Something really cool and unexpected happened at the CFMG beach retreat: I was reminded of the power of community, of belonging and being a piece of a larger whole.
There's definitely a family-type community atmosphere with our school graduates and CFMGs who obtained the certification long before there was ever a school. The internet provides new and wonderful ways for people to connect and build relationships. When people have something in common, connecting and building relationships are easier.
I was excited to see CFMGs at the beach retreat connect and form new relationships with one another. People who had never met before, who have a common passion and skill set, became fast friends. They shared tons of ideas with one another and learned from each other's business practices. It was fun to watch.
I'm thankful for that beach retreat. It taught me so much and was truly an encouragement.
Here are some messages I received afterward from some who attended:
"Hi NCGIA! Just getting back home and settled in. I was so happy to be a part of your groundbreaking, exciting AND relaxing retreat this weekend. I learned a lot and the open forum was perfect. We always want to ask the 'MASTER' questions and it was exciting to be able to do so. Thank you again for making this a reality!"
Rachel Diller, CFMG
"I was so happy to be able to attend the NCGIA cat grooming retreat in South Carolina in April (2012). I think it is great that the NCGIA is branching out now to create networking opportunities within the organization because that truly is the best part of this kind of activity - meeting up with others who do what you do and sharing information thereby enriching everyone's go-to toolbox of skills. Trading business cards also increases the camaraderie within our organization as you get to feel more connected to others and get to know people you may have been talking to online anyway. Plus, doing it all in a fun setting in a beautiful location, what could possibly be better?"
Cheryl L. Maibusch, CFMG
The Cat Groomer, Willowbrook, IL