Digging into Our Hopes and Growing Our Work, Aug. 2002 retreat

August 6, 2002

From: Lynn Englund and John Wallace

Regarding: Upcoming retreat, “Hopework: Digging into Our Hopes and Growing Our Work” at Shalom Hill Farm near Windom, MN.

Dates/Time/Cost: 6 pm Friday, Aug. 30 to 12 noon on Sunday, Sept. 1 ($55 per person) with optional stay ’til 12 noon on Labor Day (additional $27). Please RSVP by 8/28. Sliding fee available.

We invite you to join us for a weekend Hopework Folk School retreat. Myles Horton’s grandfather, Mordecai Pinkney Horton (1858-1934) said, “You can hitch your wagon to the stars, but you can’t haul corn or hay in it if its wheels aren’t on the ground.” As the guiding quote for this retreat, we like to shorten it to: Hitch your wagon to the stars, but keep its wheels on the ground.

The intent of this retreat is to provide participants with a rich environment for digging into our hopes and growing our work. We will be revisiting and renewing our hopes, providing room for them to grow bigger and bolder, rethinking how our hopes align with our day-to-day choices and work, and clarifying the next steps we want to take in our work.

We’ve learned that SOME preplanned common activities interwoven with A LOT of activities grown spontaneously from the interests and needs of the group can generate powerful experiences. Experiences from which people come away with a sense of belonging and getting to know the whole group, AND a sense of having gotten real work done, bricks made to add to the lives they are building back home.

The preplanned common activities at this retreat will be
* evening meals on Friday and Saturday,
* a learning circle Saturday morning, and
* a concluding learning circle Sunday morning.
Participants will co-create activities for the rest of their time on the spot.

We encourage you to bring along with you a project that calls to you, something you are working on. Perhaps a writing project. A planning project. A learning project. Something you would like to share and get feedback on from fresh perspectives. A book you want to lose yourself in, or discuss with someone else. An artist’s book you want to make. The possibilities are endless.

Bring along with you the materials and resources that you need. Consider that an important resource might be other people–a friend, a colleague, a collaborator. If so, invite them! Of course bring books, musical instruments, and other materials–whatever you need to dig into your work and play.

Some of you will come to the retreat already clustered in small groups of people who know they want to work together. Others will come unattached: some of you will stay unattached because that is the nature of your project, but others will have opportunities to cluster into spontaneous interest groups.

A special note. The folk school gatherings are intended to bring new people together and to be open to people who share the values of stronger communities and are working to build them. We hope this invitation will reach some people who have not previously taken part in a gathering sponsored by the folk school group. Please share this invitation with anyone whom you wish to invite.

Second special note. Because of the Labor Day weekend, anyone who would like to has the option to stay for another day. The additional cost is $20 for the sleeping room (single occupancy) plus $7 for meals.

Third special note. Information about previous retreats including photographs can be found at https://www.hopework.org


RESERVING YOUR ROOM. We can accommodate up to 25 persons at this retreat. A room is held for you when you inform John Wallace (walla003[at]umn.edu) or Lynn Englund (engl881[at]umn.edu) that you wish to attend. Please register by August 28 so that food quantities can be purchased in advance.

COST. Shalom Hill Farm charges $20 per person per night for lodging, single occupancy. Double occupancy rooms are charged at $15 per person per night. Our group will be buying our own food and preparing our own meals. Based on the experience of previous workshops, it will cost $15 per person for food for the whole Friday-Sunday retreat. So, the total cost is $55 per person single occupancy or $45 per person double occupancy.

SLIDING FEE. To recognize the fact that different people have different abilities to pay, we offer a self-selected sliding fee ranging from $35 to $75. What you pay is up to you–there is no application or review process. If you choose to pay less than cost ($55), you are accepting a scholarship. If you choose to pay more than cost, you are providing a scholarship for someone else.

BANKER. John Wallace will serve as the banker for this retreat. Please make your checks out to him (me). You may pay in advance or at the retreat. If you want to send me a check, please send it to 4536 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409.

PERSONAL GEAR AND BEDDING. Shalom Hill Farm provides sheets, towels, and blankets. You won’t need to bring your sleeping bag, but do bring personal toiletries including soap and shampoo.

TRANSPORTATION. We encourage car pooling and will help to coordinate rides. Please let John or Lynn know if you need a ride or if you can provide rides. John will put out a summary of who is driving and who needs a ride so that good travel matches can be made. Also, please let John know if you would like to caravan with other cars. Allow at least 2.5 hours of travel time from Minneapolis, more if traveling during rush hour.

MEALS. Simple foods are prepared on site by retreat participants. Meals are often entirely vegetarian, but if not, a vegetarian option is available. Please note any special dietary needs when you register.

REGISTRATION. Please register by August 28 so that food can be purchased in advance. Simply e-mail John Wallace (walla003[at]umn.edu) or Lynn Englund (engl8813[at]umn.edu) saying that you intend to participate. We will expect you by 6 p.m. on Friday and through 12 noon on Sunday unless you discuss other arrangements with us. Please include in your registration message the following information:

1. Name
2. Food requirements: vegetarian, vegan, other food desires?
3. Whether you are able to drive a car which can hold ____ passengers,
or that you need a ride from ______ location.
4. Alternative arrival or departure times if needed.


Author: Lynn

Contributor of ideas and possibilities for cooperative governance, education, and society; maker, mother, daughter, life partner; lifelong learner.