Storm trooper Bob and Warrior Retreat Guest Stays
Acquisitions Team Lead and Staging Coordinator Chris Wrinkle with Storm trooper Bob
Chris and Storm trooper Bob have an important role in preparing for a guest stay at the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run. Each guest stay is a special event that takes many man hours to prepare before Chris and Storm trooper Bob play their part.
Planning for a guest stay starts weeks in advance as the Director of Guest Services works with the Warrior Family Coordination Cell at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Warrior Transition Unit at Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital to find just the right families that need to come to the retreat. Once a Warrior is cleared by the Command their intake form is forwarded to Guest Services where it is assigned to a volunteer Guest Stay Coordinator.
The intake form is broken down into several sections. The first tells us who is the Warrior, where they are assigned, their contact information, and gives a chance to self-identify any medical conditions that may affect their stay. Next it tells us who is joining them, family members, relatives, or friends. It lets us know their names, relationship, and ages. The next section describes the over 65 off-site and on-site activities they can choose from during their stay. We limit to 3 or 4 so as not to overwhelm them. All families get a professional photography shoot at the retreat and a visiting chef on Sunday night. The final section of the Intake Form is two pages of food questions to help the chef design a 4-course menu for Sunday night’s dinner.
Soon after getting the intake form the Guest Stay Coordinator contacts the Warrior and lets them know how excited we are they are coming and what a wonderful time they will have relaxing with their family in our beautiful spacious retreat. They go over the intake form to make sure everything is right and let them know they will arrange all the activities and create an itinerary for the family.
The Guest Stay Coordinator contacts each activity vendor, forwards the intake form to the Director of Culinary Services where the food questions and answers are given to the visiting chef for that Sunday, and coordinates with the Baker on Call to have the Warrior’s favorite dessert in the kitchen when they arrive for Friday morning check-in.
The Guest Stay Coordinator typically makes 4 or five calls to the Warrior and spouse to get to know the family and understand their needs so their 5-day stay will be memorable. They go over the pre-arrival packet e-mailed to them which includes information about the retreat and the food staples list. They discuss the itinerary and let them know it will be finalized and ready for their arrival Friday morning.
Behind the scenes an army of volunteers and staff are making the guest stay perfect. Many weekdays the Executive Director, Office Manager, Administration Director, Operations Director, and Facilities Director are all on property. With volunteers they work to ensure everything is running smoothly. One of the busiest days of the week is Wednesday after the family checks out. A team of volunteers arrives to clean and sanitize the retreat after each guest stay. The collect all the sheets and towels and take them to the Hampton Inn in Manassas where they wash, dry, and fold them for us for free.