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Woodloch's "12 Days of Giving" Recap

  
  
  
  
  
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~ shared by J. Ranner

"No one has ever become poor by giving."

- Anne Frank

Whew!

I sincerely cannot believe how fast another holiday season has come and gone.  It seems like only yesterday I was parading around in my awesome Indiana Jones Halloween costume and thinking to myself, "ehh... we've got time." A metaphorical boulder started chasing us all down and suddenly we've arrived in a brand new year with all of the holidays a spirited blur. 

I've been fortunate enough to always have a good holiday. I have a large family so there's never a true sense of loneliness. There was no shortage of delicious food and fun times with the people I truly care most about in this world. 

Yet as I age, I still find the most rewarding part of the holidays to be bringing joy to those who truly need it. The holidays aren't always the best time of year for some people; as a matter of fact, they can actually be the most difficult.  Which is why when someone, and it can be ANYONE, goes out of their way just the teeniest bit to make someone's holiday a little bit better, it can change the world in ways that none of us have the ability to comprehend. 

For the second year in a row, Woodloch Resort celebrated "12 Days of Giving." Essentially, we had 12 different surprises for friends... and even complete strangers. "We've been very fortunate to endure these past 7 years in business," says John Kiesendahl, owner. "Woodloch was built on a the cornerstones of family, friendship, heart and warmth. What better way to show the appreciation for what we have than to pay it forward?" 

Through a bustling holiday season swirling with snow squalls, staff meetings and very busy weekends, dedicated volunteers headed out into the cold and shared Woodloch warmth with the world!

Here's a recap!

 

Day 1: "The Angel Tree"- Woodloch employees selected names off of our "Angel Tree" and brought holiday joy to local youth that otherwise wouldn't have had it. Dozens of kids were greeted by those gifts Christmas morning.

Day 2: "Blanket the World"- teaming up with several local businesses in the Honesdale and Hawley area, we collected over 100 toasty warm blankets to be shipped all over the world to those in need.

Day 3: "Operation Christmas Child"- care packages stuffed with everyday personal items- including school supplies, personal hygiene items and accessories - were collected and sent oversees to underprivileged children. It's a program that certainly expands year after year!

Day 4: "Adopt A Family"- our departments banded up and gathered all the elements for a nice holiday and surprised a local family in need.

Dessin Group Picture

Day 5: "S.O.S - Save Our Shelter"- The Dessin Animal Shelter of Honesdale, PA has been fighting to keep its doors open due to financial woes. In addition to hosting a benefit weekend for the shelter in October, Woodloch has been working closely with The Boy Scouts of America and The Girl Scouts of America to continually gather supplies for the animals in need- everything from food to treats to toys to cleaning items are ALWAYS in demand!


spa resort, golf getawaysDay 6: "Show on the Road" - Eric and Sammy of the Social Department (and stars of the Woodloch stage!) loaded up their sleigh with sound equipment and surprised residents of the Ellen Memorial Health Care Center with a holiday musical show! Even St. Nick himself showed up with world-famous Woodloch chocolate chip cookies for everyone!

Day 7: "Random Tabbing" - There's no feeling in the world quite like having a delicious meal... then finding out that someone has picked up the check for you! For a week, Woodloch's Boat House Restaurant randomly took care of the tabs for unsuspecting diners. 

Day 8: "Thanking An Employee" - We're a family here... and family takes care of their own! Several employees were discretely given a few extra dollars for the holiday season.

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Day 9: "Filling The Tanks" - We've all fueled up our vehicles before in the bitter cold- I think the general consensus is that there is little to no joy in the experience! However, we sent two of our lovely ladies out at The Market at Woodloch to not only pump gas for unsuspecting customers... but to pay for it as well. Plenty of smiles resulted for so many reasons! 

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Day 11: "Holiday Cooking Class" - Joey Ranner (our activities director) and Dave Nordenhold (dessert chef and creator of delicousness) performed their famous "Cooking Class" for almost 50 local seniors in Wayne County's outreach program. Special thanks to our BFF's at Avery Transportation for helping them to arrive in style! 

kiley coffee salvation armyDay 10: "Salvation Coffee Drop" - Speaking of things that can certainly add to the stress of the holidays... having to shop in the cold!  That's why we loaded up our famous Woodloch Bakery truck with hot coffee and our famous baked goods to shoppers at our local Salvation Army. Fatigued shoppers were given a spot of java to help them endure the elements! 

girls PSP 12 days

Day 12: "#PSPSTRONG" - Needless to say, it was a long and tough year for those who work so hard to keep the great state of Pennsylvania safe.  We loaded up our trucks and stopped at State Police barracks in Blooming Grove and Honesdale with coffee and plenty of crumb cake. Just a small (but infinitely tasty!) token of our appreciation for all that they do!

 

Needless to say, it was a very rewarding holiday for all of us here at Woodloch. But I think the key lesson to be learned here is to keep the giving spirit with you, all year long. Even the smallest things that we do can influence change in the BIGGEST of ways! 

Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: So close!

  
  
  
  
  
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"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

-Oprah Winfrey

 

Just a quick update for everyone with a few photos!

Despite a few setbacks with weather and state inspections, our pool is just about ready for re-opening.  

"I'm very proud of our progress," says John Kiesendahl, owner. "Despite the catastrophic damage that had occurred, our team rallied and worked tirelessly to bring us back to this point." Historical records show that it has been over 100 years since the last time Lake Teedyuskung saw a "cloudburst" like the one we saw in August- we saw about 9 inches of rain fall in a little over an hour.

Instead of simply choosing to do a "band-aid quick fix," Woodloch has elected to use the opportunity to give the facility the facelift it deserves. "You truly do reap what you sow," says Kiesendahl. "This is going to be done right, and Woodloch is going to be better for it on the other side." 

A few features guests can look forward to:

  • Brand new "family" changing rooms
  • Completely remodeled men's & women's locker rooms
  • Redesigned indoor pool bar
The end is in sight, gang. We're almost there- just remember to wait 30 minutes after eating before taking that first cannonball! 
DSC 0158Very tempting to just JUMP RIGHT IN!
golf resort, poconos vacationNew Locker Rooms!
DSC 0138New Shower Stalls
DSC 0149Kiddie Pool - just add water! 
spa resortBird's eye view of it all! 
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Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Almost There!

  
  
  
  
  
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~shared by J. Ranner

I have to say that there’s a proud tradition in my house every holiday season: at some point, we partake in the “Rocky” marathon.

We all have our favorites (I, for one, am partial to IV) but I have to say perhaps my favorite quote came from “Rocky Balboa”- the sixth and final film. As Rocky is talking to his son, he says,

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”

The Italian Stallion was 100% correct on this.

Back in August, our resort was hit with torrential downpours and flooding that washed away our indoor pool complex and 28 accommodations. There was millions of dollars in damage and quite honestly, things looked bleak. Where do you even begin to pick up the pieces?

But we responded. And in a big way.

For the past few months, construction crews, maintenance workers, carpenters, glaziers, plumbers, and everything in between have been working round the clock to not only repair the damage but to improve the facilities. All of the damaged guest rooms were completely remodeled and opened in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. And our pool is oh-so-close to being re-opened as well… with some pretty awesome upgrades to boot (more on that in the coming weeks!)

In the meantime, we wanted to share a few photos with you… we can hardly wait for the first cannonball!  

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A Very "Engaging" Festival of Lights Premiere at Woodloch

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by J. Ranner

When I was younger, a wise man once told me a bit of advice that has been rocking around in my head ever since. "There are two incredibly important days that are going to be coming up in your life," he said. "One will be when you meet the woman of your dreams- and the other will be the day you decide to spend the rest of your life with her." 

The man surely has a point.  There is no bigger decision that any of us make in our lives besides choosing who that "one and only" will be. So of course, when our minds are finally set, many of us attempt to find that special way to ask that all-important question!  Some proposals are very private, low key and informal while others are huge, over-the-top elaborate spectacles that rise to viral video fame.

And then some of them just hit the mark of perfection. 

On Friday, November 28th, 2014 at Woodloch Pines Resort, Matt Rufino of Mahopac, NY and Bethany Deer of Huntington, NY got engaged aboard our first holiday "Festival of Lights" tour of the season. Though temperatures were certainly chilly, the subtly incredible proposal melted everyone's hearts and illuminated everyone's night. 

"Her family and their vacation is very important to her- I knew this was a special place and her family would be here all at the same time, and I wanted to capture that," says Matt.

"We've been coming to Woodloch for the past 14 Thanksgivings," says Beth. "In my family, there has always been an unwritten rule that boyfriends / girlfriends are only invited when they get engaged." As far as she knew, Matt was still back home and the two were going to be spending the weekend apart. That was all about to change...

"I thought about a New York City Christmas proposal, but I thought it was a little cliche. Once I saw that Woodloch offered the 'Festival of Lights,' everything seemed to click." The stars had aligned, and the fates were pointing him in the right direction. Now all he needed was a flawless execution.

Of course, the element of surprise would be critical in this situation. "I got there Friday, got into my room and basically hid for the day," says Matt. "I forgot to eat breakfast, arrived just too late for lunch and basically was starving, but I didn't want to risk her finding me so I stayed in the room." You know it's true love when a hungry man forgoes a Woodloch meal! 

On Friday evening, Beth's family boarded our rides by the Heritage Nightclub- bundled up in blankets and eager to enjoy the musical light ride.  Unbeknownst to her, Matt was already inside the truck next to Mr. Patrick Kiesendahl, crouched like a ninja in full stealth mode. Through 25 cramping minutes, Matt's anticipation built up as the wagon rolled along the trail.

Finally, after the fireworks of the grand finale, instead of our usual "Auld Lang Syne" New Year's music, Matt arranged for Patrick to play "their song"- "Close Your Eyes" by Michael Buble. "When I found the song," says Matt, "he sang all the qualities that make Beth so beautiful and why I'm so happy that we have each other. I told Beth about the song and after she listened to it, she said she felt the exact same way.family reunions, weddings

At that point, Beth suspected something was up, and Matt hopped out of the truck, ring in hand, dropped to one knee and asked the woman he loved to spend the rest of her days with him.  To the joy of all of her family members (and other surprised guests as well!) aboard the ride, she said "YES." After a round of applause, hugs, kisses, tears of JOY and smiles everywhere ushered the happy news back to the main building, where the tale of the perfect holiday proposal made guests and staff alike simultaneously swoon.

The happy couple has yet to set a date, but they've definitely been recommended a certain venue. "So many people have congratulated us and said, 'you definitely need to have a Woodloch Wedding.' I'm still just trying to get my mind wrapped around what just happened!"

Warmest of Wishes from Family and Friends!  

"A beautiful evening ride through Woodloch's Festival of Lights turned into a magical moment that will live forever in our minds and hearts.  Congratulations to Beth & Matt...2 beautiful people who deserve all the happiness in the world!!"

- Jeff Deer

 

"The look of amazement upon Bethany's face said it all. They are a perfectly matched couple who are truly in love. Best wishes, love, and happiness to them as they start their new chapter in life together!"

- Kari Deer

 

"Watching the proposal was like watching a moment in a movie. It was amazing and beautiful and I'm so happy that the family got to witness it. Congratulations to Beth and Matt!"

- Johnny Deer

 

"I was so pleased with how the whole thing was done - from Matt's respectful requests of me, to Woodloch's input and assistance in pulling off the surprise, to the beautiful and festive setting, to Bethany's precious reaction. It was a most memorable moment that I will treasure forever! There's no better feeling in the world than seeing your child made happy - thank you, Matt! Congratulations to you both, and may the Lord bless you and foster in you going forward as much joy and elation as was evidenced that evening at the Festival of Lights."

- John Deer

 

"Never before have I wished I was somewhere more than on Friday November 28. This was my first Thanksgiving not spent at Woodloch Pines in 16 years. Yes, Florida is beautiful, but this also happened to be the time that my one and only sister became engaged. My heart aches for the opportunity to have been there. My brother sent me the video he took. Driving, I couldn't fix my eyes to it. However, just by seeing a wonderful glimpse of Bethany's face, I knew exactly what had transpired. Job well done, Matt. It was great talking to you all on the phone directly after. I love you guys and remember... a couple who prays together, stays together. I'll be back next year! God bless you guys!"

- Benjamin Deer

 

"I was so thrilled to be there and be a part of this! It was a very emotional experience for me. All I could picture was Beth's mom and grandma smiling down from up above. Congratulations!"

- Jack Deer

 

"First, I have to give credit to Matt for coming up with a great way to surprise Beth. He knows how much family means to her. The staff at Woodloch, especially Tess, worked with him to create the most amazing and memorable way to propose. I am truly thankful that I was fortunate enough to be part of it."

- Jenn Porter

 

"My warmest congratulations to you. Matt, welcome aboard to the Woodloch family- you're in for life now!"

- Joey Ranner, Social Director

 

"I was so happy to be the person to answer the call when Matt phoned to make arrangements to propose to Beth. I was so lucky to have many more conversations with Matt making sure his betrothed would feel as special as he felt about her. Then it was so exciting to have our unknowing, unrelated guests come to the desk after the hay ride to tell the tale of a love story and how beautiful the moments were. It doesn’t get much better! (Unless you were Matt and Beth I guess!)

 - Tess Murray, Front Desk Manager

Woodloch: HOME EDITION: "Gingerbread Wars!"

  
  
  
  
  
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~shared by J. Ranner

In case you didn't get the hint from the displays at your local Wal Mart (mine since August!), it is certainly beginning to look A LOT like Christmas round these parts!  

For many of us, that means shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, traveling and other things... all in preperation to spend time with family, friends and loved ones. Which hopefully will be a fun thing for you.

But maybe holidays aren't always so kind to you. What's the PG solution to the holiday blues? Some of my fondest family memories all came from us playing games together (who could forget the legendary Monopoly riot of '96?). As "The Gurus of Family Fun," we here at Woodloch Pines Resort in the picturesque Pocono Mountains sincerely believe that a great game can spice up even the most tepid of family affairs. 

A few months back, we gave you a step-by-step guide on how to create your own Scavenger Hunt.  In the spirit of the holidays, we thought we'd coach you along on how to also host your own "Gingerbread Wars"- our most popular holiday event. Tis' the season of giving, and this one's for you guys!  

 

SET UP


PLACE: With family gatherings... any old house will do. Try to give yourselves a little bit of space (good fences make good neighbors, and the last thing you want is a REAL war).

TIME: Our contests usually last about an hour (10 minutes of rules, 40 minutes to build and 10 minutes of "judging") but adjust based on your participants.

MATERIALS: 

  • Gingerbread - (cupcakes, sheet cakes, and krispie treats can be substituted... or used in addition)
  • Frosting (you can make different colors with food coloring)
  • Candy - we use dozens of different varieties but you a decent assortment will get you through.
  • The "secret" ingredient (kept confidential, and must be incorporated into the final design. We've used oranges, donut holes, waffles etc. - use your imagination. 
  • A "base" to build upon. Cardboard squares work well, but a large platter or plate will serve as well.
  • Some type of "currency" for your store. We use tickets, but coins or even slips of paper will serve. Every team starts off with the same amount of "currency"- we typically give you 10 tickets. 

GO: Gametime... have a "neutral third party" start the show as an MC of sorts, explaining the game rules and starting the clock. You will need to "staff" the candy store- teams will exchange a number of tickets for certain ingredients to enhance their creations.  For example, a single candy cane might cost you 1 ticket, while a bag of orange frosting will cost you 3 tickets. Adjust based on your needs. Once the clock starts, your "store" might decide to run "specials"- 1/2 off, "buy one, get one" etc. This adds to the fun!

When time has expired, GAME OVER. The team needs to safely transport their structure to a "Judging Circle" where voting will occur. Points are awarded for originality, overall design, and the incorporation of your "secret ingredient." 

INCENTIVE: 

Nothing beats a "Woodloch Medal"- even if you decide to make your own! Bottles of wine and champagne are great if you have an all adult contest. But remember, every team gets to keep their structure (for better or worse) at game's end, and the real reward is going to be having fun with friends and family this holiday season. 

So that's it. Rage your very own "Gingerbread Wars" this holiday season. It should tide you over until your next visit to Woodloch!  

 

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Operation Christmas Child Returns to Woodloch

  
  
  
  
  
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~shared by Tammy Compton

Power gliders, cop cars and rescue cruisers "Hot Wheels" style, and "Toothless" the Night Fury flying on the cover of an activity book - those are just some of the things 4-year-old Savannah chose to fill her shoebox. Great toys for a little boy somewhere in the world -- possibly the first gift he's ever been given.

 

Operation Christmas Child, a division of Samaritan's Purse, is the chance to share God's love with children in war-torn and poverty stricken countries. Shoeboxes, packed with school supplies, hygiene items, t-shirts and toys, hats and scarves and so much more, are tenderly placed in the hands of children eager to receive them.

 

November 17 to the 22, 2014 marks Operation Christmas Child collection week. Woodloch Pines employees have pledged 50 boxes- including help from the resort's owners, the Kiesendahl family. 

 

Jackie Krewson, Samaritan's Purse/ Operation Christmas Child NEPA Area Coordinator/ Volunteer writes, "There is still time to pack one (or two or three :) more). Your group makes a difference like this one: Nebojsa had epilepsy and often went to the hospital for treatment. When he received his box in the hospital, he opened it impatiently. Inside, he found a hat and gloves, candies and a school set including a compass and ruler. When he saw this, Nebojsa started crying. His mother explained that he was failing math class because he told the teacher he forgot his supplies, but the truth was that his family didn’t have the money to buy them. He held the supplies in his arms for a long time, with tears in his eyes."

 

A note placed atop the toys in Savannah's box also makes the eyes mist. It's a letter dictated by a little girl to her daddy -- a note sharing one child's heart with another. "Dear Boy, This is a present just for you," she said. "Merry Christmas. Wishing you a cheerful week. Love Savannah."

 

Rory O'Fee, Marketing Director at Woodloch Pines Resort, says, "I would have written whatever she said." Like father, like daughter. Savannah's willingness to share doesn't surprise Rory in the least. "I believe it is part nature and part nurture. I have control of the nurture and it's incredibly important for me to teach my child the importance of selflessness, the rewards of giving, sharing and understanding the true meaning of holidays like Christmas, let alone just good manners," he says.

 

Savannah's cheerful giving is far from isolated. "Thankfully it’s a constant in my home, but just as recently as Halloween, Savannah said to my wife, 'Mommy, I don’t want to go trick or treating, I’d rather walk in the parade and give other kids candy.' True story. She ended up doing both," the proud dad explains.

 

Melissa Latsch, Human Resources, couldn't be prouder of her two boys who gave up their Halloween money to pick out and purchase gifts for O.C.C. Christopher, 7, and Joseph, 4, are just soft-hearted kids. "Christopher is always wanting to buy Joseph something with his own birthday money. I catch them both in tears when the ASPCA commercial is on with all the sad animals," she says.

 

Asked if there's ever been a time in her life when someone reached out and made a difference for her family, Melissa said, "Yes! My husband was ill for months. The doctors didn't know what was wrong with him. We spent countless hours, days in emergency rooms away from our children. Finally after almost a year we found out what was wrong and he needed to have brain surgery. I cannot express the amount of love and help we received during that difficult time. I will remember it forever!" Melissa explains.

 

"I always like to help and give back to people/children who need it the most; and now I'm so happy my children are feeling the same way," Melissa says.

 

"I was lucky to grow up and have wonderful holidays with my family; and now my children are sharing the same great memories. My mom was always adopting a family at the church helping them have a great Christmas like my brother and myself had. The first year I adopted a family it was the best experience for me. I received a letter from the mom thanking me countless times and called me her daughters angel! The letter made me happy knowing the child was happy! I still continue to help a child each christmas and now my children will help me help others!" Melissa exclaimed. 

 

Did they pray about the items to place within their box? Rory shares, "I can’t say that we prayed about the box specifically, but the importance of God and bringing Christ to others was a topic. Veggietales definitely helped inspire the act. We wanted to be both fun and useful, so a few toys and some school supplies made it in the box."

 

"I let my child be my guide," says Brooke James, Woodloch Family Member and owner. A giving heart is just a big part of whom her 4-year-old daughter Annie is. "Annie's always thinking about getting things for her sister, not just herself," she says.

 

"Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful opportunity to give to those who are in need," she says. Brooke's family wants every child who receives a box to know just how much they're loved and cared about.

 

Jessica Brasile, Special Events at Woodloch, couldn't wait to include her son in Operation Christmas Child. "For me it is an amazing feeling to make a small difference in a childs life. When I brought home the boxes, my son Dominic was excited as well. He wanted to get these children everything. When I explained to him that there are children in the world that dont have 'things' he was upset. We both picked things that we thought would bring a smile to their faces. That is what we want --children to smile and know that they matter. They do matter and we love them," she said. Dominic, age 7, is in second grade.

 

Krewson invites participants: "Be sure to add a note to your shoe box gifts to let the child know you love them and prayed for them. A picture is one of the most liked gifts in their box many children say. It will be a lovely addition. As a result of the note, a child may write back to you," Krewson said. "Several churches that we visited in our area report that they have received notes and sometimes pictures as a result of this. Mehoopany Baptist Church in Mehoopany, PA, have had two donors who received letters. One was an eight-year-old girl who has corresponded several times with her shoe box recipient.

 

"Ready for another story that was told to us by the National Leadership manager in the Phillippines? young boy packed and sent a box that was distributed in the Philippines and a little girl received it. You guessed it, he got a response from a note he added to the box. It was from a young girl and they became pen pals. When he grew up, he had the opportunity to go to her country and meet her and did this several times. They are getting married! That is not to say, 'This is a way to meet your child's future spouse.' But, hey, God works in mysterious ways. He has plans for us. It all started with a simple shoebox."

 

Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 65

  
  
  
  
  
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~ shared by J. Ranner

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

-Frederick Douglass

 

It's been a little bit over 2 months since severe flash flooding has rocked Woodloch, but as we close in towards the holiday season, we are happy to share with you some progress!  

 

LOWER SPRINGBROOK / MOUNTAIN LAUREL ACCOMMODATIONS: 

Ever since the storm, crews have been very hard at work to repair accommodations so we're able to meet demand, and we're happy to say their efforts are paying off.  Construction workers have been at it around the clock to repair affected rooms in the lower levels of both of these buildings.

Carpet has been laid down in the Mountain Laurel facilities and brand new furniture is soon to follow... and Springbrook is very close as well!  We are hoping to have all of our rooms available by November 14th, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

 

INDOOR POOL:

Things are slowly yet surely coming along with repairs to our indoor pool- all for the better. First and foremost, our lobby will no longer feature the Pool Shop (items will be available elsewhere) to provide 2 much-needed family changing facilities.  Our indoor pool bar is in the midst of a redesign while we are soon going to be laying new concrete and tile for the pool. Very exciting for all of us- the pool is tentatively rescheduled for a "re-opening" on December 26th. 


Though this flood has challenged us, we are very excited for the changes to come to our resort! We think you should be too!

 

Stay tuned for more updates!  

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Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 29

  
  
  
  
  
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~shared by J. Ranner

I'm a dedicated child of the 90's- in many ways, it was a decade of good times, great movies, classic sitcoms and simply fanstastic music. I'll never forget my first summer of work here and the accompanying soundtrack was something that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life.

One of my favorite tunes STILL to this day was "Closing Time" by Semisonic- it's the source of one of my favorite lyrics and life mottos: 

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  

Although lyricist Dan Wilson had intended those words to be for his daughter, I think all of us can apply this mentality to something in our own lives. If certain things never ended, we would never get the opportunity to start other endeavors. 

It's been just about a month since the record-breaking rainfall led to a damaging flash flood of part of our property.  In just a few minutes, swift moving waters rushed the bottom level of our Springbrook and Mountain Laurel accommodations, as well as the indoor pool and sports complex. Nobody was hurt and everyone was safely evacuated, but we had our work cut out for us.

 

The cleanup itself was an extensive procedure. Yards and yards of carpet, blocks of wall, and all sorts of equipment needed to be scrapped due to water damage. Concrete needed to be scrubbed and sterilized, and large industrial fans needed to be running 24/7. It was definitely an involved ordeal, to say the least.

On this lovely fall morning though, there was a trumpteting grinding screech of hope: a buzz saw. We are now to the point where cleanup is completed, and we are on the road to REBUILDING. The enchanting aroma of sawdust is wafting through the air, while the booming sound of classic rock is echoing throughout our ground level, helping the construction crew whistle while they work.  

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It's been a long month for the resort, and this is a more than welcome beacon of hope for all of us.  The symphony of power tools and reconstruction is much like the return of sunlight to the Antarctic- good things are on the horizon for both the march of the penguins AND us.

 

Not only are we pushing to get things re-opened, but we're going to be doing it in style. In the meantime, check out a few photos of our work in progress! 

 

Stay tuned for more details!

 

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Locker Room Framework

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corporate retreatsCeiling Replacement Underway

weddingsKiddie Splash Pool - squeaky clean!

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Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 10

  
  
  
  
  
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~shared by J. Ranner

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love."

-Hubert H. Humphrey

 

I was listening to one of my favorite Grateful Dead tunes the other day, and one of the lyrics just keeps resonating in my mind:

 

"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places, if you look at it right..."


It's been over a week since Woodloch was bombarded with record-breaking rainfall that led to severe flash flooding and, consequently, damage to our indoor pool facilities and 20 guests accommodations.  Yet as the old adage goes... "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." 

 

In immediate response to the flooding, firefighters arrived on the scene to help pump thousands of gallons of water out of the building.  And from that point on, considering the circumstances, things were cleared out at blurring speed. 

 

Day in and day out, relief workers worked hand in hand with Woodloch staff to start the long road to rebuilding.  Piece by piece, remnants of what was our ground level of the Springbrook complex were scrapped. Industrial fans have been drying out the ground 24 hours a day while giant pieces of wall are removed.

 

While many of us are pained to see this happening, I can't help but notice the new blank canvas that has presented itself.  When all is said and done, things will not only be back to "The Woodloch Standard" that we've all become accustomed with over the years but will exceed them.  

 

But perhaps most heartwarming of all throughout the darkness was the response from our guests.  We honestly lost count of all the phone calls received- a good portion of them from guests that were concerned not with the availability of the pool, but with the genuine well-being of everyone involved in the disaster.  Even if vacation time was far off on the horizon, we genuinely felt the love pour in from all directions. 

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We will continue to clean and rebuild at full-throttle speed, and hope to have our sports complex and adjoining rooms back in operation as soon as possible.

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Woodloch Flood Clean-Up: Day 3

  
  
  
  
  
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~shared by J. Ranner

"While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term."

-Sylvia Mathews Burwell

 

In the early evening of August 21st, what had started off as a typical hot and sunny summer day in the Pocono Mountains transitioned into one of the worst natural disasters in Woodloch history.

Isolated, yet incredibly powerful torrential downpours soaked our property with over 10 inches of rain in less than an hour. Flood waters breached our lower Springbrook and Mountain Laurel areas, causing severe damage to 28 guest accommodations, as well as the Indoor Pool and Kiddie Splash area. describe the image

Nobody was hurt. Emergency personnel and staff were able to relocate all guests as well as themselves into safe zones as the waters broke through.  

Almost immediately, we began our clean-up efforts.  Thousands of gallons of flood water were pumped out of the buildings.  Soiled furniture was promptly removed from rooms.  Dry wall and carpets were ripped out.  Supplies, equipment and even gift shop merchandise were simply thrown out. Needless to say, the entire complex was essentially gutted. 

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Disaster workers, as well as our own staff, worked around the clock to get our resort on the path to recovery.  Perhaps the most promising event of the day was the outdoor pool opening that morning- less than 96 hours after the flash flooding.  Guests used makeshift changing facilities (converted tractor trailers), but other than that... it was business as usual at our outdoor pool.  

From the outside looking in, I have to share my own thoughts on this unfortunate situation. While I truly am saddened by seeing the great pool facility and Springbrook / Mountain Laurel accommodations in the shape they are in, I'm concurrently beaming with Woodloch pride.  

The spirit of our guests, company and so many of the employees that I have the pleasure to work with clearly shines in this situation.  Almost immediately, we had guests kindly offering their accommodations to those displaced. The big Woodloch games that you all know and love went on as scheduled the next day with the same vigor and smiles that always accompany them. As the saying goes:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." 

This clean-up will not be easy. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us.  But as long as we keep that Woodloch competitive spirit alive, I have no doubts that we will emerge from the other side of this bigger and better than ever. 

Check back with us as we keep you updated! 

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