GREENSBURG – The Extension Homemaker’s Madison District Retreat was held November 11, 2021, as a one-day retreat in Decatur County at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Gathering Room.

We had ladies attending from every District 1 County except for Ohio County. Registration was at 9 a.m. with donuts and water served and everyone having a good time connecting with old friends they had not seen for quite some time.

The Retreat was opened at 9:30 a.m. by Marilyn Davis, President of the Decatur County Extension Homemakers, with the Pledge. A Memorial Service for deceased members from our district was led by Rita Hellmich, with a theme of “Footloose and Fancy Free.”

The First-Timer Award is given each year with a name being drawn from members attending for their very first District Retreat. This year’s winner was Cathy Fogle and she received her attendance to Retreat for free.

Our first item of the day was a decoupage craft given by Cathy Wilkymacky, our Madison District Representative. The project consisted of decoupaging pretty holiday napkins onto small canvases for a Christmas decoration. While these were drying, a door prize drawing was done by Marilyn. After this we sang “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land,” in keeping with the fact that it was Veteran’s Day.

Next, the auction was held, with the many items donated by all attendees. Everyone had a fun time buying auction items they were interested in to help support our Madison District Retreat.

Shannon Chipman, Extension Educator from Ohio County, then gave a demonstration of one way to cook spaghetti squash in an InstaPot. She informed us of other ways to cook winter squash, including oven, microwave and crockpot. Different types of squash were discussed as well as ways to serve it. While Shannon took a break, Alice Woodhull gave us some of her amusing “snippets.” Shannon then came back to tell us about her miraculous story of her brain tumor, just amazing and heart-warming, and all is well with her now.

We had a box lunch catered by Deb Sellers, which was delicious, and time to chat and catch up with friends. At the end of lunch, Marilyn had a special presentation of a large cupcake and candles to celebrate Rosemary Schroeder’s upcoming 100th birthday which will be January 1, 2022! What an amazing lady Rosemary is!

After lunch we had some more door prize drawings and more “snippets” from Alice. Our afternoon presentation was given by Diane Paris who raises alpacas on her farm at Milroy. She filled us in on the differences between alpacas and llamas, and what it was like to raise and care for the alpacas. She brought many wool items with her that she had made, which she sells. After her talk, anyone who wanted to purchase something from her selection was able to do so. For more information from Diane, she can be contacted at:, phone number 317-695-8038.

It was announced that next year’s Home and Family Conference will be June 6-8, 2022, at the Embassy Suites, Noblesville.

The special project will be homemade lawn ornaments. More door prize drawings were done at this time, and then we sang a couple more patriotic songs. Next year, the District Retreat will plan to be held back at Camp Higher Ground again. We are not sure yet if it will be just a one day, or a one-and-a-half day Retreat.

To finish up our day, several rounds of Bingo were played, with small prizes, for fun. Everyone had a lot of fun with this. The Retreat was closed at 3 p.m. by Marilyn Davis.

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