|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.