My board returned from a four day strategic planning retreat at La Reserve Beauchene with nothing but rave reviews. We have had prior retreats – including one very different from Beauchene that was held in Manhattan the prior year. While all appeared to enjoy the Manhattan retreat, the comments from my trustees about Beauchene – the meetings, location, staff, lodging and atmosphere have been not just 100% positive, but have in fact been 100% exuberant!
When I first suggested Beauchene as a location for a retreat, there were a few sitting around the board table that gave me a look that said – “What are you thinking?” But once we arrived and they had an opportunity to meet the staff, get a view of the scenery and settle into their lodges, the transformation began.
The drive for our group was about 6 ½ hours from our homes in Northern New York. Most, including the non fishermen/fisherwomen in the group arrived early enough in the afternoon of the first day to take the opportunity to fish for a bit before our organized cocktail reception and dinner. While several who fished were very non-experienced, the guides were both patient and personable and all came back from their outing enthused about the experience. Our “attitude adjustment” period before dinner was full of conversations about the afternoon’s experience, including several “firsts” – first smallmouth bass, first northern pike, largest brookie!
Our meetings were held in the lounge at the main lodge for the next full day and a half. Staff was preparing to arrange a meeting table with chairs that first morning when we decided to do away with the table and try a more relaxed setting with couches and chairs arranged in a semicircle for easier communication between all participants as well as better viewing of the projection screen provided.What a great decision! The interactions at the meetings were far different than at all of our earlier retreats where the meetings had been around a meeting table in a much more “sterile” environment. The atmosphere of the meeting was much more relaxed because of the arrangement and the setting and the resultant increase in communication between our 15 participants was remarkable.
Our schedule included a short boat ride to a “shore dinner” on the second evening. The lodge staff really made this an event to remember with fresh fish, fried potatoes and a few special treats for the guests. We even got to experience one of our hosts – Steve Chenier performing a moose mating call for the uninitiated members of the group. Perhaps it was just as well that no amorous moose was wandering the area!
One of the more interesting aspects was the pairing of people to fish together when the opportunities arose. The result was a better understanding of “each other” and a change in the dynamics and communication for the remainder of the event. I expect that change will be a long-lasting benefit of the Beauchene experience.
Most of all, I can’t say enough about the staff at Beauchene – from Tony Avramtchev and Steve Chenier to Manon Drouin and all of the guides and other staff we had contact with, we observed nothing but professionalism and courtesy. In reality, they were central in making this retreat a memorable occasion.
The entire board has agreed that this was our most productive retreat yet – the consensus is that Beauchene has “set the bar a bit high” for their competition. A return to Beauchene is very likely for our organization.
- David C. Swanson, President/CEO, North Country Savings Bank
- “If your business interferes with your fishing, give up our business: the trout don’t rise in Greenwood Cemetary!”- Sparse Grey, Fisherman
- “There are only a handful of destinations equally accessible by car from Toronto and Montreal that offer great fishing and beautiful scenery. La Reserve Beachene is on that list…”- Wilson’s “Canada’s Fly Fishing Store”, Toronto, Ontario
- “It’s extraordinary that with all the time I’ve spent fishing in so many other likely places, I have caught the biggest Brook Trout, the biggest Smallmouth Bass, the biggest Pike and the biggest Lake Trout of my life in Beauchene – but it’s not simply the wonderful fishing, it’s the irresistivle almost mystical spell that the place casts on everyone who knows it that draws me back year after year.”- Don Meissner, host of “Rod & Reel Streamside”
seen on PBS Television across the U.S.A.
- “Beachene, a place that comes about as close as you can get today to a certifiable got-everything angling heaven.”- Bob Izumi, Host of the Real Fishing television show
- “As a management consultant since nineteen eighty four, I have worked in a wide variety of off-site locations and Beauchene is exceptional! The staff makes you feel right at home. And of course the fishing is supberb.” – Roger Billings, Management Consultant, Toronto, Ontario
- “Beauchene has all the amenities of a five star resort without all the distractions. The accomodations lend themselves to confidential, uninterrupted discussions and the staff goes out of its way to ensure a memorable stay.” – David C. Swanson, President & CEO of The North Country Savings Bank, Canton, New York
- “There is nothing more I like sharing than the passion I have for Beauchene…except maybe a few fishing tips.”- Steve Chenier, Fishing Director, La Reserve Beauchene
- “You catch all kinds of fish; you never know what is on the end of your line and usually it’
s a dandy. As long as there is water in the lake at Beauchene, I will be up there every year to fish as long as the good Lord is willing.”- Louie Barkley, Waddington, New York
- “One important quality that attracts me is that Beauchene has the rare high-end quality angling experience – though you are only within a few hours drive from major cities.”- Mark Krupa, Outdoor Writer & Photographer, Montreal, Quebec
- “Your most difficult task will be deciding where to begin and what to fish for, 40 Lakes with 7 species, Wow!”- Tony Avramtchev, General Manager, La Reserve Beauchene
- “Beauchene is a remnant of the past, when wilderness areas truly were wilderness areas…it is a mystical and wonderful place.”- Harry Dorian, Newton Square, Pennsylvania
- “Limitless fishing, hunting and hiking opportunities. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Supportive staff and knowledgeable guides. this place has it all!”- John Clark, DeKalb Junction, New York