In 2014, I received a scholarship to attend the Eastern PA SCBWI Pocono Retreat. I’d been a member of SCBWI for two years, but I’d never attended a chapter event. At the time, the chapter ran two writer focused events a year, and they were pretty pricey—at least for a stay-at-home-mother of three. I couldn’t believe my luck when I landed the scholarship to attend the retreat. To add icing to a pretty delicious cupcake, it was the first year the event would be held at the Highlights Foundation–a place I was already familiar with after attending a Highlights Foundation Workshop the year prior—also on scholarship. You see, the Highlights Foundation believes in supporting writers and illustrators. They support us by providing a comfortable bed, delicious food served by the most lovely people you’ll ever met, along with creative working spaces throughout the property. I should also mention the trails, the cabins, the lodge, along with the gorgeous views, and there’s that man in overalls, who pops in to say, “Hello,” during mealtimes—the unassuming but beloved Kent Brown, the mastermind behind the Highlights Foundation workshops.
Fast forward to 2018, we’re still holding the Eastern PA SCBWI Pocono Retreat at the Highlights Foundation. Now, I’m a Co-Regional Advisor, along with Alison Green Myers. The Art Coop’s been added, along with the Granary, and the Art Wall. There’s also George Brown and Dan Drake, who have come on board. Our Highlights Foundation point person, Jo Lloyd, along with our beloved Amanda and Martha, have been with us from the beginning.
The Highlights Foundation takes care of our physical needs so we can focus on nourishing our creative souls. Thank you Amanda, Jo, Dan, George, Martha, Kent, and Alison, she’s a part of it too. You feed our bodies, so we can feed our minds.
Kim Briggs, Co-RA of Eastern PA SCBWI