.  We were completely filled with gratitude that our group- and so many others- were able to have the experience!
What was your favorite thing or place about/at Charlson Meadows and why? There are so many wonderful things about Charlson Meadows!  Ultimately, our favorite thing was being able to enjoy nature together.  It was so much fun to have bikes, golf carts, kayaks, and beautiful hikes available to us!   Eastern Carver County Schools Community Education
Mission: Eastern Carver County Schools Community Education is a community catalyst in mobilizing diverse and dynamic resources responding to individual, family and community needs for a lifetime of learning.
What was the goal for your retreat? This is our leadership retreat. Our goal was time to reflect on our year past and plan for our upcoming year.
How did being at Charlson Meadows help you reach this goal?  Charlson Meadows has the perfect space and ambiance to allow for staff to be present in the moment.  There are a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces that we use for breakout groups and individual reflection. The overnight and kitchen facilities have really given us time to bound as a team.
What was your favorite thing or place about/at Charlson Meadows and why? The space is amazing, the price is right, and the staff is always helpful and accommodating. These are the reasons we continue to come back. For a school district, this far exceeds any other option available to us!

At Charlson Meadows we love to hear these stories.  If you know of a non-profit who serves those in our community and you think they would benefit from time at Charlson Meadows, will you let them know about us? 
Biking, group walks, and even a soil lab in the kitchen. Connection with nature is happening all around as the Dakota Housing Team and Renaissance Soil enjoy their events.