Women's Weekend: Looking Back & Ahead

The Women’s Weekend is scheduled for Friday, May 18th – Sunday, May 20th. This year's retreat will feature more Fun, Chocolate and Rummikub! This program began at the behest of several of our community members, all at separate times and from other programs. Our founding mothers include Joan Plisko of Camp Common Ground and Kerrie Bodendorf from Lost Arts (now planning to teach MELT – a really cool body work system – at Camp Common Ground). We did MELT at the Women’s Weekend last year. Robin Herbison, also of Lost Arts fame and one of Carole’s local New Jersey gal pals was a huge inspiration for this program as well and my inspiration for going “over my waist” in the pond last year!
This weekend has evolved from a frenetic, activity packed few days to a relaxed, hang out and chat experience….really what women do best when left to their own devices. Last year we positioned this weekend at the same time that a female a cappella group rented the site. Maiden Vermont charmed us with their voices and we all mingled in the evenings.
The best story that weekend was that while we were being enchanted in the Haybarn by the lovely Maiden singing, a hailstorm began. It was wicked! It came on so quickly and was a torrential downpour. The wind was so strong that I had trouble closing the Haybarn doors…it was exciting and exhilarating! Little did we know, two of our participants had gone for a hike and got stuck on the trail by the pond when the downpour began. Our two innovative and quick-thinking women hid out in the Porta-John! According to them it was quite an unforgettable adventure!
My other strong recollection from that weekend is of all of the amazing new Rummikub fanatics that presented themselves! We had some real sleepers emerge as players (a sleeper is someone you would never suspect had the cutthroat edge). We love to joke about the competiveness of our Rummikub games but have no fear---that’s just to scare away the men! (Just kidding, of course!) Plenty of our Women’s Weekend ladies sit and knit or chat with us as we play.
Unfortunately we won’t be seeing the Maidens this year but we are scheduled on the same weekend as our Worker-Bee Volunteer Day (May 19). Don’t worry, no one is required to work but many of us relax in productivity and sometimes it feels good to get your hands dirty!  There will be trails to clear and especially some gardening to be done. I, for one, will likely smile as I watch all those eager beavers toiling away. After all Rummikub is HARD work as is eating chocolate. You have to pace yourself, you know. Come join us!

Carole Blane is Common Ground Center's Program Director. When she's not on site, she lives in Manhattan. Carole homeschooled all three of her amazing daughters and and volunteers for La Leche League and Attachment Parenting International. In her spare time she's an avid Rummikub player and practices yoga to stay balanced.