I’m a mom, a lawyer, a professor. My children are 8 and 4. Our lives are generally pretty regularly overbooked – school, baseball, swimming, ballet, work travel, court. And we rely on our technology to keep life organized, solve last minute problems, fill in the gaps between things that.must.be.done. There’s plenty of research out there about it, but our lives are a giant shining cliché about Modern American Life.
We ended up at Shadowcliff’s Critters, Creeks, & Crows in 2016 in part because a friend recommended it, but in even bigger part because I felt guilty. We had lived in the Mountain West for 2 years and had done almost nothing to explore the natural gifts of the region. I was also having a difficult academic year and I hadn’t been present much – physically, yes, but psychically, not really. Critters, Creeks, & Crows provided me an easy way to carve out time to be still, to be with the children, to watch them learn. It allowed all of us a chance to connect, to be curious together, and to have fun in one of the most beautiful locations we could ever have imagined.
We love Shadowcliff. From the moment we climbed the steps onto the wrap around porch, we were hooked. The view is extraordinary. For a newly minted 4 year-old (her birthday was the day before we arrived) and a very active 7 year old it was a great place to run and play tag. The great room offered plenty of non-screen distractions, from books to games. Our room faced the North Inlet Stream and, despite the evening chill, I never closed our window so the children could listen to the sounds of the water as they slept.
Critters, Creeks, & Crows itself was a gift for all of us. We learned more than I can say about the ecology of Rocky Mountain National Park. The children had the chance to measure the turbidity of Grand Lake. There was fly fishing and bug identification and star gazing, marshmallow roasting and fire sitting and storytelling. To be sure, I’d brought the screens with us just in case, but over the course of the 3.5 days we shared with the other families attending camp, the screens were forgotten. Our days were full but not exhausting, just enough to land every one of a us a good night’s sleep but not so much that we felt shuttled from event to event with no chance to slow down or enjoy what was happening around us.
Most importantly, the children and I were together, in body and in spirit, learning together, exploring together, playing and being still. Over those 3.5 days we connected in ways we might never have had the opportunity to if we had remained in the structure of our busy lives. I watched my children, who have no lack of imagination or curiosity on a regular day, immerse themselves in their natural world and cut loose with questions and stories and made up games running around the property. I could not have asked for more for any of us.
A year later when Shadowcliff announced Critters, Creeks, & Crows 2017, I hesitated asking the children if they would like to return. I wanted to return, but what if my enjoyment of that time was mine alone? What if our busy lives had erased those memories for them? I need not have worried. There was a resounding YES! when I brought up the topic. So, we’ll be there again this June making the most of our time together and continuing our journey.
Danielle runs the Civil Legal Services Clinic at the University of Wyoming. She’s a city person raised in the suburbs who is finding ways to embrace living in the mountains. She loves a good campfire but will always pass on the marshmallow.
Join us for a two-part workshop where you will explore your inner landscape through the art of storytelling. Leah Lamb, known storyteller and performance artist, will lead you through this experiential and interactive workshop. Carefully crafted exercises and activities will provide you the time to tap into your creativity, and to reflect and explore your personal story through writing, sharing, and performing. The mountains and rivers of Colorado will be our guide as we explore the connection to the natural world and your wild nature. No writing or storytelling experience necessary, and all forms of storytellers are welcome.
Days 1-3, Part 1, will explore developing your creative process, addressing and playing with the inner critic, the of use nature to inform our storytelling, and using symbols and metaphors in story.
Check-in begins on August 13th at 3 pm. Participants in Part 1 only check out after breakfast on August 17th by 10 am. Participants in the entire program enjoy a late check out August 18th after the conclusion of the workshop at 12 pm (lunch is not included on the 18th).
Based on Bill Plotkin’s newest book, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, this 5-day intensive is an experiential exploration of our human psyches as unique expressions of the universal forces and patterns of nature.
Perhaps the everyday rhythm of your life has created a divide larger than you’d like between you and the outdoors. Perhaps your day to day has you outside all the time, but you’re interested in finding new ways to connect yourself and those around you to the natural cycles of life. Or maybe you work as an educator and are looking for new methods, tools, and connections that can help bring your students closer to appreciating their role in the world. No matter your situation, if you’re looking to be closer to nature, then you want be a part of a very special workshop happening at Shadowcliff June 21st-23rd.
It’s been said that those who do charitable work, “punch the time clock with their hearts.”
Well, rarely are there clocks. Or even calendars. Case in point, no one can quite remember when the HIV Retreat at Shadowcliff, first started. It’s just something that’s been part of the programming, for a long time.
Hear two graduates from our Eco Family Vacation share their own experiences! You’ll never believe what Campbell’s favorite thing about Shadowcliff is…
SHADOWCLIFF, GRAND LAKE, COLORADO
JUNE 21–26, 2014
A fun filled eco-vacation designed as an intergenerational opportunity to learn and play together with the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park, the town and waters of Grand Lake and the fifty year history of Shadowcliff Lodge. Leaders include professional educators, park rangers, naturalists and experienced retreat coordinators who love sharing this beautiful natural setting with others. Program geared to age 7 through elders with hikes of no more than 2 miles.
Costs: All-inclusive meals, 5 nights lodging and activities (except optional ones) for $ 1500 for the first three people in a room. Special Early Bird registration of $1350 by February 1, 2014. Each additional person in a room $300.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-627-9220
Saturday June 21, 2014
3:00-5:00 Check-in and registration
5:00-6:00 Informal reception and introductions
6:00-7:00 Evening meal
7:15-8:15 Eco Get acquainted Game
Sunday June 22, 2014
7:30-8:30 Breakfast buffet
9:00-10:00 When A Butterfly Sneezes (exploring connections game)
10:15-11:30 From Tree to Tree –learning from the green giants
2:00-4:00 Hike with Rocky Mountain National Park Ranger
6:00-7:00 Evening Meal
7:30-9:00 Astronomy 101 (inside and outside) Sam Crane, Seasonal Ranger Rocky Mountain National Park
10:00 Quiet Time
Monday June 23, 2014
7:30-8:30 Breakfast buffet
9:00-10:00 Doc Wild’s Unhuggables—Dennis Olson, naturalist (Critterman)
10: 15-11 :30 Doc Wild’s Antler’s Antics-deer, elk and moose- Dennis Olson
1:30-3:00 Being a Nature Detective-Dennis Olson
7:15 Bowling Tournament (optional) Non-bowlers Movie on site
10:00 Quiet Time
Tuesday June 24, 2014
7:00 As A Crow Flies ( an interpretive bird hike) – Jeff Maugans. Interpretive Naturalist
9:00-10:00 Breakfast Buffet
11:00-12:15 Boat Tour on Grand Lake (Headwaters of the Colorado)-Jane Tollett, Guide, Executive Director of Grand County water Information Network
1:45-3:30 Jeff Maugans ?????
3:30-6:00 Free time (opportunities include hikes, Alpine Water Slide, Hot Sulphur Springs, go-carts,
kayaks, Canoes, horseback rides and more
6:00-7:00 Evening Meal
7:00- 9:00 Spirit of the Rockies –Rocky Mountain National Park movie (on site)
10:00 Quiet Time
Wednesday June 25, 2014
7:30-8:00 Breakfast Buffet
8:30-11:00 Fly Fishing Lessons for adults and youth- Stefan Lee, Instructor, gear provided by JAX Gear, Fort Collins
1:15- 3:30 Making Earth Flags-a tie dye experience
6:00-7:00 Evening Meal
7:15-8:30 Campfire Songs and S’mores
10:00 Quiet Time
Thursday June 26, 2014
7:30-8:30 Breakfast Buffet
PARTIAL BIOGRAPGHY OF FACULTY
Rocky Mountain Nature Association
RMNA is a not for profit association that has provided exciting, in depth educational field-based learning experiences in Rocky Mountain National Park for more than 51 years!. RMNA is proud to partner with Shadowcliff in offering a great intergenerational eco-vacation in our great national park.
Dennis Olson, Biologist and Geologist
Dennis Olson’s formal training as a biologist and geologist, as well as teaching nature for over 20 years in the north woods and mountain west, has given him expertise in many disciplines. Denny has trained thousands of naturalists, teachers and students in acting and storytelling techniques, designed practical instructional evaluations, lectured on Native American storytelling as a teaching tool, and conducted workshops nation-wide. He has performed his humorous alter-egos (Doc Wild’s Unhuggables, Wolfman, The Grizz, Dr. Death, Prof. Avian Guano, Dr. Loonacy, The Lost Voyageur, The Mad Herbalist) over 3000 times in 49 states for over 2 million people. Included in these totals are over 80 conference keynotes, 50+ national park presentations, and 30+ universities.
Jeff Maugams, Interpretive Naturalist.
Jeff worked as an interpretive naturalist for the National Park Service from 1977 to 2009 with a special interest in birds. He has a degree in outdoor education and natural science from Pennsylvania State University. Jeff started in RMNP in 1990, and has also worked in mammoth Cave National Park, Hatteras National Seashore, Edison National Historic Site, Gateway National Park, Redwood National Park and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Sam Crane, Seasonal Park Ranger, RMNP. High School Science Teacher
Sam has been teaching science in Colorado for more than 24 years and has been a seasonal park ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park for even more years!. Sam teaches astronomy one night each week in Rocky Mountain National Park which has become one of the most well known and well attended ranger led interpretive sessions in RMNP. Sam has a bachelor of science from SUNY College Of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a Masters of Science from Mississippi State University (geoscience).
Robert J. “Bob” Mann, Shadowcliff Associates Sustainability Consultant and Trainer
Bob practiced law for twenty-five years, founded Bridging The Gap, Inc., the mid-west’s largest environmental education organization in Kansas City and with his wife served as Co-director of Shadowcliff from 2001-2012. Bob has facilitated more than fifty environmental and planning workshops including participants of all ages and levels of experience .Bob brings people together and helps all of us see the importance of the natural world in our daily lives.
Judith Christy, Compassionate Kitche
Judith F. Christy As a former co-director, Judith brings a wealth of Shadowcliff history and expertise to the Board and staff. She has played a key role in developing Shadowcliff’s food philosophy and Compassionate Kitchen and continues to provide guidance in many Shadowcliff operational issues. Judith is a Master Gardener who created Kansas City’s Children’s Gardening Museum with Greater Kansas City Community Gardens. She brings her gentle love and knowledge of fauna and flower to this workshop experience.
Stefan Lee, Fly Fishing
Stefan is our fly fishing guide from Fort Collins, Colorado. He works with Jax Outdoor Gear, naturally in the fishing department and has led fishing trips in the mountains and has a special interest in teaching young people as he has an 8 year old who follows in his Dad’s foot steps. Jax is providing most of the fishing equipment we will be using in the fishing experience.
Jane Tollett, Grand County Water Information Network
Jane is the Executive Director of Grand County Water Information Network, a not for profit organization whose mission is to provide accurate and current information on water quality and issues related to Grand County’s watersheds. Jane spent many years as an engineer and brings both knowledge and passion to her work for water conservation and quality
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