Women's Outdoor Retreat

Written by Sara Green
Thursday, 07 April 2011 08:09

to our many partners and volunteers who give their time to share their expertise and passion!!!

ARCHERY - Jerry Garvin, Clyde Estell, Steve Cockrell - Stone Point Archery 

BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITAT - Sara Green, Harley Carpenter, Archie Thompson - Birdhouse kits donated from Lexington Wildlife Chapter

BIRDING - George Apthorp 

CANOEING - Rock Garick, boats from Adventure Carolina 

CIVIL WAR HISTORY - Jim Ridge, Jerry Morris & Wayne Wilson - Palmetto Living History Association 

FISH CLEANING & COOKING - Bernie & Alice Clegg - Fish from SC Department of Natural Resources, Cohen Campbell Fish Hatchery

FRESHWATER FISHING - Bernie & Alice Clegg - Equipment from SC Department of Natural Resources, Aquatic Education

GEOCACHING - Wayne Aveyard

HYPERTUFA PLANTERS - Kathy Woolsey, Cypress Gardens 

KAYAKING INTRO - Karen Kustafik, Palmetto Paddlers - Equipment from Adventure Carolina & Savannah Lakes Village


LAKE THURMOND PADDLE - Hartley Barber, Get Your Gear On, and Andrea Turpin & Clark Smith

LEAF CASTING - Joan Stearman


NATURE FITNESS - Wendell Arsi & Barbara Hudson


NATURE SPA - Beth Rivers and assistant, Christi Bessinger


PADDLEBOARDING - Jimmie Smith, Earth Connection Outfitters & Jesse Koch, River Runner Outdoor Center

PADDLING SAFETY - Karen Kustafik, Palmetto Paddlers 

PRIMITIVE TOOLS - Sean Taylor, SC Department of Natural Resources

SAILING - Chuck Bell, Lake Thumond Sail & Power Squadron

SKEET SHOOTING & FIREARMS SAFETY - Hubert Cox & Herb Strickland


WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - Stacey Jensen, Sesquicentennial State Park

YOGA - Marilyn Schulman & Gail Crouch

KNOT TYING - Nancy Simpson, Middleton Place


DRUM CIRCLE - Melisa Emkjer


EVENT CO-COORDINATORS: Sara Green & Dan Turpin


George Apthorp
Lynn Cain
Harley Carpenter
Sandy Cook Apthorp
Rock Garick
Hugh Ham
Allison Pederson

Sara Pederson
Taylor Pederson
Clark Smith
Ginger Snelgrove
Archie Thompson

Cathy Thompson
Andrea Turpin

Emma Williams



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 presented 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, Stone Point Archery, Palmetto Living History Association, Lake Thurmond Sail & Power Squadron, Earth Connection Outfitters, Get Your Gear On, Adventure Carolina, Savannah Lakes Village, Palmetto Paddlers, 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.

: 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.

AGE GUIDELINES: Open to females age 16 and older (no maximum age).

TIME: The Retreat will open for check-in at 11:30 am on Friday, September 11thThe first class begins at 1:30 pm on Friday, and the last class concludes at noon on Sunday the 13th.   

REGISTRATION: The fee is $90 per person, and covers instruction and most materials (some classes have an extra materials fee of $5 per class). 

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 5-21 days before retreat.

T-SHIRTS:  The commemorative t-shirts for the 2015 Retreat will be only $10 each if ordered with the registration form (all sizes). You are encouraged to order yours with the registration form because quantities printed will be determined by the number that are reserved in advance. Even though a few extra t-shirts are printed, we will probably sell out. Sizes available are S, M, L, XL, and XXL. Please advise if another size is needed and we will try to accommodate.

FOOD: Meals will be available at the park restaurant for a separate cost.  More details will be provided in confirmation letter before event.  

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.  

2015 Hickory Knob State Park 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 - $118.59 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.  *please note that campground is approx. 2 miles from Retreat headquarters and meeting rooms*
Alternate Lodging Options:

Cullars Inn, Lincolnton, GA - (706) 359-6161 - http://www.thecullarsinn.com/

Elijah Clark State Park - 800-864-7275 - http://www.gastateparks.org/ElijahClark

Rental properties - http://www.homeaway.com

Savannah Lakes - (864) 391-3477 - ‎ http://www.savannahlakesmarina.com



CLASSES:  When you register, you will choose 10 classes.  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.


*Please be sure to read these class descriptions carefully because they will not be available when you begin online registration*

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.

CIVIL WAR HISTORY - An interactive, hands-on program intended to give a better perspective of life of the Southern soldier during the War Between the States. Students will have a chance to see and handle military equipment and uniforms, experience rifled musket drill and be immersed in the campaign life of a common soldier. You'll taste the cooking, wear a battle jacket, and even participate in an artillery drill.  

FISH CLEANING & COOKING - Learn to clean, prepare and cook your catch of the day from South Carolina’s many lakes and streams.

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.

HYPERTUFA PLANTERS ($$) - Hypertufa troughs are made from a lightweight, porous material that provides great drainage for plants like herbs, succulents, and more. Participants will make their own trough to take home, and see a variety of ways to plant and use them in the garden.  

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.

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.  (paddling is not difficult, but if you’ve never been in a kayak, we recommend selecting the Kayaking Intro class also)

LEAF CASTING ($$) - Sand casting of leaves is the art of using a mixture of concrete and sand and then spreading the mix on the back of a real leaf.  We will use real garden leaves and put the special mix on top of the leaf which serves as the mold.  You will also learn how to preserve your leaf and how to paint it.

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.

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. 

PADDLING SAFETY - This class will help you feel more safe while enjoying paddlesports, and you will learn skills to ensure the safety of your fellow paddlers.  You will practice self-rescue in a kayak, as well as first aid/wilderness preparedness.

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.”

SPIRITUAL HEALING - Learn to create the reality you desire in the realm of finances, health, relationships, career, etc., and to release what you no longer want in your life. Discover how to contact one's Guardian Spirit to help further guide & support you to create the life that you truly want.  

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 she interprets the great diversity of wildlife and other natural features.

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).

($$) – means an additional materials fee of $5 per person will be collected at check-in for each of these classes. 

QUESTIONS: Please contact Sara Green  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by phone at (803) 609-4778.




Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 September 2015 07:06 )

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