Shadowcliff Opens for the Season on Memorial Day. Now Taking Reservations!

By Lance Woodbury


A Special Resilience

A new generation of lodgepole pines
A new generation of lodgepole pines

Just over a year ago, in the fall of 2013, Bob, Judith and I met in Denver with Warren and Patt Rempel, founders of Shadowcliff. The purpose of our meeting was to let Patt and Warren know that Karen Bigelow and David Grossman, longtime friends of Shadowcliff and the Rempels, had accepted an invitation to become the on-site managers for the 2014 season.

But before we could tell them our exciting news, Warren – who soon after passed away but who was always willing to share a spiritual reflection or insight – shared an article from Weavings about “resilience.” In that piece, Patrick Fleming describes resilience as a “psycho-spiritual capability…a capacity we humans, even as young children, possess to regenerate, bounce back, and even grow emotionally and spiritually from adversity.”

Reflecting on Shadowcliff this past year, I’m struck by resilience of our special place. We’re bouncing back from beetle kill, watching from our Laws of Nature trail as new trees and plants and views emerge. We are recovering from the economic downturn, inviting new groups to experience Shadowcliff for the first time. The spiritual and meditative spaces around our campus continue to renew and encourage individuals from all walks of life. The Board of Directors continues to affirm the use of Shadowcliff’s lodging and meeting facilities, along with its natural setting, to inspire the journey of those making a difference in their communities.


New Leadership: Welcome, Hillary!

Hillary Mizia
Hillary Mizia

We’ve also managed through transitions. From the wonderful job Karen and David did as on-site managers, making physical improvements to enhance the guest experience while bringing organizational skills that will serve future managers for years to come (a result of which is that we’ve become the top ranked specialty lodge in Grand Lake on TripAdvisor!), to the hiring of our new director. I’m excited to welcome Hillary Mizia to the Shadowcliff family as Executive Director, taking over for Carl and Bob.

Hillary has been a part of the sustainability movement in Colorado for the past 15 years, from serving as the first sustainability director for New Belgium Brewery to currently chairing the Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council. She is deeply committed to sustainability principles and brings to Shadowcliff’s programming efforts a passion for education and a deep and strong network of civic, business and educational leaders.

We are excited about Hillary’s leadership and what this means for resilience at Shadowcliff. We began hosting workshops focused on the principles of understanding nature and her laws, a commitment to sustainability, and an ethos of collaborative learning principles, when Bob and Judith were at the helm.  To date, hundreds of “Bridgers” have taken concepts learned at Shadowcliff back to their families, businesses, governments, schools and not-for-profit organizations. With Hillary’s fresh perspectives and energy, we hope to see this group grow and the impacts deepen, continuing to weave our unique pattern of resiliency.  We are ever more confident that Shadowcliff’s restorative impact on our world will grow.


Our Current Needs

As we look to the future for our physical space, we know the roof of Rempel Lodge needs attention and is an eventual expense in the tens of thousands of dollars. We have safety, accessibility and comfort improvements to make throughout the property. Our kitchen needs more space, requiring a renovation of what was JJ’s shop on the ground level. And our financial reserve to cover operating expenses and offer some breathing room in slower months needs replenished after several years of tight margins.


Your financial commitment to Shadowcliff is a major reason for its resiliency. As a not-for-profit organization dependent on volunteers, our budget each year is extremely tight, leaving little for reserves or major renovations. Please make your tax-deductible gift today. Simply click here.

donate now!

Volunteers, financial contributions and guests are the sustaining elements of Shadowcliff that make us resilient. We need and appreciate any and every gift you can make. Regular monthly contributions are especially helpful; please consider selecting that as an option when making your donation. If you have other ideas about how you can contribute for this year and beyond, please let us know by emailing either Carl or Hillary, or giving us a call at (970) 627-9220.


Here’s to an amazing 2014 and continued resilience in 2015. We hope to see you this summer at Shadowcliff!



For the board,

lance sig

Lance Woodbury