Labor Day Retreat

Posted September 6th, 2006

If you’ve been missing the retreats at the hostel, you’re missing out on some major happenings. Our Labor Day event entitled Mind, Body and Spirit, the fourth retreat of the year, just ended with a rousing success. The smiles on the faces of the thirty-something who attended and the words of praise were a good indication that they were all pretty well blown away by what took place.

Friday night began with Michael Stevens giving us a slide presentation after spending several months in Africa. The pictures of the animals, birds, plants and people were awesome. The lighted labyrinth walk followed, and this, frankly, has become one of the main events during our retreats. Saturday, we were treated to a guided walk to and through the Secret Garden led by Joey Brandt with a lot of help by Michael, a botanist and micro-biologist. He gave us the common name, the botanical name and the medicinal uses of practically every plant between the domes and the Secret Garden.

Later in the afternoon, Rachel Schattman led us through a botanacle drawing project, using our earlier knowledge of plants. Then Saturday night, after a wonderful meal, the staff performed a collection of scenes from David Ives’ “All in the Timing”. This was so much fun. Anytime you’re doing a slap-stick comedy, it’s a good time for the audience, and the cast really had a blast doing it.

Sunday began with yoga and meditation in the glass house led again by Rachel. Fifteen people made this ten o’clock event, a good indication of the enthusiasm of the guests. In the early afternoon, Dolly Russell, led a class on Art Therapy, A Guide for Artistic Release. Then later Sunday afternoon, a sweat lodge was held. They’re all good, but this one was about as good as it gets. After a candlelight dinner, Murray presented his music program consisting of tapes he made of various African-American groups singing slave songs. Some of these were actually recorded at the hostel, back at the time when Murray was manager (1979-1981.)

Mikey and all the staff did a tremendous job in getting the hostel ready, even renovated the Honeymoon Suite. They were tireless in doing everything that needed to be done during the weekend to pull this event off, and I’m really proud of all of them.

While each event held was really worth attending, the main thing was just being together and the camaraderie among a great group of people. Be on the look out for our next retreat. If it’s at all like this one, you’ll really enjoy yourself and come away with a feeling of being a better person as a result of it.

Tom Dennard, Sep 4, 2006.