Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Women Outdoors' Annual Gathering. Sunday, May 29, 2016

It was an honor to be invited to speak at Women Outdoors' 2016 Annual Gathering!  Many, many thanks to Women Outdoors for becoming one of Alex and Sage's $576 donors for their Global Fund for Women fundraiser!!

Photo copied from www.womenoutdoors.org

The Gathering lasted the entire weekend, not just the Sunday, but our flight from Oregon did not get us back into Boston until Saturday.  We therefore went home and caught up on our sleep before heading over to Hancock, NH.  I wish we could have been at the Gathering for the entire event...next year, we will be sure to keep Memorial Day weekend completely free so we can be there for the whole shebang.

We arrived just after lunch on Sunday and were immediately enveloped in an atmosphere of strength and support.  Women kept coming up to us and introducing themselves -- wonderful, positive women who were leading and participating in various workshops throughout the weekend.  The topics of these workshops ranged from straw weaving to kayaking to hiking to homemade lantern making...there was something for every outdoors-lover.  The girls and I immediately joined a straw weaving workshop before I led my own session in narrative writing.

After my workshop, I hung back while the girls attended other workshops so I could concentrate on my upcoming Keynote.  While I was hanging back, I couldn't help but notice how the women had formed friendships with each other over the course of the weekend.  Some of them knew each other from previous years, but many were meeting everyone else for the first time during this Gathering.  Everyone was so genuinely kind with each other; the Gathering was a place of true and positive support.

My Keynote, "Nurturing the Amazon," was received well.  Alex and Sage answered a ton of questions, and we were asked to stay for the talent show that evening.  Though I had a two-hour drive ahead of me, I agreed we would stay and join the festivities.

The talent show was great fun.  Women sang, performed improv, danced, played instruments, and generally kicked it up and had a good time.  I pulled us away from the Gathering at the last possible minute...I really wanted to stay until everyone was ready to go to bed, but I had to be sure I could get home without driving into a tree from fatigue.

I left with the contact information from many of these fabulous females, and I intend to get in touch with every single one of them.

If you are woman and you like to get outside, then by all means, check out this group.  There is probably a chapter near you...and even if there isn't, the adventure and the camaraderie is well worth the travel.



Bold Paths said...

It was marvelous having the three of you at the Gathering, and we welcome you and friends to enjoy next year's Gathering, as well as join any Women Outdoors activities that are near enough to you. Check out the regional groups. www.womenoutdoors.org.

and thank you again for blessing everyone with your stories and lives and the girls and your photos.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Thank you, Bonna! We had such a wonderful time! Women Outdoors is a fantastic organization - we look forward to taking part in more of its activities.

Bold Paths said...

I hope your summer is going well.
When it is time for you to play with kayaks on river or lake, let me know.
i have a time when i can get kids on the water with the National Park Service, in addition to the camp groups--July 9,10,24 in Wilder VT. let me know...or another time.

also Women's kayak trip Sept 16,17, with 15 miles the first day, 8 the second, but you could extend at either end.

just a thought.

check out the meet ups for women outdoors in eastern mass, and western mass, they have things going on.