Written by Debra Donohue
Creating Connection Director
Creating Connection’s ‘Nurturing Spirit Retreat: Connecting through Self Care’ was held last weekend at Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre at Cultus Lake in BC.
A few people had to cancel due to weather … it snowed over a foot at the campground on Saturday, but we ended up with a lovely group of 24 over the course of the weekend and 25% were first timers! This retreat focused on recognizing the signs of burn out and creating action plans to take care of ourselves so that we live happy lives, and so we have the capacity to care for others.
Alexis Beer, our guest speaker, who has a long list of qualifications and training, did a great job leading us through the topic. Everyone agreed her sessions were interesting, thought provoking, and stimulated lots of conversation. And let me tell you about the music. It was amazing! Edith Wallace led us in two meditations of sound, a concert Saturday night, and sent us off with a song which we all danced to on Sunday morning. I think Saturday night may have been my favourite Edith Wallace concert to date. Check her out on Spotify.
Kat Goheen brought her harp and gently strummed us into another mediation and Shannon McAdam taught us how to use needlepoint as a way to focus our thoughts and be mindful.
We spent time playing Pictionary and our theme was, of course, self care activities. Gwyn Beer brought a 1000-piece puzzle (which we didn’t quite finish) and there was free time to walk in nature and explore the grounds.
Although Stillwood is not Samish Island, which is so near and dear to many of us, there were several benefits to using this campground. First, it’s in BC so most of us didn’t have to cross the border, make sure we had up to date passports and purchase travel insurance. Although 3 people came from the US and they crossed the border to be with us. Second, it’s a large and busy campground so they have staff to do all the cleanup in the buildings and after meals (woo hoo!) And Third, we didn’t have to pay the US exchange rate which is around 30% right now.
We’re looking at going back next year, but maybe we’ll try to go in March. The weather is a little more predictable then, or at least one can hope.
I’ve included a group photo, a walking group photo, a photo of the Edith Wallace concert, doing needlepoint, and my car Sunday morning covered in snow. If you weren’t there, we missed you and hope you can join us next time.
Watch for details on our next Creating Connection Retreat "Creating Community: Where Spirit, Nature and Justice Meet" June 1-4 at Samish Island. This retreat will be a mindful and exciting combination of Nurturing Spirit and Nurturing Justice.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
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