Staff Blogger: Gretchen Colón, Vice President of Advancement & Communications


As fall arrives and the leaves begin changing colors, group meetings and conferences are still taking place in Lakeside.

The hustle and bustle between buildings can be seen down the streets, and the Fountain Inn hosts several groups rising for breakfast in the Aigler Room.

Between the months of September and November, Lakeside welcomes more than 40 groups to the grounds, including church retreats, family reunions, weddings, business meetings and more. Many guests are introduced to Lakeside for the first time, and most return for the next summer season.

During the off-season months, Amber Schlering, director of Conference & Event Planning, can often be found preparing meeting rooms, while providing heart-felt hospitality to groups. She works countless hours to ensure that each group has an enriching stay at Lakeside.

In September, Schlering works with the Lakeside Chautauqua staff to plan all the internal events and reserve facilities for the next summer. Dates are set, facilities are reserved and menus are selected.

During this time, she is also busy booking returning groups and conferences. She juggles Lakeside events with returning groups and makes everything seamlessly fit together. More than 450 events are coordinated and executed through her office.

As fall continues, Schlering organizes the logistics of each event and reviews final details to ensure the facility and equipment usage does not overlap with one another.

She also processes next year’s contracts and deposits, work orders and revenue forms, as well as responds to RFPs from groups and other event details. Event menus are finalized with Black Tie Catering, and event details are distributed to be finalized for the upcoming season.

As November approaches, Schlering attends the Rejuvenate Conference, a three-day event that invites more than 400 church leaders from across the U.S. to meet with travel destinations. She attends the conference to promote opportunities offered for church groups at Lakeside Chautauqua.

In January, Scherling also attends the AAA Great Vacations Expo in Columbus, Ohio, a three-day event that welcomes more than 50,000 families who are planning their annual vacations.

Lakeside Chautauqua hosts hundreds of groups year-round, including weddings, family reunions, youth groups, birthday parties, anniversaries, church retreats and business meetings.

For more information about booking your next group event at Lakeside Chautauqua, visit or email

Have your family or group hosted an event at Lakeside? Tell us about it in the comments below.