Alumni Retreat 2018

Location: CSU Mountain Campus, Pingree Park, Colorado
Dates: August 19-23, 2018

This will be the third year I have held retreats and I thought it would be fun to hold one retreat for past participants. Those of you who have been to my retreats before know a lot about how I teach and I wanted to offer this opportunity to revisit things we've learned in past retreats and for you to focus on whatever you'd like with myself and other participants to bounce ideas off of. Pricing for this retreat is $150 less than my other Colorado retreat with this in mind (and as a thank-you for attending retreats in the past!). It is significantly cheaper than my Vermont retreat though this venue admittedly does not provide the comfier environment and extraordinary food that Good Commons does.

This retreat is scheduled during the two weeks in August when the college students have finished their programs and before the 5th graders of Fort Collins visit. (Fifth graders in Fort Collins are required to participate in Eco-Week where they spend 3 days at the mountain campus learning about ecology. This is a fantastic thing, but a dining hall full of them is not necessarily what we would find restful.) Campus will be very quiet. There will be a few other groups there, but for the most part we will enjoy a dining hall without a lot of noise.

August can be a magnificant time on the mountain. Yes, there is more chance of rain. But the storms are magnificent and they usually pass quickly. In 2017 it was pretty cloudy but the lighting for photographs was phenomenal and when the sun broke it was inspiring!

The Workshop

This retreat costs less than the others I'm holding this year. I will be available as usual for questions and private sessions about your ideas and I will have some presentations which are designed to be inspiring and help you find your way in your own tapestry practice. But I will not spend a lot of time lecturing to the whole class. This is a fun time to work with me, with your fellow students, and to enjoy working on your own work in a supportive environment.

 

Setting

The alumni retreat will be held at CSU's Mountain Campus at the end of Pingree Park road. This is a gorgeous setting surrounded by the Mummy Range and backing up to the north side of Rocky Mountain National Park. I guarantee you're going to enjoy the approach to this beautiful place.

Enjoy your days working in the spacious classroom or the sunroom of your cabin or take a walk and do some weaving outside. Presentations from me will be inspirational in nature and aimed at design ideas and what designs are best woven and what is best left to other mediums. I will be available to answer questions privately about your design ideas or about any technique challenges and I will bring a few demonstration looms and can work through technique challenges with you.

You can spend all your time in the classroom weaving from your head or images that you bring, or you can follow me outside and watch what is around you. Take photographs, make a sketch, or just sit and watch. You'll learn to pick one thing that stood out for you and create a tapestry design from it. I'll encourage you to spend at least some of your time weaving as that activity further slows the brain and allows you to experience the inspirational moment again.

WHAT IS PROVIDED

  • Inspiration and design discussion with me each day, plus open studios with my assistance. The studio will always be open and you can work as much or as little as you like.
  • I will bring some Hokett looms that you can borrow if you'd like to try them out and will probably have some for sale.
  • I will bring yarn that you can use. However if you're working on something specific, I'd suggest bringing your own weft. Weft I will provide includes Harrisville Highland, Harrisville Shetland, Harrisville singles, and Weaver's Bazaar 18/2 and 8/2 wool.
  • Handouts so you can remember what we talked about when you go home.
  • Meals will be provided for each of the four days of this retreat, Sunday evening through Thursday noon. Meals will be taken in the campus dining hall. They can accommodate some food issues so please note any on the registration form.
  • All linens, private bath with shower in each room.

WHAT TO BRING

For the workshop:

  • portable tapestry loom. You can warp ahead of time if it makes you more comfortable or you can wait and see what inspiration brings and warp when you know what sett and size you want to use. If you are not bringing a loom at all and want to borrow a Hokett loom, please let me know ahead of time so I can be sure to have one for you.
  • your familiar weaving tools
  • yarn (I will bring a good supply of yarn, but please bring some of the yarn you usually weave with also so what you're doing is transferrable to your home studio)
  • I will have some warp available, but if you have a favorite warp, please bring some. I will have some small bundles of warp intended for use on Hokett looms. The warp I bring will be cotton seine twine in various sizes.
  • drawing/design supplies, idea notebook
  • (optional) camera if you like to use it for design (and computer/iPad if you use them for design)
  • design ideas to expand upon during the workshop
  • If you are someone one who likes to work with music, please bring headphones for your device.
  • You may want something to sit on if you want to weave or draw outside. A portable folding chair or just a mat or blanket you can carry can help make working outside more comfortable.
  • Lighting in Hotchkiss Lodge where we will work is pretty good, but if you like good strong light especially in the evening, please bring a portable lamp.

For the mountain campus:

  • Bring clothing appropriate for August at high altitude in Colorado. Though the front range around Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins can be quite warm this time of year, CSU's Mountain Campus is significantly higher in elevation and you should be prepared for some chilly mornings and evenings. It often rains in the afternoons in Colorado in August, so I recommend a rain jacket and even an umbrella. You will want sturdy shoes for walking on uneven ground as well as any hikes you want to take. Mud, rocks, and water all happen here.
  • a small backpack or comfortable bag to carry drawing supplies, water, a camera and maybe a loom. If you want to do some hiking, make sure your gear is appropriate. Don't forget your trekking poles if you use them for balance (as I do!).
  • The stars will be stunning. Don't forget to go outside at night to look at them. But you'll want a flashlight for getting around.
  • We will be eating in the campus cafeteria. You can find out more about that HERE
  • There will undoubtedly be other groups on campus while we are there. We will be sharing that dining hall though our classroom will be just for us. A map of the campus can be seen HERE.

Pricing

The price of the retreat is $400 which includes dinner on the first night and breakfast and lunch on the last day.
Housing is billed separately at the rates below:

Private room: $650
Shared room (2 people): $525

Housing

Housing is in multi-room cabins. Each room has a private bath and has two or three twin beds. There are no larger beds available. Bedding and towels are provided. All blankets are wool and the pillows are very basic. You can reserve a room privately or share with a friend or significant other. If your significant other would like to come with you to the campus but does not want to participate in the retreat, please check the box indicating this on the registration form. You will both be billed at the shared room rate but your S.O. will not be billed for the retreat. 

If you'd like a shared room but are not coming with a friend or spouse, I can match you with someone else.

There is a lounge in each cabin with a deck. Each cabin has a small refrigerator in the lounge that you are welcome to use.

Conference Cabin layout.

Conference Cabin layout.

TECHNOLOGY

There is no cell service at CSU Mountain Campus or anywhere nearby. Believe me. None. 

There are several public phones that are available for your use and there is limited wifi access in the campus buildings. It should be enough to communicate with your loved ones that you are safe and enjoying yourselves mightily. This retreat is a great opportunity to unplug for a few days.

A note on wifi: Though at times the wifi appears to work very well, there is actually very little bandwidth. If you make that video call home, it means that no one else on campus can check their email or send a message. Please avoid video calls if at all possible. You will be able to send email. You will most likely not be able to use Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms. This is a good thing! It is time to relax without the rewiring that these program do to our brains.

RETREAT SCHEDULE

Note: Mealtimes will be announced at the retreat. The campus often schedules groups specifically for efficiency in the dining hall. Our group will be one of the only ones on campus, so mealtimes will be about half an hour long.

Sunday

3-5 pm Arrive
Dinner
Brief slideshow of tapestry inspiration and plans for the retreat
Evening relaxation

Monday 

Breakfast
9-12 am Workshop (all participants), Hotchkiss Lodge
Lunch
1-5 pm Guided mountain hike with Rebecca or exploration on your own for DISCOVERIES! (Open Studio is always an option)
Dinner
Campfire: If the weather is good, we can gather around the campfire pit by the river. This is completely optional.
Evening relaxation as you desire; studio open for further weaving exploration
Don't miss the amazing high-altitude skies after dark!

Tuesday/Wednesday: these days, workshop time will be divided between using our environment for design ideas and working on those ideas in the classroom. Activities are somewhat subject to afternoon weather as it often rains in Colorado in the afternoons this time of year. Rebecca will be available for consultation and will be doing a couple easy guided hikes for people who feel up to it. She can make recommendations for people who want to take on a more strenuous challenge.

Breakfast
9-12 am  Workshop
Lunch
1-5 pm  Workshop
Dinner
Evening relaxation as you desire; studio open for further weaving exploration

Thursday                

Breakfast
9-12 am Retreat experience wrap-up.*
10 am Group photo on the deck at Hotchkiss
Pack and disperse as needed. 
Lunch is available
Check out by 1 pm

*Note: This final morning is a tremendous opportunity to learn about the experience of other participants. If at all possible, please plan to stay until 11 am for this recap. I will be available for wrap-up until lunch and everyone is invited to share one last meal in the dining hall before heading out.

A NOTE ABOUT PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

You do not have to be a hiker to get a tremendous amount out of this retreat! The campus is in a high-mountain setting so the biggest concern is whether you can deal with the 9,000 foot elevation. If you live at and are coming from sea level, consider flying into Denver a couple days before to get used to some altitude before proceeding to the mountain campus, especially if you have experienced issues with altitude in the past. Denver is at approximately 5,000 feet elevation. Altitude sickness is no fun, so make sure to drink plenty of water in the weeks before you come out.

Hiking is not required. Just the views from the campus are so incredible, you could find plenty of inspiration never setting a foot on one of the many hiking trails. The campus does not have paved trails and there are stairs, so if you require ADA accessible surfaces, this might not be the right place for your comfort. There are some lovely trails right around the campus that are relatively level and offer views of the mountains and often moose.

If you are a hiker, CSU's Pingree Park campus is one of the most gorgeous places in this part of the Rockies. Hike high into the back side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Stroll through high mountain meadows and above treeline if you're so inclined. Emmaline Lakes are a worthy goal, though I can tell you from personal experience, the last half mile includes a fair amount of scrambling over rocks! There are other much gentler trails nearby with rewarding views.

TRANSPORTATION TO THE CAMPUS

The campus is at the end of Pingree Park road. This is a very wide, well-maintained gravel road that branches off Highway 14 in the Poudre Canyon. The campus is 50 miles west of Fort Collins, CO. This is mountain driving, but this road is exceptionally good. Any passenger car and a driver who is okay with moderate mountain driving will be just fine.

Shuttle service from Denver International Airport to Fort Collins:

Green Ride Co has a regular route northbound from DIA. http://www.greenrideco.com/

I will not be providing transportation from Fort Collins to the mountain campus this year. But I will facilitate carpooling. The 2017 retreats worked very well this way. There will be enough people driving with extra spots in their cars that everyone can get up to campus if you can't drive there yourself. If you're catching a ride with someone in the class, please do consider offering them a little money for gas. It is a long way up there and there aren't any gas stations within 50 miles of campus.

Directions to CSU Mountain campus

From Fort Collins:

  • Go north on U.S. 287 to Hwy. 14 junction (mile marker 22)
  • Turn west on Hwy. 14 going up Poudre Canyon (at Shell gas station which locals call Ted's Place)
  • Stay on Hwy. 14 past "Kelly Flats" Campground
  • Turn left on Pingree Park Road (County Road 63E)
  • Cross the bridge and continue on the gravel road for 16 miles to reach the Mountain Campus
  • You'll come to a sign for the campus and you'll stay to the right (Pingree Park road continues to the left to some private homes beyond a usually-locked gate--if you come to a locked gate, you've gone just a little bit too far).

The campus is approximately a 3.5 hour drive from Denver International Airport and about 2 hours from Fort Collins.

Gallery

The images below are from the Colorado Mountain Campus retreats in 2017. These retreats were focused on using the environment as inspiration for small diary-like pieces. This year you are welcome to do the same thing if it works well for you. If you'd like to spend the time focused on a specific project, working on design or color skills, or fine-tuning a particular design you're working on, we can do that!

Click on the photos for the full view. Hover for caption in enlarged view. Use arrows right and left to scroll.

It was an experience I will never forget. From the moment my plane arrived till I left down the mountain, I was so thrilled to be there! Thank you Rebecca for fulfilling a “bucket list experience” for me. I came home a changed Tapestry Weaver and learned so much from you and all that gathered together. There was a passion there for learning this extraordinary art form and I was so grateful to be a part of it! Your spirit for teaching others and friendship will always be a gift to me! It was an incredible five day journey for me and I know for those who were able to attend.
— Donna Wynn, Colorado 2017 participant