2016 ASDA Summer Retreat – Isha Gandhi (UNE ’17)

A personal perspective about the 2016 ASDA Summer Retreat, which was held at a high ropes course at Jiminie Peak Resort in Hancock, MA on August 5th an 6th

​It was a wonderful weekend in western Massachusetts at Jiminie Peak – a ski resort in a town called Hancock. We had a lot of fun doing various activities and learning a little along with it. After a 4 hour drive filled with music, coffee and a lot of chatting, we got to the resort around 10PM on Friday and checked into our condos. Each condo had a few rooms inside and we were happy to share the rooms with our UNE colleagues the first night and then students from other District 1 schools the second night. It was a great opportunity to mingle with fellow dental colleagues from all ASDA District 1 schools, and we were able to learn about and from each other.

After getting there, Courtney Baker (UNE 2017) had brought all the supplies for making s’mores and we cooked them up inside our room with little portable grills! It was so much fun! We watched a few minutes of the Olympics opening that night and then went to bed. The next morning, as we were searching for a place to get breakfast, we were so surprised to learn that the NY/MA border was less than 10 miles away. We enjoyed sharing some bagels and coffee with friends and then we moved into a different condo where the view of the mountains was stunning. With the free time we had before meeting up with everyone, we watched some Olympics and then got ready for the ropes course. We met up with our fellow future dentists and we all got fitted with harnesses to safely traverse the ropes course. The ropes course facilitator went over all the safety instructions and the varying levels of difficulty that we could attempt to navigate. Of course, we decided to go for one of the most challenging courses (in fact, it was the second hardest one). It was definitely physically exhausting, requiring plenty of upper body strength. However, it was so much fun and I am so glad I did it. Walking on a single rope and climbing on ladders was nerve-racking, but the fun we had on the zip-lining parts of the course made up for all the difficult parts.

After two good, strenuous hours on the ropes course, we finally decided to climb back to solid ground to satisfy our growling bellies. The restaurant on the property served huge servings of lunch and we were incredibly thankful for that. Climbing ropes for two hours works up an appetite! At this point, it was getting close to the time for the presentations by the event sponsors, so we all took showers and cleaned up to head to the presentations. We are so grateful to our sponsors, Aspen Dental and Rosen & Associates, for giving great presentations and for providing the opportunity for us to all get together for this wonderful event.

We had dinner with a fun group of people and headed back to our condo. It had been a long day, so we watched the Olympics for a little bit and decided to go to bed because we were getting up early to drive back Sunday morning. Many other Summer Social attendees stayed up and had a social gathering with some drinks in another condo, and the sponsors even showed up to mingle! When we got up the next morning, we reflected on the adventurous and fun weekend, we picked up some coffee and we headed back to Portland.

I want to thank ASDA for the wonderful weekend and I hope that more people can participate in these events in the future. You not only have a lot of fun, but it is also a chance to get to meet some great people along the way!

​–Isha Gandhi, UNE 2017

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