Women's Outdoor Retreat
The Women’s Outdoor Retreat is a weekend event designed for women to experience nature and outdoor recreation with like-minded ladies in a non-competitive environment. Nature walks, kayaking, fishing, outdoor cooking, and basket-making are just a few of the nearly 30 classes from which to choose.
The Retreat is sponsored by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation. We are pleased to have the support of several outfitters and organizations including the Little River Blueways, SC Department of Natural Resources, Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail Commission, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Lake Thurmond Sail & Power Squadron, Adventure Carolina, and River Runner Outdoor Center. These partnerships enable us to provide a wide variety of activities conducted by a diverse group of expert instructors. A special thank you is due to the numerous individual volunteers who so willingly donate their time to share their knowledge and expertise.
**Registration forms available now through the links towards the bottom of this page**
DATES: September 19-21, 2014
LOCATION: Headquarters is Hickory Knob State Resort Park - 1591 Resort Drive, McCormick, SC. The park is located about 2 hours west of Columbia, SC. The closest airport is located in Augusta, GA. Directions to the park can be found here.
AGE GUIDELINES: Open to females age 16 and older.
TIME: Registration will open at 11:00 am on Friday, September 19th. The first class begins at 1:30 pm on Friday, and the last class concludes at noon on Sunday.
REGISTRATION: The registration fee is $90 per person. Since lodging reservations are done through the Park and Retreat Registrations are done through SCWF, LODGING RESERVATIONS DO NOT GUARANTEE THAT SPACE WILL BE HELD FOR YOU IN THE RETREAT. Please register through the links below as soon as possible to hold your space.
DEADLINES: Registrations will be accepted as long as space is available. Registration forms received after that will be placed on a waiting list.
REFUNDS: 90% of registration fees will be refunded when requested in writing or by email at least 3 weeks/21 days prior to the Retreat. 50% of registration fees will be refunded 0-21 days before retreat.
FOOD: Meals will be available at the park restaurant. (More food details below).
OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS: Hickory Knob’s accommodations include motel rooms and cabins (details below). Camping is also available. You are encouraged to stay at the park in order to enjoy the full experience and the camaraderie of the other participants. Please call Hickory Knob at: 1-800-491-1764 to make lodging arrangements. Be sure to tell them you are with the Women’s Outdoor Retreat. Lodging is reserved for this retreat only until July 19th. Rooms are expected to sell out – reserve yours early!
CLASSES: Please be sure to include 10 different class choices when you register. You will be assigned to as many of your choices as possible – a minimum of six (6) and up to eight (8) workshops. Most classes last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, but some last 4 hours. A confirmation letter with your class schedule will be sent about a week prior to the Retreat. Schedule changes can be made upon arrival at Hickory Knob.
WOMEN’S OUTDOOR RETREAT - CLASS DESCRIPTIONS
APPALACHIAN HERITAGE – Learn through hands-on activities about traditional needlecrafts, quilts, and looms. Discussions will center on traditional foods and preparation, superstitions, games, storytelling, toys, and musical instruments.
ARCHERY - One of the oldest methods of hunting involves the skilled use of a bow and arrows. You will learn some of these skills as you test the various types of bows currently used by hunters and competitive archers.
BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITAT - Learn how to provide food, water, cover, and places to raise young for wildlife to supply a natural habitat for a variety of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
BIRDING - A Master Wildlife Conservationist will help you improve your birding skills through field observations using field guides, habitat, identifying marks and calls, and will lead a walk in the park listing the species observed.
CANOEING - One of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the outdoors. Learn basic strokes and how to have a safe outing whether on a river or a lake.
FISH CLEANING & COOKING - Learn to clean, prepare and cook your catch of the day from South Carolina’s many lakes and streams.
FLY FISHING – Learn to match wits with trout and other fish by selecting the best lures and learning effective casting methods. Fly-fishing provides another good reason to explore rivers, streams, and lakes throughout the country.
FRESHWATER FISHING —Learn the fundamentals of fishing on our inland lakes and streams with basic equipment, and then try your luck. You will also see how a serious angler equips his boat to ensure a memorable catch.
GEOCACHING -This is an exciting adventure game using Global Positioning Systems (GPS). You will use a GPS to find caches that have been hidden throughout the park. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards.
JOY-FUL EXPRESSION - Engage with your “inner nature” through the use of humor, imagination, creativity, fun, and joyful self-expression. Free up your speaking voice as you interact with a variety of people in nurturing, liberating, and uplifting ways. Consider this workshop as a user-friendly prelude to public speaking that promises to help you feel more comfortable and confident in connecting with others.
KAYAKING INTRO - Recreational kayaking allows you to float on a peaceful river or paddle around a pond or lake as you enjoy nature’s beauty. You will learn basic paddling strokes, safety techniques, self-rescue and more in this introductory class.
KUDZU BASKETRY - Utilize one of nature’s most abundant resources and take home a basket made from this vine. See how beauty can be found in the most unusual things - a plant that was originally used as an ornamental plant in landscaping and eventually was regarded as a nuisance. ***an additional materials fee will be collected at check-in***
LAKE THURMOND PADDLE* – Enjoy a leisurely paddle along the coves and shoreline of Hickory Knob as you explore the natural beauty and watch for wildlife.
LITTLE RIVER KAYAK TRIP* - Herons & egrets will accompany you on a paddle through serene wilderness along with an experienced guide. ***this is a double class***
MAP & COMPASS READING - Techniques of land navigation can be used to find your way along unfamiliar terrain or in orienteering competition. It also enables you to identify and understand geologic features as you travel along the more out-of-the-way roads. ***this is a double class***
NATURE FITNESS - Get ready to have a fun time exercising and learning how to use nature and your surroundings for a total body workout without ever having to step foot in a gym. Intermix of interval training (cardio, bodyweight resistance and stretching) & discussion of health and fitness - geared for all ages and fitness levels. *includes 3-mile hike*
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY - Use your own digital camera to take beautiful scenic shots and outdoor family photos. Gain knowledge about your camera settings, digital filters, options and accessories needed to get the perfect outdoor shot. Bring your digital camera and owner’s manual with you (Film cameras also welcomed).
NATURE SPA - Learn how to use and enjoy beauty secrets from Mother Nature's pantry. You will have the opportunity to make some bath salts and other spa products for yourself or for gifts to carry home. If you would like to experience each step of the way, please wear a "clean" face. *an additional materials fee will be collected at check-in*
OUTDOOR COOKING - See how cooking with cast iron and camp ovens is made easy through proven techniques and the sharing of recipes. Learn cooking shortcuts, fire building, and equipment care while tasting the fixin’s.
PADDLEBOARDING - The fast-growing sport of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun, easy way to go play on the water. Paddleboarding offers an amazing full body workout and is becoming a favorite cross-training activity.
PRIMITIVE TOOLS - How do you turn a rock into a tool and what do you do with it? This interactive program will focus on various primitive skills, and how practicing those skills informs you about the archaeological record of Stone Age people and their connection to the natural world.
SAILING - Nothing can match the experience of enjoying some of South Carolina’s lakes from the deck of a sailboat. You will learn the mechanics of what it takes to rig and pilot a large boat and then test your skills, and those of your classmates, on Lake Thurmond. ***this is a double class***
SKEET SHOOTING & FIREARMS SAFETY - Learn how to safely handle a firearm and polish your hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes when you take aim at clay “pigeons.” ***an additional materials fee will be collected at check-in***
SURVIVAL SKILLS - You can learn techniques for handling emergency situations with a combination of prepared materials and natural improvised resources. Think ahead, and be safe and comfortable outdoors!
TENNIS - This sport has maintained tremendous popularity for many years. Your instructor will teach you the basic strokes, volleys and serves.
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - Come along with a naturalist on an exploration of the park as he interprets the great diversity of wildlife and other natural features.
WILDLIFE SIGNS – You will hone your wildlife observation skills as you learn how to “read” bones, feathers, nests, scat and more that you would find in the woods of South Carolina, and discover what these objects tell you about the wildlife that they belong to.
YOGA - This practice will invite a quieting of the mind while also exercising the body with postures that encourage strength, stretching and letting go of tension. For all levels of yoga practice (no experience necessary).
*NOTE - the paddling on the trips is not difficult, but we recommend that you have some experience in a kayak before signing up. If you have no experience, sign up for the above Kayaking Intro class also to maximize your adventure on the water.
Download a printable form here.
2014 Lodging Rates are as follows:
Hotel Room - $89.21 per night, includes 2 double beds and private bathroom. All rooms have satellite TV, coffee pot (coffee provided each day) and phone; some rooms also include small fridge, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.
Cabin - $107.57 per night, includes kitchen with refrigerator and stove/oven, living room with sleeper sofa, and bedroom with 2 double beds, private bath. Also includes 2 satellite TVs, coffee pot (bring your own coffee) and phone.
Campsites in park campground - $22.25 per night, electricity & water at each site. The campground is convenient to restroom facilities with hot showers. All sites accommodate RV's up to 30 feet, 21 of which are waterfront. Tent camping is also permitted.
FOOD: Hickory knob has a full-service restaurant serving three meals each day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are available, as well as a full menu of options. Lighter options include a soup and salad bar for lunch or dinner. The cabins have fully-equipped kitchens, but hotel rooms have no cooking facilities. Grills are not allowed in rooms. A special effort has been made to ensure that the meals are affordable and meet the dietary needs of everyone attending the retreat, including those preferring a vegetarian meal.
2014 Buffet Rates: (includes tax, tip and beverage)
Friday Dinner (Seafood buffet): $13.96
Saturday & Sunday Hot Breakfast Buffets: $9.08
Saturday Lunch Buffet (cold): $7.95
Saturday Dinner Buffet: $13.96
Soup & Salad Bar is available at Lunch or Dinner any day for $5.95 (included with full hot bar options)