REBOOT. REIGNITE. REINVIGORATE. REJOICE. REST.
REJUVENATE YOUR SPIRIT, PASSIONS, FRIENDSHIPS
REEVALUATE. RECONNECT. RECOLLECT. RESTORE.
ENJOY A TENNESSEE RETREAT.
PERMISSION GRANTED: To be selfish in pursuit of self healing, health & well-being, rest, connecting with your inner spirit, centering and mindfulness.
PERMISSION GRANTED: To get LOST in a good book, in thought, in conversation, in discovery, in sense of place. To get lost in order to find JOY.
PERMISSION GRANTED: To spend time alone OR with your best friends. To not look at a phone or a clock. To gaze at the stars or the clouds. To discover new skills, crafts, recipes. To engage in wonder by wandering.
Gather your friends or book a solo retreat for an adult camp experience in our lodge and explore the 17 acres on the edge of the Buffalo River where creativity flows.
Your Tennessee retreat can be customized based on your individual dreams and desires for any of the creative workshops OR we'll simply provide the accommodations you need for your group plans. This can be a professional development focus or personal growth objective or maybe just a much needed reunion. Check out the recommended itinerary below.
This creativity retreat center encourages each visitor to engage in the sense of wonder and practice the act of wandering. Nestled in the high forest of mid-south Tennessee near lovely Hohenwald and the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, the camp is a pleasant escape from the rigors of daily life. Smell the fresh air and the earth after a rainstorm. Listen to the birds or the wind in the trees. Take a walk on our 17 acres, spend time near the pond or the river, visit with the lovely donkeys, sit and watch the peafowl, or talk to the chickens as they go about their day. At night, build a fire or gaze at the starry skies.
Bring your craft, passion project, journal or the book you've been wanting to finish, or the board games you used to love. Expand your experience with a cooking class, pottery workshop, and other craft options.
Camp Wonder Wander was born out of the founder & host Val's desire to connect with people on a human level when technology is disconnected and we sit, share, laugh, tell stories, cook together, create together, and nurture our individual and collective beings. Val walked away from a career as a tenured professor to leave toxic, dysfunction, and other negative aspects of that life behind in order to be a conduit for gatherings and creative endeavors in a small group setting that are conducive to the joys of life, the little moments, the celebration of self.
Let's enjoy a slower time.
ARRIVE AROUND 1PM
enjoy mocktail or seasonal beverage
kayak the buffalo river (seasonal)
or forest bathing (nature immersion)
pre-booked menu such as a
Crockpot meal or a Cooking Class
Evening on your own
enjoy a fire inside or out
summer fireflies or winter skies
farm fresh eggs. cook your own or cooking class.
pottery workshop, approximately an hour and time to finish
hand-building clay pinch pots, coil or sculptural items.
(wheel option may be available depending on group size)
* lunch break*
coordinate your entire meal plan, bring your own, or someplace in between.
meet the donkeys, take some photos,
explore the garden, create a group photo project, or even a drawing exercise. Ask about taking a walk with Pepper - the alpha Jenny - over to the River and back.
typically a 2 hour session, but flexible
candle-making, tie dye,
collage/art or sewing, among other hand craft options.
Evening on Your Own
ask about food prep or other assistance, garden harvesting, or continue the cooking class.
Enjoy your quiet evening with your friends making crafts, playing card or board games, coloring books or other creative activities. Ask about the projector to maybe even have an evening film by a firepit.
Take your time as your adult camp experience comes to an end. Enjoy another walk or visit with the animals.
depart by noon.
If you want to extend a day or longer, ask Val about customized workshops for the creative soul.
How about a week retreat?
Select a FRI-SUN, SAT-MON, MON-THU, or an entire week for a minimum of three (3) and maximum of fourteen (14). Make this a formal or informal excursion with your own agenda or customize a wonder wanderful experience. Create an entire itinerary for your group or customize with one or more add-on workshops such as pottery, bookbinding, paper making, fabric design or any of the creativity and design workshops that Val offers. If you have an idea, just ask: such as building a birdhouse, making mason jar snow globes, or painting mandalas on rocks you collect on a walk to the river.
Also optional are cooking lessons, discussion of essential oils, tips on eliminating chemicals from your household routines, or even a chance to get dirty in the garden. If food, health or dietary issues are on your mind, Val can be a partner for your digital detox and exploration of health options. Eliminating wheat, corn, and most dairy products in 1996, happy to share her tips for eating healthy including gluten-free, her natural skincare regimen, more resources and recommendations, or a chance to try out some recipes from her own investigation and cookbook quest.
Wanting to immerse in nature in a slower pace than a hike? Shinrin-yoku is a forest therapy tradition that started in Japan. Val is working towards certification in 2021 as a guide to share with you all the lovely benefits of the amazing natural resources at the camp as well as how you can integrate these concepts in your regular life. If you want more of an informative walk of discovery, Val is on her way to becoming a certified Tennessee Naturalist guide so we can hunt for rocks to paint, butterflies to photograph, leaves or trees to admire or use in art, and more.
COVID-19 statement. The accommodations are cleaned thoroughly prior to arrival of guests. Beds will have a fitted sheet and at least one pillow, flat sheet and blanket, quilt or comforter for your preferred sleeping style (but will not be 'made' up like a hotel). Coordinating your own group experience assures that you know who will be in the house with you and at your private comfort level. Val as your host will be courteous and wear a facial covering. Any workshops that can be conducted outside, will be arranged that day. Make sure to wash your hands regularly using the supplied handmade soap or antibacterial spray/gel.
You'll love the main lodge for your escape from regular life. Minimum of 3 and maximum of 14 can fit comfortably in the creatively designed and cozy space that includes:
full size private room
loft with 7 twin beds
large dining/work area with two big tables and sitting area
kitchen with new appliances and cooking implements
living room with couches and additional daybed
two wood burning stoves
front and back porches
exterior sitting area, firepit and grill
linens, blankets, at least one pillow per bed and one towel per person
parking area has accommodated up to about 10 trucks and SUVs
additional work tables, a 3 seasoned porch for crafting, and another exterior gathering space with a picnic table and firepit
From the back deck and parking area, enjoy seeing the donkeys in their evening paddock out the back door and the chickens when they come into roost. The porches are inviting as is the fire circle. Exterior landscaping is ever evolving. Take a short walk to discover the raised bed vegetable garden and fruit trees.
If the season is right, a fire will crackle in the main house as you work and visit with your friends in numerous seating areas. We'll share fresh eggs and prepare fresh baked bread for each morning of your stay (upon request), but all other food is on your own unless otherwise planned. We may be able to offer items from the garden during harvest, and can provide add-on service to take over one or more meal options. Hohenwald and Waynesboro are both about 20 minute drive and have several restaurants if you want to take a complete break.
Don't worry, there is a coffee pot and if needed can supply crockpot or instapot along with the already supplied bakeware, utensils, etc. Goal is to add an herbal tea garden to enjoy fresh brewed tea after picking.
THERE ARE NUMEROUS SHORT OR EXTENSIVE WORKSHOPS THAT VAL OFFERS. Ask for details.
Try a guided slow walk to immerse in nature using the techniques of the Japanese philosophy of "Forest Bathing". Engage in a sense of wonder as you wander thru the camp property or take a longer trek to nearby trails along the Natchez Trace.
If you would rather not spend time cooking, ask about cooking classes, meal prep or even ingredient shopping service.
Create a hen party and explore a variety of options using eggs. Wanting to learn some simple recipes or techniques to have weekly plans for busy schedule. Contemplating changing your habits to adopt a new health strategy? Ask Val for these options and to potentially share her own experiences of GF and more restrictions.
BOOKS, THE LIFE
& LOVE OF...
BRING YOUR BOOK CLUB FOR A RETREAT OR JOIN A RETREAT WEEKEND WITH OTHER BOOKWORMS, BOOK NERDS, BOOK LOVERS, BIBLIOPHILES, LIBRARIANS, OR HISTORY BUFFS.
START WITH AN EVENING MEAL AND BOOK CLUB STYLE DISCUSSION OF BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS (assigned prior to arrival). SECOND DAY IS A SERIES OF WORKSHOPS CULMINATING IN MAKING AND BINDING YOUR OWN LITTLE BOOK.
BASE RATE ACCOMMODATIONS
MINIMUM THREE (3)
WEEKNIGHTS $99 WEEKENDS $125. plus 7% hospitality tax
ADDITIONAL GROUP MEMBERS AFTER 3
PLUS $35/person per night plus 7% hospitality tax
PLUS housekeeping based on length of stay and group size - minimum $60
WORKSHOPS range from $20 - $80 on average depending on type, time, and supplies. For example, pottery workshop is approximately 1 hr, includes 2 lbs of clay, and the finishing of firing/glazing/final firing completed after your stay is $35/person plus shipping. Cooking class includes instruction, menu planning, ingredient acquisition and/or garden harvest, and can range from basic to more complex such as menu planning, or multi-course meals.
SPEND A WEEK WITH YOUR BEST FRIENDS.
CELEBRATE A BIRTHDAY OR OTHER MILESTONE.
Here's a sample of what we can do:
Arrange for an airport pick-up in Nashville (maximum of 6).
Get a guided vehicle tour of Nashville city center. Customize an itinerary that will take you from the city to the country such as a pit stop for a picnic lunch at Centennial park and see the Parthenon or we'll stop for a grocery run if it's not pre-planned. We'll drive off the beaten path through the rolling hills of horse farm country through the tiny town without a stop sign of Leiper's Fork, then finish the route on the historic Natchez Trace Parkway where you'll have the opportunity for at least one spot to get out for a stretch, scenic view photo or even a short walk to a waterfall. After arrival at the camp lodge, you'll be able to settle in with a seasonal beverage and a warm meal ready for you.
Feeling relaxed yet?
Let all your cares fade away as you immerse in this getaway experience.
Let's start your week off with a pottery class on the first night.
If we time it right, you'll be able to make pieces, fire them, and glaze them to be fired again before you depart. The rest of the week can be organized with forest therapy walks, rock collection and rock painting, art projects like collage or vision board or sewing / embroidery, and other handcraft options we can discuss from candle-making to tie dye. Bring a book or grab one from our many shelves.
Enjoy time in a hammock, by the firepit or wood stove.
Sit with the donkeys or take them for a walk.
Dig in the garden as part of the routine. Collect eggs daily.
Get a dose of the rural slow life with fresh air and sensory alternatives to your familiar environment. If you want to see starry skies, mention that so we can coordinate the best dates possible.
Check out the calendar for the rest of 2020 here.
more about Val & the animals
During your visit you are invited to say hello to the camp Donkeys. You'll love petting the donkeys large and small. Take photos or maybe even take a walk. Daisy, Dandelion, and Lily are the flower girls. Smokey and Duckie are the boys. Ask about the others and you'll learn their stories.
Check out the donkeys only IG @duckiethedonkey
Val was a graphic design professor for 20+ years and in 2018 turned coach and curator of creative experiences. She was a girl scout growing up and also a leader for 5 years. She loves handcraft and is interested in creating all sorts of opportunities at the camp from collage, traditional candle making, sewing, to a new found passion for pottery.
The camp cats have a few jobs to manage including catching bugs and field mice (bopping them on the heads:) and looking cute for your pictures or drawings. They are itching to be your muse and maybe asking you to sit to borrow your lap. At the front house is Buttercup and Cutey Petewty, but you may meet more on the property.
ABOUT CAMP WONDER WANDER
Born out of the desire by VAL, the proprietor and founder, for a quiet inspirational place to commune with nature and be reinvigorated as a creative person on her sabbatical journey in 2015, this 17-acre slice of beauty and serenity is the actualization to create a community for camaraderie and artistic endeavors of various forms.
Val really believes that rewarding experiences occur when we get LOST – lost in thought, lost in a good book, lost in translation, lost in conversation, lost in place. Here you will be allowed and encouraged to do so at your own pace or in a more structured session.
Camp Wonder Wander is open year round and offers the space for customized creative retreats or booking general workshops in creativity and graphic design. When the facility is not reserved for these formal events, you can request to customize or create your own adventure in the rural rolling hills of mid-south TN near Hohenwald. Individuals or groups working on creative projects of any kind will find that the facility has been developed to embody the value of retreat methodology within a natural environment and encourages the fellowship that comes from connecting with others in small communal opportunities. We are committed to aiding participants and short-term residents in connecting to a deep, enhanced level of creativity & camaraderie. Please contact us to coordinate your stay whether it be a weekend, week-long or longer term stay.
The goal is to provide a safe, carefree place for guests and workshop participants (crafters, quilters, scrapbookers or thrifters, designers, writers, artists, musicians, storytellers, creatives of any discipline or those just seeking a creative outlet) to Get Lost – to explore their inner dreamscapes and rejuvenate one's inner spirit. You will be immersed in and on a beautiful mid-south Tennessee property combining pasture with woods in the hills near the Natchez Trace Parkway that is walking distance to the Buffalo River in Lewis County (named after explorer Meriwether Lewis), approximately 1.5 hours from the rich, culturally diverse city of Nashville and 1 hour from Florence, AL from the south and 1 hour from Columbia, TN.
Activities nearby include hiking and a small waterfall on the Natchez Trace Parkway, horseback riding at Calico Junction, regional thrift shopping, and seasonal yoga workshops at our site or our friends at Gray Bear.