It happened again...and I am so grateful. Another retreat, another memorable experience.
Northern Colorado Writers annual writer's retreat. Because of date conflicts, we weren't able to book our event at our usual stomping grounds, Sylvan Dale Ranch. Which, in the long run, turned out to be a good thing, since the recent floods, ravaged the property and we would have had to cancel the retreat.
Instead we went north to the Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC) in Red Feather Lakes. Tucked away in the Roosevelt National Forest, with no cell phone service and Internet, SMC provided a great location for nine of us writers to escape our hurried lives and focus on our writing. The weekend was organized with uninterrupted writing time at the center, but we shared meals together and in the evenings there was optional group time.
Even though I spent most of the retreat alone getting a ton of writing done, I always looked forwarded to those times when we all got together. It was during these times that we all had the chance to get to know each other better and take part in common experiences that created special memories for our group.
I will always remember:
- Our opening orientation with a SMC staff member who taught us the importance of coughing into the crook of our arm, how to dial 911 so we didn't get burned alive, and the proper techniques for fending off a moose, bear, mountain lion or deer attack.
- The great food and conversation we shared at meal times
- Friday night social time talking about so many different topics while enjoying the contraband liquid (aka-wine) hidden in our Solo cups. (turns out there is a no alcohol policy at SMC).
- Group field trip to the Stupa
- Shoes on, shoes off, shoes on, shoes off...
- Saturday night movie, 500 Days of Summer while enjoying snacks and Solo-Cup beverages
- Setting goals during our opening circle up and celebrating during our final circle up the fact that everyone met and exceeded their goals.