When I was a kid, the week or two that I spent at camp (first Campfire Girls, then church camp) were the highlight of the summer. I saved my allowance and chore money to go. Today I leave for writing retreat, one of my most favorite times of the year.
A group of women friends, all writers, are headed up to Aldermarsh Retreat Center on Whidbey Island, just north of Seattle. We'll spend the next week writing on our projects, communing with nature and our spirits, eating well, and having a lot of fun.
To create the maximum space possible for the projects, we keep silence until 4 pm each day so that there is plenty of quiet in which to breathe, dream, write, sleep, rest, read, and just be. Then we meet for circle, share our writings and our joys and obstacles, and check in on what we need from each other. Each person has a day she is responsible for meals, with license to be as simple or as extravagant as she likes. After dinner, we play games, collage, do art, talk, and some of us go back to the computer if the writing is going especially well.
It's an amazing experience to have all the time you want for writing and thinking about writing and reading about writing and talking about writing. Each of us tends to get a lot done in one realm or another and we come back more solidly inhabiting our writer selves.
Hurray for camp!