There is so much to write about our last O’Flaherty Retreat, but blogs don’t lend themselves to lengthy compositions, so here is my summary view. It was amazing! We grew to more than 400 participants, with a few shy of 300 students enrolled. It was our largest event ever, and our most challenging in many ways, but our team of volunteers stepped up and did a superb job. The weather was fantastic up until the tornado watch occurred during the middle of our Sunday evening instructor concerts, and thankfully, the tornado missed us.
We had an incredible lineup of teachers this year from Ireland, England and the U.S. attracting students from 41 states and four countries. It was a music community entirely focused on traditional Irish music, song and dance, and I hated to see it end. From my perspective, everyone was in the zone — saturated with learning, playing, dancing, singing, listening, connecting — and it was such a departure from the “normal” of our everyday lives.
It won’t be long before we start work on the next retreat. We have a debrief with our team on December 7th, and afterwards, the planning begins in earnest. Mark your calendars for our new dates — Oct. 29th-Nov. 1st, 2020 back at Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian, TX. Thanks to all of you who came, our instructors, staff and volunteers, and to our sponsors who enable us to offer this camp each year! It was another wonderful experience for those of us who organize it and hopefully for you too. If you haven’t been to O’Flaherty’s, perhaps 2020 will be the year. We should have all of the details uploaded on our website by March 1st with online enrollment beginning on Saturday, May 2nd at 9 a.m. CDT.