06 March 2018
Exciting Conference News
I am delighted that an amazing opportunity has opened up for our gathering . . . we have been busy this winter working behind the scenes on a major shift for the conference. And we are eager to share the big news with you . . .
The Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference has a new home!
In seeking a site that could better meet our growing needs, we knew that it had to be a very special and sacred place for our wild and wonderful web of women . . . a location steeped in natural beauty and honoring of the land. Truly, it is a tall order for a venue that can welcome our group of a thousand women of the "Wonder Woman Island of Happy Herbalists" (so named by Lucretia VanDyke last year)!
We found that place when we explored Kanuga Conference & Retreat Center—flanked by two youth camps at the pristine 30-acre Kanuga Lake—right here in our mountains near Asheville.
Amid mountain vistas, crisp streams and towering pines, Kanuga is nestled on 1,400 peaceful acres of biodiverse woodlands. Appreciating our focus on ecological stewardship and empowerment for a diverse group of women and girls, Kanuga is eager to collaborate with our women’s herbal event.
Expanded housing options
As you may know, our group has been maxing out available housing each year—in particular our handful of double rooms disappeared immediately as soon as registration opened in the spring! Very aware of our participants’ long-standing desire for more comfortable, private, and accessible (especially for elders) housing options, we are thrilled that this venue will better than ever meet the wide range of housing desires for our whole group.
Kanuga is providing us weekend access to their entire facilities—on all three campuses—including a wide range of housing options from economical cabin bunkbeds, to charming cottages and hotel-style rooms in their Kanuga Lake Inn.
Embracing change . . .
As with any change, we know this transition comes with inevitable mixed emotions for many of us. Our powerful group of women has infused the land at Camp Rockmont with loving energy, and the stunning views of our classroom tents against the backdrop of the Black Mountains will not be forgotten.
As it became clear that Rockmont was no longer a viable option for our group, we looked back at the other conference venue changes since our first gathering, 14 years ago—when we started off with 200 women at Camp Merrimac. There has always been sadness in the mix when we have recognized that the needs of our group outgrew what that venue could provide, even as we look ahead to a broader horizon.
Of course, every venue has its limitations, and we will certainly find some at Kanuga—we already know that we won’t be able to offer early arrival; the camping facilities will be more limited; and we will be incentivizing carpooling due to limited parking.
Since January, our staff has been hard at work developing the campus layout, arrival planning, and class schedule in concert with this new venue. We ask your patience as we work through the process and address challenges together. In April, we will have detailed registration and program information available on the website.
Most of all, we hope you will join us in embracing this change by co-creating the beauty, harmony, sweetness, and powerful love for the land which our group has brought to every venue since our inception.
We are delighted to partner with Kanuga, as we enter our 14th year. This October, we invite each of you to bring your own love offerings as we cultivate the relationship with Kanuga Lake as our new home!