By Alaine Davis

What:  The Annual WUUC Women’s Retreat

When: May 5-7, 2017 (Friday to Sunday)

Women's Retreat3Where:  Mountain Springs Lodge, Plain WA (Leavenworth area; about a 2-hour drive)  http://www.mtsprings.com/cabins.htm

Who Should Come: Anyone who identifies as a woman and is at least 18 years old is welcome. This is an especially wonderful opportunity for women who are newer to WUUC to make real connections with other women at our church. If you’ve never attended before, we hope you’ll make this year your first time.

Accommodations:  Two lodge buildings near each other. The main lodge, Ponderosa, includes a large gathering space, kitchen, rooms upstairs and downstairs (2-8 women/room) and a loft.  The smaller lodge, Pines, is just across the field and good for those who prefer a quieter space to park their pillow. Beds are singles, and most people report finding them comfortable. Bathrooms are shared among roommates or just down the hall, depending on your room assignment.

Cost: $230 for the weekend, including three meals in the lodge dining room.  Need-based, confidential partial or full scholarships are available.

Food: Friday evening is a potluck, usually a taco bar. Saturday morning is a breakfast buffet we put together in the Ponderosa lodge kitchen, paid for out of retreat funds. Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, and Sunday breakfast are all catered by the lodge dining room. Most dietary needs can be accommodated.  Many women bring snacks to share.

Activities: All women who have attended agree that the main appeal of the retreat is getting away from regular life to spend time with a group of amazing women.  Some love the structured activities; others just lounge around in pajamas, talk, read, draw, nap and otherwise relax.

There will be a variety of activities that are available all weekend, like jewelry-making, decorating bottles for sacred water, and optional massages (at extra cost).  And, of course, the hot tubs!  (There are two: one at each lodge) Throughout the weekend there will be “playshops,” where anyone can lead an activity they think others would enjoy.  These have included an off-site hike, yoga, henna painting, tarot card readings, meditation, and much more.

On Friday we all make some sort of crafty name tag (or, if you’re not in the mood to be crafty, get someone to make one for you) and an all-group opening circle generally involving a scary number of candles.  Saturday morning is the “program,” where someone presents an all-group activity or talk about our theme, with follow-up activities.

Playshops take place Saturday afternoon, and we have games Saturday evening after dinner. On Sunday morning we have a worship service with our sacred water, group singing, a discussion of next year’s retreat, and then everyone helps clean up and pack.  Some women go on a rafting trip Sunday early afternoon (at extra cost).

How to Register:  Registration forms are online, and there are also paper copies in the lobby.  We need payment by April 1 at the latest—partly because we need to make our second payment with Mountain Springs Lodge soon after that time, and partly because we have only 40 beds available, and we want you to come!