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  • 24 May 2011 11:27 AM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Here are some of the workshops planned for the 2011 Gathering: 

    Saturday morning, May 28
    • Kayaking Poetry Scavenger Hunt
    • Hike to Heron Rookery
    • Native American Flute 101
    • Hike Mt. Skatutakee
    • Meal Planning for Good Health
    Saturday afternoon, May 28
    • Gentle Pilates
    • Shoulders, Knees, Ankles - Tips for Self Care
    • Reading and Writing Poems of the Natural World
    • Wellness, Blood Pressure Check
    • The Nature of Prose
    • Women Outdoors Website Training for RCs
    Sunday morning, May 29
    • Early Morning Nature Reflections
    • Making Space for Sabbath Time
    • A Recovery Walk in Nature - 12 Things to be Grateful for
    • Hike to Mt. Monadnock
    • Invasive Plant Identification
    • Hike to Heron Rookery
    • Bike Ride to Harrisville
    Sunday afternoon, May 29
    • Leisurely off-side paddle at Powder Mill Pond
    • Pack Monadnock Views
    • Orienteering
    • Drumming


  • 23 Apr 2011 9:58 AM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    Women Outdoors is thrilled to be sponsoring two all-women teams for the Run of the Charles race on Saturday, April 30—so thrilled, we plan to have a party afterwards to honor our mighty rowers and party with all of you who are  in town to urge them on.

    If you don't know about Run of the Charles, check it out here. This is New England's largest canoe and kayak race, held every April, put on by the Charles River Watershed Association to showcase the ongoing improvements in the Charles River, while drawing 1,500 paddlers and hundreds of spectators to enjoy a day on the river.

    Women Outdoors members are traveling from as far away as New York to participate or cheer WO paddlers on, and we want to hang with them! So if you're interested in hanging with  us, meeting the paddlers, and eating a little food, whether you're already a WO member or just want to come and learn more about the group, we would love to see you.

    The party will be at Women Outdoors Unleashed headquarters, aka my house, in Jamaica Plain, starting around 5:30 on race day.

    If you'd like to come, please RSVP to me at lisavaas@gmail.com, and I'll send the address and directions.


    I look forward to the race and to seeing you all!!

    xoxo

    ~Lisa
    Director at Large, Women Outdoors
    Women Outdoors Unleashed Coordinator
  • 04 Apr 2011 6:47 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Join us for the 32nd Annual Women Outdoors Gathering on Memorial Weekend, May 27-30, 2011.    Enjoy kayaking, hiking, swimming, birding, meeting lots of outdoor women, biking, walking, meditating, eating and so much more....

    New this year is the option to stay Monday night, May 31. Turn your long weekend into a 4-day vacation!!

    Sign up by Wednesday, April 20 to receive the $20 early bird discount. Sign up in advance to lead a workshop and get another $20 discount. Financial assistance is also available. 
     
    Go to The Gathering page for more detailed information.

    When: May 27-31, 2011
    Where: Sargent Center, Hancock, New Hampshire
    Who: Women Outdoors members (Not a member? Join when you register.)  Children welcome, boys only to age 8.
    How: Go to The Gathering page to learn more and to register today.  Register by April 20 to get a $20 discount.
    Cost: Varies from $110 to $285 depending on your length of stay and
    accommodation. 

    If you have any questions or comments, please email Gathering@womenoutdoors.org.
  • 16 Feb 2011 12:43 PM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    Ten boats at the starting line near Great Plain Ave in Needham. Photo: Susan Cline.Everybody’s jostling. It’s windy. You’re trying to thread yourself and your boat around way too many people. People are jumping in and out at each start of a new leg and each switch-over to new team rowers, some flipping their boats and taking a dunk in the Charles River.

    Also, lest we forget, there’s a guy who’s dressed like a Viking waiting at the end-of-race party in Brighton. We have no idea why.

    It’s February, and that means it’s time to register and train for the Run of the Charles, the largest canoe and kayak race in New England, which attracts over 1,000 paddlers each year. This is your chance to use the muscles you’ve spent all winter beefing up for a good cause. Put on by the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) to showcase the recreational potential of the Charles River and raise funds for the protection of the watershed in eastern Massachusetts, this event includes six races for professional and recreational boaters, of 6, 9, 19, and 24 miles in length.

    This year, Women Outdoors is proud to announce that we’ll be backing trip leader Debra Weisenstein and her team participants, whom she’s now recruiting. We’re joining Deb in urging Women Outdoors Paddlers to step up to the plate, step into the boat, and get ready for fun and meaningful fund-raising. The entry fee is $30 for each of 10 team members. Women Outdoors will be subsidizing an as-yet-undetermined amount of that fee.


    Guaranteed Winners!

    The 24-mile relay race has a category for women's teams, which require 10 women. This category has had only one entry, a team called the Mad Hatters, for the last several years. As Deb points Paddling under a bridge in Newton. Photo: Susan Clineout, Women Outdoors has many active outdoor women who paddle. “We could double the number of women's teams in the race and be assured of a second place finish!” she said. How many races can guarantee you such an outcome?

    A Good Cause

    Here are some of the good works done by the CRWA that Women Outdoors participation and funding will support:

    • CRWA holds an annual river cleanup on Earth Day

    • The Association participated in negotiations that reduced by 95% the heat discharge and water withdrawal from the river by a plant in Cambridge, so that waste heat from the plant is now used as cogeneration heat for nearby buildings. 

    • CRWA is involved in developing a smart growth plan for wastewater in the town of Littleton.

    A more pristine watershed environment and recreational opportunities for New England residents will be the benefits. The Run of the Charles is also a fun event and a challenging competition, but an event where anyone and everyone can enjoy the river at their own speed. It’s your chance to get to know Women Outdoors members across chapters while applying yourselves to a common goal, an opportunity to have the Women Outdoors name noticed, and a potential chance to recruit new The exchange point between legs 1 and 2 in Dedham. Photo: Susan Clinemembers on the riverbank. The paddlers are sure to have a good time, applying themselves in friendly competition and cheering on their teammates.

    Meet Your Trip Leader

    Deb has been paddling canoes and kayaks for over 30 years and formerly held an AMC class 4 whitewater rating. She served as a leader of AMC whitewater trips for several years. Her company, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., has participated in the Run of the Charles corporate division race for about 15 years. She’s paddled the race at least 10 times and often helped organize the company team, including running practices at lunchtime and providing informal instruction on the water. Deb has also served as team captain for the last two years. She knows the particulars of each of the 5 race legs and has matched paddlers with race legs and paddling partners for her company team.

    Race Particulars

    You can find canoes, kayaks, outrigger canoes, and paddleboards on the river come race day. The 24-mile relay race consists of 5 legs. Each leg is about 5 miles long, is paddled by a team of 2 and takes about an hour of paddling. The race starts in Needham where the Charles River is a small, winding stream, proceeds through Dedham, Newton, Wellesley, Waltham, and Boston, and ends at Herter Park in Brighton. More information can be found at the CRWA site.

    The race begins at 10 am, but the start is staggered with waves of 10 boats sent off every couple minutes. Some boats won't actually start until 10:20 or later. There are 6 portages on the race, three of them between legs and three within legs. For the portages between legs, both the paddlers The 300 yd portage between legs 2 and 3 at Newton Upper Falls. Photo: Susan Clinefinishing the previous leg and those starting on the next leg are allowed to carry, which provides four people to portage the boat. For the portages within legs, only the two paddlers on that leg are allowed to carry the boat. One leg has no portages and one leg only a short 4-person portage.

    Register Now Before the Price Goes Up

    The entry fee for the race is $300 if the team enters by February 25. After that, the fee goes up to $350. The team has until March 31 to complete a roster, but substitutions are allowed later, even on race day.


    Boat Needed, PFD Mandatory

    Here’s what Deb needs to pull together a winning team:

    1. 10 paddlers to fill the team roster, plus 2-4 backups.

    2. the loan of a lightweight tandem canoe for the race (preferably less than 70 pounds).

    3. a team photographer to follow the team down the river and document their efforts.

    4. others to cheer the team on and help celebrate at the finish line.

    SUMMARY

    Date: Saturday April 30, 2011

    Time: Race starts at 10 am, ends around 3-4 pm

    Individual commitment: 2 ½ hours

    Cost: $30 maximum (to be offset by an as-yet-undetermined Women Outdoors subsidy)

    Level of Effort: 1 hour of paddling, portages for some team members

    Location: Charles River between Needham and Boston, MA

    RSVP to: Deb Weisenstein (508-277-4826) dkweis@aer.com

    Reply by: February 21

  • 01 Nov 2010 7:16 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Join Women Outdoors for a Winter Weekend Getaway on February 11 - 13, 2011.  We love holding our annual Gathering every Memorial Day Weekend at the Sargent Center in Hancock, NH, but winter offers an exquisite beauty all its own.

    For outdoor fun, you can look forward to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing. Indoor activities at the Northern Lodge include playing games, relaxing, talking with friends, and of course, those fabulous Sargent Center meals.

    Women, college/youth, and children are welcome to attend.  We will be sharing the Sargent Center with another small co-ed group during the weekend.

    All meals and accommodations are included in the price.  Rentals for cross-country skis and snow shoes are extra.  Prices range from $55 for Saturday (two meals, no overnight) to $175 for the entire weekend (two nights in a cabin and six meals).

    This event is for members of Women Outdoors.  If you're not yet a member, please sign up on our Join Us page.  If you are a member, you can register online today.

    Hope to see you there!
  • 23 Oct 2010 1:05 PM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    How we used to crush dissent within the WO Board of Directors, until we went vegan.They might call you.

    They might whisper into your ear, late at night.

    “Come, join us,” they will purr. “You’re so smart. You’re so competent. Come. Be on.... “

    THE BOARD.

    “No! No! No!” you scream, flinging the phone across the room. Or, if it’s a nice phone, holding it away from your ear.

    “Those Board of Director meetings are so boring,” you wail.

    You’re right! What can we say? It’s hell! It’s horrible! Don’t join, whatever you do! Who needs blah blah blah? Yadda yadda?

    And if you don’t join, there will be more lobster bisque for me at the Board retreat, a bowlful of which I enjoyed at a Newport restaurant, schooners and yachts bobbing on the rolling sea outside in the harbor.

    More bellydancing lessons from Reba to go around!

    More essential oils rubbed on your aching temples from Alice, essential oil maven, who dabbed me with this elixir called Abundance, full of cloves and orange and frankincense and myhr, said to increase the flow of love and money and lobster bisque into your life.

    More walking along Cliff Walk, scrambling up and down the boulders as the waves explode on the craggy cliffs, the mansions rising above you and the daisies blooming in drifts zigzagging up the rock crevasses.Daisies going crazy in the cliffs along Cliff Walk in Newport, RI.

    But these are just details.

    Seriously, it’s work. Being on the Board is not all play. It does entail hours of sitting around in meetings, wrangling over what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong.

    This time around, we were thinking about you: You the members, you the Regional Contacts.

    What makes you join Women Outdoors when you could just go to a nature-centric Meetup? What makes us different? What keeps members from going to planning meetings? Is it apathy? How are we on the Board apathetic ourselves?

    The Board of Directors on its 2010 retreat in Newport, RI, at a plush & faboo Girl Scout camp.I’m not going to try to talk anybody into joining the Board. We have trained operatives for that.

    (I’m kidding. We don’t have trained operatives.)

    I just thought I’d share a bit about last weekend’s retreat with you.

    Oh, and did I mention the moonlit Jack-o-Lantern stroll?

    The terrifying Blair Reba Witch Project video I managed to shoot, wherein our Treasurer may or may not have been possessed by cucurbit demons?

    Board of Directors meetings. Pffft! Who needs that?

    Waitress! More lobster bisque, please!

  • 27 Jul 2010 7:00 PM | Kathleen (Administrator)
    Women Outdoors MagazineFranny Osman, editor of the Women Outdoors Magazine, sends out this call for submissions for the magazine:

    Dear Fellow Women Outdoors Members,

    I have been in this organization for twenty-eight and a half years and recall many a fun time (snowshoe cabin overnights in the 80's to tippy raft bridges in the 90's to a barefoot mountain hike in the 00's). I remember many a quirky or educational Women Outdoors Magazine article.

    Are you having fun times outdoors--or miserable, or mysterious, or fascinating? Are you having mundane, meditative moments that you assume are too trivial to share? Nothing is too small for words. A young hawk screams from treetops as I run from house to car. Do you hear a nighthawk's buzzy call as you carry your fresh Farmers Market corn from the subway to your house? Where have you swum lately? Was it cold?

    Send it in to Women Outdoors Magazine. The earlier the better. Even a little email blurb. The late deadline is August 15th but try to send something now.

    Thank you.

    Franny Osman
    Editor, Women Outdoors Magazine
    email: editor@womenoutdoors.org 
  • 25 Jul 2010 10:30 AM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)

    New WO President Jo-Ann Little and recent WO President Jane RuddenThe WO Board of Directors on July 24, 2010 made it official: We took off our caps in deep gratitude to Jane Rudden, who is stepping down as president (but remaining on the Board), and we voted in our new president, Jo-Ann Little (also voted in was our newest Board member, Kim Otis. Welcome, Kim, and thanks to all of you who took the time to vote!). We’ve known since before the 2010 Gathering that the presidency would pass from one capable set of hands to another. At the Gathering, I had the chance to sit down with both of these worthy women to get their take on where our beloved organization is going and how we’re going to get it there. Here’s what they had to say.


    Lisa: Jo-Ann, I know you were on the Board two years ago but dropped off because your personal and professional lives got busy. So what brings you back?

    Jo-Ann: It started a couple months ago. I had stayed on the Board list, and I was still reading the e-mail, and I thought, Now is the time, now I have the capacity. I knew we had asked Jane to step into the role when Debbi Wright retired. We had also made promises to Jane that we would support her and never leave her, and that’s not what happened.

    Jane: I wound up in school full-time and working full-time, and part of the process of my working toward becoming a nurse practitioner is that I’ll be continuing my education, so Jo-Ann approached me about coming back to the Board and switching positions. I said, “That’s a really good idea.” She had more availability to do everything that needed to be done.


    Lisa: What are some of the things that need to be done?

    Jo-Ann: We talked about getting the Albany region off the ground...

    Jane: That was a priority I couldn’t address, either by myself or by finding somebody to work closely with or assist with leading trips. So I wasn’t able to do that for Mickey [Alford, an Albany member].

    Jo-Ann: Another thing: Jane’s been a WO member forever. She’s always been passionate about the organization. We didn’t want her to lose that passion by being bogged down. We don’t want to lose someone like Jane by her giving her heart and soul to the organization. If I could lift that burden and continue to benefit from her wisdom, I felt that’s something I could do.


    Lisa: Jane, could you tell us a bit about your history with WO?

    Jane: My first gathering was in 1982. During the 90s, I was on the board or president of a gay & lesbian Albany organization. … Then I was through with that and Debbi picked me out. She said “You, come back!”


    Lisa: Tell us where you think the organization is at right now.

    Jo-Ann: I feel the organization’s in transition now. We reformulated our identity with our new Web site. That’s really taken off. We have to follow this reformulation of the site with our identity in general. In regions, we have to rebrand our value to people: i.e., Make it clear why they should want to be members. We started well, and we need it to carry forward.

    The board three years ago spent a lot of time articulating our mission. It’s all about empowering women. We have to do a better job of getting people to understand, whether they’re a trip leader or just attend a local event, they’re getting life skills out of participation; skills they might not even realize they’re getting.

    Jane: I heard something today that clicked. Somebody announced that Bren needed a volunteer to help with the loading of the boats. It’s this pulling people together to be involved: WO has done that. That’s what moves them to leading a hike or taking the next challenge. That’s been really pivotal. It communicates a strong message that you matter and everything you do matters. And giving people opportunity to contribute can be really empowering. That's the beauty of a volunteer-led organization. That’s why I was glad when Alice [Sherard] took the mic and talked about getting the Gathering committee together.


    Lisa: So WO is about empowering women by participatory action. What are some ways you envision of fostering that even further?

    Jo-Ann: Maybe by creating a volunteer bank, to remind people that we’re a volunteer organization. There’s something for everybody to do. We as a Board need to get better at asking people for that help. If everybody gave a little of their skill set, we’d be a kick-ass organization.

    Jane: We’re already a kick-ass organization. Maybe before the next Board meeting, if we could come up with a letter to membership, identify people who we recognize as being somebody who could step forward, and to recognize that Hey, you’ve been here, and we recognize you, and here are some roles, so please get back to us. With Gathering help, for example.


    Lisa: I’m getting the message that WO needs help!

    Jo-Ann: People help if they’ve been asked. When given specific tasks, people know their job, their role, and how to do it. People won’t help without being asked, but we need help.

    Jane: Once I was camping in a small clearing on a Girl Scout Camp canoe trip. I was by the water unloading, and the counselor asked me to stay behind and help better beach the canoes. Two days later, I was walking by the spot and passed the canoes. It was fair, but the water line had come up 7 feet. I went to the counselor and said, “I noticed water has come up. It’s under the second canoe.”

    We lashed the canoes together and then to a little tree above the bank. The counselor said "Thanks for catching that ... we might have lost our canoes!" My 12-year-old self felt very proud and effective. Later that night, I experienced the worst rain and thunderstorm I had ever seen and understood why the water level had changed so dramatically.

    The counselor had asked me for help pulling up the canoes, and it heightened my awareness, so when we were about to lose the canoes, I had felt empowered. It made me pay attention to stewardship of the canoes. So I noticed when they were in danger of floating away on a bright and sunny day and spoke up. I felt included.


    Lisa: Stewardship: That’s a good word for what gets done on the Board...

    Jo-Ann: I feel a stewardship for this organization. I was passionate when I was on the Board before, and I wanted to continue the good work. Debbi’s been my role model, and she gave many years of her passion. That story really resonates: I really wanted to continue stewardship for women.

    Jane: There’s so much value to what we provide for women. We keep getting better and better at it. Every year you hear, “This is the best Gathering ever ...”

    Jo-Ann: My niece wrote an article for the Gathering. Last night at the coffee house, a poem came to her, so she wrote it, and Franny [Osman’s] girls are going to be Masters of Ceremony at next year’s coffee house. What does that say about this organization? We’re attracting the next generation of stewards. They may have been shocked to be asked to do the coffee house, but they’ll kick it out of the park.



  • 14 Jun 2010 9:05 AM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    You’d think the adrenalin would be pumping with the wet exit itself: throwing yourself sideways to hang upside down in that typically icy cold Halfmoon Pond at Sargent Center, at the end of May when only turtles and other cold-blooded creatures rightfully belong there, water going up your nose, floating around in that murky black with God knows what type of snapping turtles ready to take a bite out of your ass.

    But no, no, that didn’t bother me at all—I’d been trailing my hand in the water all day at the recent 2010 Gathering, and it was downright amniotic, temperature-wise. Between the surprisingly pleasant temperature, the hot sun and the fact that I actually enjoy wet exits, it’s not surprising that I was the first to toss myself into the drink.

    No, the exit and dousing went fine, nothing evil taking any toes off, smooth as silk, so there I was, bobbing up and down in my appropriately fitting Personal Flotation Device (remember: that thing should fit tight enough that you can’t pull the shoulder straps past your ears. Bear in mind, if we have to haul your dripping corpus out of the pond, we might have to grab you by your PFD. Ain’t gonna keep your fine self breathing if your head is somewhere down where the life jacket zipper starts. Get that sucker TIGHT!).

    So yea, the wet exit was no sweat. Pleasant, even. The real terror? That came when Beth hauled my kayak over her bow into the T rescue formation to drain out the water (never done a wet exit or a T rescue? Check out This YouTube video to get a sense of how it goes. For a look at what NOT to do when you fall out of a kayak, check out this video. It’s both very funny but also exhausting to watch a re-entry done wrong, and it makes me exhausted and cold just watching it!).

    There I was, bobbing like a cork, watching the underside of my overturned kayak, suspended in the air over Beth’s bow, when, horror of horrors, what did I see but the Tupperware-like lid of my hatch dangling by its rubber strap.

    To put it mildly, I started to panic.

    “Which hatch is that?! Which hatch??!!” I sputtered at my rescuers.

    “The rear hatch,” they said.

    Oh &^%$!!!! That was the wrong answer. Why, you may ask? What treasures did I foolishly stow in the rear hatch without tying them down, you may also well ask? Oh, nothing important—just my freakin’ CAR KEYS!!!!

    Oh! I so did not want to dive down to the bottom of Lake Scary Crap in the Gooey Muck!!! I so did not want to squeeze my fingers through the primordial goo that was God knows how much deeper down than my dangling feet. I mean, that stuff at the bottom of that pond, that’s just crude oil in the making, you know what I’m saying? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s infant petroleum, that’s what it is.

    And just because right now I’m vividly remembering the thought of all that water and muck and depth under my dangling feet, I’ll share with you some facts about Halfmoon Pond. According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, its average depth is 8 feet (check out a map of the pond at their site, www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/bathy_maps.htm.) Its maximum depth is 15 feet. (My maximum depth is 5’2”, for what it’s worth. Meaning that potentially, between me and my keys, was nearly enough water to cover three of me.) Its residents include largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegill, and hornpout. I know it has pumpkinseed also, because I’ve cooked and eaten them. And now it was their turn to suck me down into their aquatic maw.

    Oh dear. The pond theoretically does not contain American eel or electric eel. Supposedly. But it certainly contains snakes, since I saw a big one swimming across it a few years ago. And snapping turtles. But primarily its volume is taken up by dark water that you can’t see into and dark mucky stuff that I don’t ever want to put my toes or fingers into.

    “Are you sure they fell out?” Reba and Beth and Arlene and Bonna or one of them or all of them asked. I may have been wailing at this point.

    Of course they fell out!! How could they have not fallen out?? That would have been insane lottery luck for my keys to not have fallen out. That kind of thing only happens to the type of person who wins a door prize. Not me! Nope, never won a door prize! Didn’t win a high-calorie snack at the Annual Meeting, didn’t win a $10 gift certificate to EMS at the Annual Meeting. Those lucky Women Outdoors members who won those nice prizes, bless their lucky souls, they were all Not Me. (Granted, it’s moot, given that members of the board of directors weren’t supposed to take tickets. But I bet you $5 I wouldn’t have won if I could have taken a ticket.) Won a doll at a carnival game once, but it was the lamest doll and I cried because it didn’t have a 3-foot-wide green satin Spanish flamenco dancer’s dress like the one they used to lure you in to play. How old was I? Forty. What’s your point?

    But I peeked in the hatch just to be sure.

    Oh my GOD!!!! My wad of keys, perched on the inner lip of the hatch rim!!!

    BINGO!!!!

    I grabbed them. Somehow I didn’t drop them into Lake Goo. Somehow I transferred them safely to Renie’s keeping. Somehow she didn’t drop them. Somehow everything was fine, and I could hop onto my belly, onto the back of my kayak, swing my legs into the cockpit, stay low, and flip myself over. Badda bing, badda boom, Bob’s your uncle.

    “We had a drybag the whole time!” Renie said to me later.

    “DUH!!!” I said. “I am an idiot.”

    The moral of the story: Don’t ever, ever, ever go out in a kayak without tying down important stuff.

    As Debbi Wright famously said upon hearing of the episode: “One word: Carabiners!”

    The corollary moral of the story: If you ever see me paddling out in a kayak, ask me where my car keys are. If they’re not tied down, just say the words “Lake Goo.”

    Thank you, in advance.


  • 01 Jun 2010 11:08 AM | Lisa Vaas (Administrator)
    Lisa Vaas kayaking @ The 2010 GatheringTales of Louise Adie's elbow getting bumped by a Leopard Seal in Antarctica... Poetry written while floating in a kayak as diamonds of sun sparkle on the pond... Beth and Reba and I struggling, finally successful, as we help Arlene hoist herself back into her insanely buoyant kayak... Arelene's kayak itself, handmade from wood after six days of craftsmanship (craftswomanship??) ... songs sung and words spoken at Coffee House that are still ringing in my head... nighttime croquet and insatiable mosquitoes... car keys perched on the inside lip of an overturned, water-logged kayak hatch, moments from being washed to the bottom of Lake Goo...  the mere fact that we were once again back in our beloved home, Sargent Center, after a nail-biting year of wondering whether the change of management meant we'd have to find a new Gathering home...

    What to write about first? Stay tuned! For now I just wanted to give a HUGE shout out to all the wonderful women who made this happen. The wonderful workshop leaders, the Regional Contacts who took time out from fun to wrap their heads around learning the intricacies of this, our new Web site, WaterlilyKathleen Long and Sandy Zohari for their Web wizardry and tutoring efforts, Alice Sherard, Gathering Coordinator EXTRAORDINAIRE, Joanna Sharf, Workshop Coordinator SUPER DUPER, Anna deSousa, who womanned the registration desk all by herself (Let's help her out next year!!), Jane Rudden, our fabuloso president, who we will praise to the skies and thank as she plans to step down and pass on her mantle... yikes, I'm leaving so many out!!

    That list leaves a ton of people out, but particularly it doesn't mention every single participant, each and every one of you who came and shared your wisdom, your energy and your spirit with us all. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our collective heart. You came, you participated, you matter to us, and we love you!

    Mary Troy's Wildflower Walk @ The 2010 GatheringI'll be blogging about my experiences at this, our 2010 Gathering, but please, reach out and share with me your own. I'm happy to interview you, to post your thoughts or to somehow enable you to share with everybody your experiences. Unfortunately, at this point, we lack the resources to monitor comments, so that function is disabled on the site right now; instead, please e-mail me at specialevents@womenoutdoors.org.

    Or hey, write about them yourself for your region's page so others can experience whatever unique thrills and chills and insights you took away from this weekend, and then just package it all up and send it over to Franny for printing in the newsletter.

    Anyway, I hope you all made it home safe. Me, I ran over a boxspring going 70mph (me, not the boxspring!).

    That and more stories to come!
    xoxoxo!

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