People came to unplug, relax, create. No phones, computers, iPads, TV, or radios; just serene grounds and modern accommodations. It was a chance to unleash their creative selves and to leave the everyday behind.
The excitement was palpable as people arrived to sign in, pick up their keys, and receive their surprise “goody boxes.” Sign-up sheets were available with the various offerings for art, writing, Reiki, and a pontoon boat ride.
After settling in attendees met for introductions, overview, and ice breakers. Then it was off for a wagon ride to tour the beautiful grounds of Wonderland Camp – the impressive Salvation Army Camp nestled quietly in a secret little pocket in southern Wisconsin. We climbed to the highest point in the county and got to see the many activities offered to the year-round groups of campers that Wonderland serves. The views were unexpected and quite beautiful… the first of many photo-ops.
After dinner in the massive community cafeteria, the evening was filled with music and song. Good or bad, we all joined in. A perfect evening.
Then, it was quiet time with “Breathe and Stretch.” Soft music played in a darkened room and calming mindful body movements; a peaceful wind-down to a busy day.
Rise and Shine for breakfast the next morning. The food was certainly plentiful and quite good. The friendly and courteous staff is made up of local young people and it is obvious that they take great pride in their work. There was laughter and fun, and it was clear that people were beginning to make connections and that this was going to be a very good day!
There was “Stretch and Bend” after breakfast. Nearly everyone was in attendance. People got their bodies moving and invigorated for a day ahead which promised to be filled with new adventures and experiences.
Maire Crawford led a writing group and had them diligently poring over their creations. Everyone finished with a feeling of success and accomplishment.
Meanwhile, outside, Joan Fortner – our special Mather’s—More Than a Café art instructor led a group as they produced incredible pieces of art reflecting the green panorama of the surrounding grounds. The idea was to take from our surroundings and interpret what nature has given so freely for us to see and take in. These renderings would later be displayed for all to enjoy for the rest of the weekend.
During all of this, individual guests arrived for their 25-minute Reiki (hands-on healing) sessions. After listening to soft music in this peaceful setting, each person left with a sense of calm and serenity; yet, feeling refreshed and invigorated – ready for whatever came next.
The art experience continued from the morning with Joan Fortner further leading her artists as they fine-tuned their “masterpieces” with the details that made them lifelike, distinctive, and unique. The end results were truly amazing.
In the late afternoon, some folks chose to go on the paddle boat and pontoon boat ride for a relaxing ride around picturesque Center Lake. Laughter and gaiety spilled from the deck as our guests took in the serene sites of lakeside homes and carefully manicured gardens and landscapes that dot the perimeter of the rippling lake.
After dinner some played games, chatted, read a book, took walks, or rested. In the evening, we set out for the campfire site next to the lake. What a view! As it turned from dusk to dark, the campfire blazed. Out came the hot dogs and marshmallows. Nothing like hotdogs and s’mores around a campfire! Fireside music added to the magic of a clear night sky with stars aglow.
Thank you to all who came and shared yourselves with each other and with us. We hope that you feel a little richer for having done so. I know that we do. And, next year we will offer this same opportunity to all again. We hope that more of you will join us as we come together to unplug, relax, create, so that you, too, can learn just how “AWESOME” AWE Camp really is!
Save the date for next year! May 29-31 2015!