-Escape with the Divine-
ACIM Summer Retreat for the Soul
August 20 – 25th & VIP 25 -28th, 2023 (NOW COMPLETE!)
September 2024 Dates TBA Soon!
Captivated by A Course in Miracles?
Eager to gather with Mighty Companions? Are you determined to “see things differently”, actively heal unresolved issues, and clearly hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit? Do you want to learn a simple yet profound technique for dissolving the ego and finally, fully understanding, ACIM’s core concepts? Then join us for an adventure into this magnificent spiritual text within the heart of Olympic National Park.
A charming pink cottage in the heart of Olympic National Park, Washington – surrounded by rainforest green and dark glacial blue. You arrive during the most vibrant time year with the scent of pine and wild blackberries in the air. Imagine the feeling of elation, growing day by day, as you deepen your understanding this masterpiece – A Course in Miracles. You walk with new friends to waterfalls, friends you feel like you have known forever, as you practice the art of miracles and enjoy a sound bath amongst the giants. You are filled with certainty. The Voice of the Holy Spirit is crystal clear. You have been heard … and you can hear.
Your journey begins before you arrive…
The week before your departure, you begin to slow down. You take a pre-retreat day to unwind in Seattle. Pike’s Place Market is full of Dahlias. You enjoy views from the Space Needle knowing your cabin awaits in the distance.
After a restful night, the ferry pulls away from the harbor. The Seattle skyline fades. A stop in quaint Poulsbo, a gallery of Salish art, and soon you see Lake Crescent Lodge. You stop for lunch and warm by the fire.
The final road to Nature Bridge is surrounded by forest. Guests with backpacks and cottages come into view. You place a hand on your heart … your soul is open to the transformative powers of the Eternal, and perfect Love.
When a mind has only light, it knows only light. It’s own radiance shines all around it, and extends out into the darkness of other minds, transforming them into majesty – ACIM (T:1.XI.5.1)
Why A Course in Miracles?
Why Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park?
- You want a rare experience, only available to guests on this retreat. The daughter of an Olympic National Park Ranger, Joanne has spent every summer of her life at Lake Crescent. She has developed relationships with the National Park, Makah Elders, and the environmentalists of Nature Bridge. There are thousands of retreats around the globe, but ACIM retreats are rare, let alone in the heart of a National Park .
- You want to experience the Eternal in the vastness of the stunning landscape, in wildflowers, and in the sound of crashing waves. You want your ego’s concerns eclipsed by driftwood the size of great whales. You want the landscape to remind you of the Magnificence of who you truly are.
- You are a visual learner. Joanne has been a master teacher for over 25 years. She knows how to make complex theory tangible. Simple yet profound diagrams, creativity, color, something to take home. Journaling in the ancient forests. Daily Lessons on the shore. Singing bowls to relax your mind.
- You want to feel welcomed, appreciated, and seen. Joanne is a Mama Bear. Her volunteer crew is extraordinary. Master teachers in their own right, they’ll attune to your need for silence, as well as your need to be heard. Open to your wonder, your questions, your heart, they trust your wisdom and welcome your life experiences.
- You desire spaciousness. You have dreamed about quiet, an environment where you can escape the noise of life into the Mind of God. But you also want friends who can join you there, thirty guests who have the desire to live ACIM. Even if they are new to ACIM, they know they are supposed to be there.
- You want access to Joanne’s favorite secret locations and the choice to do everything, or nothing at all.
How about a post-retreat extended experience at Lake Quinault Lodge?
- You know you’ll need time to let everything sink in. A smaller group now, for one-on-one direct coaching with Joanne. With an MA in Spiritual Psychology and career dedicated her life to helping clients resolve personal challenges using ACIM, you want Joanne’s attention to witness and appreciate everything you’ve learned.
- You want a luxurious ending to week of intense ACIM workshops and growth. You want to soak in pools, indulge in a beautiful fireplace suite, and sleep in. Your physical body needs to catch up to emotional and mental transformation.
- You want to capture the experiences of the past week before they slip away. You want time to write. Think. Share. To BE. You want to explore the actions you’ll need to take when you go home, no matter what they are. You want private sessions with Joanne after you get home.
- You want more of the vast Olympic! You want a tour of Lake Quinault by local experts. More waterfalls. More spectacular trails. Time to lounge in an Adirondack chair with a cup of coffee. You want to hug one of the largest trees in the Pacific Northwest.
- You want more time for prayer, gratitude, and to bask in the energy of miracles. You want closeness, time to rest with Mighty Companions in the joy of no words at all. You want to feel how deeply your presence blesses others.
“Honestly, I want to keep it secret for a while.”
What Retreat Guests 2022 had to say…
“The setting is breathtaking. Nature (combined with) core ACIM concepts. The attendees were such beautiful people!”
“My understanding of ACIM increased dramatically in the most magnificent way…just do it!”
“This retreat helps you learn how to heal yourself. You will have a fabulous teacher who has so much love… and meet fantastic people.”
“If you would like to experience the best of the Pacific Northwest with an incredible guide and meet lovely people while studying ACIM this is for you!
To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before – ACIM (T:31.VIII.9.4)
The Makah, NPS, & Nature Bridge Highlights!
We were given a rare blessing last summer and are hoping they can visit in 2023. The Elders of the Makah shared their history and lore. A coastal tribe which resides in the North West corner of Washington State, they are the original caretakers of this spectacular land. Their spiritual wisdom, songs, and stories are profound. We were deeply touched by the gift of their presence.
NATURE BRIDGE ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Nature Bridge educate children and adults from across the USA. Journey with them on the Salish Canoes and you will deepen your understanding of their environmental expertise even more.
THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
There is no better way to learn about the land than with those who are dedicated to keeping Olympic is healthy for centuries to come. The daughter of a NPS ranger, the National Parks are part of Joanne’s DNA.
* Note: Activities are subject to change. The Makah Elders are a sovereign people and NPS Rangers need to respond to emergencies and have flexibility, but excellent programming will always be provided in place of unplanned event changes.
“I am drawing such comfort and wisdom from Joanne and her fellow class participants, to a degree I could never have imagined…we all have value, purpose, talent and insight in our souls. Sometimes we need an extra-special soul like Joanne in our lives to help us find them.”
Olympic weather changes rapidly… if it’s raining in the mountains, there could be a fire-orange sunset at the coast! Daily itinerary is posted each morning and subject to change. Release your “need to know” and trust!
Sample Day 1
- (7a) Morning Shore ACIM Daily Lesson Meditation & Yoga Stretch
- (8a) Breakfast
- (9a-12p) ACIM Deep Dive in the Cedar Lodge & Breathwork
- (12p-2p) Sack Lunch Break & Free time
- (2p-5p) Hike to Marymere Falls & ACIM Forest Deep Dive & Sound Bowls Meditation
- (6p) Dinner
- (7-9p) Campfire Native Nations Historic Talk & ACIM Reflections
Sample Day 5
- (7a) Morning Shore Daily Lesson Meditation & Yoga Stretch
- (8a) Breakfast
- (9a-12p) ACIM Deep Dive in the Cedar Lodge & Breathwork
- (12p-5p) ACIM Mediation Walk and lunch trip to Sol Duc Falls (carpool!) Sol Duc Hot Springs.
- (5p-6p) Break/ Clean-up
- (6p) Lakeside Caterer Dinner & Final Celebration
- (7-9p) Campfire & ACIM Lesson Reflections
- (9a) Breakfast at the Lodge.
- (10a – 1pm) ACIM Integration & Next Step Sessions in the Quillayute Ballroom
- (1pm-4p) Lunch and hike
- (4-7p) One-on-one sessions with Joanne, private Lake Quinault Tours, swimming or journal time
- (7p) Lakeside beverages, daily wind-down
- (7:30p) Dinner at the Lodge
- (9p) ACIM Reflections
Lodging & Meals
AUGUST 20-25th/ NATURE BRIDGE LODGING:
Lodging is unique, constructed and remodeled over a period of 100 years! Each shared historic cottage & contemporary dorm sleeps 2-3 guests per room.
Choose the charm of the historic cabins by the lake, or the modern dorms close to the hot showers. All rooms have single twin-bunks, but a few dorms have spacious double-sized bunks. You’ll have access to both a top and bottom for sleeping/storage.
Bedding is purchased exclusively for this retreat and donated to the Nature Bridge student programs. Simple, yet plush. You will be contacted in order of registration to select your room and bed choice. If sharing a room ‘summer camp’ style is a concern, please let us know. A single-room supplemental charge may be arranged depending on available rooms.
Cottages & dorms have full access to the Bath House & restrooms, but the dorms are closer. A few cottages have a toilet. One has a toilet and shower. These are older accommodations, but charming and immaculate!
NATURE BRIDGE MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch (& Sack Lunches), Dinners, Snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages consumed on the Nature Bridge Campus are included. Please note, alcohol is strictly forbidden on campus. If guests wish to walk to the Lake Crescent Lodge for a glass of wine, they may do so at their own expense and with respect to the sacredness of our gathering.
The Nature Bridge menu is hearty, standard hiking food! Teriyaki Chicken & Sesame Slaw, Turkey Penne Pasta & Greens, but their wonderful chef offers vegan and vegetarian options.
We will have ample healthy snacks on hand as well as fresh fruit to nibble any time!
AUG 25-28th/ VIP LAKE QUINAULT LODGING & MEALS
There are four Queen Fireplace Suites with patio and lake views. Each has a small refrigerator and coffee maker. There are two double-queen Boathouse Room with lake views for Mighty Companions who wish to share a room. There is a heated pool and steam room shared with all Lodge guests.
Breakfast and Dinner are included and held in the historic Roosevelt Dining Room. Sack lunches are provided after the morning sessions and snacks throughout the day. Non-alcoholic beverages are included, however, if guests wish to part take in an evening glass of wine it is available for an additional fee through the Lodge Bar. Guests are asked to be mindful of the sacredness of our gathering, but after a powerful week a celebratory glass of wine might be just what is needed!
Saturday and Sunday programming will be held in the spacious Quillayute Ballroom with magnificent Redwood trees just outside the windows.
Locations & Travel
Nature Bridge is located approxately:
- 3 hours from Seattle Sea Tac Airport (Car, no Ferries)
- 4 hours from downtown Seattle (including Ferry crossing)
- 6 hours from Portland
- 2 hours from Victoria, Canada (via the Coho Ferry into Port Angeles and 30 minutes by car)
We will be carpooling for day trips due to limited parking near trailheads such as Sol Duc Falls, Hurricane Ridge, and Mora Beach. The journey to each location is approximately 45minutes to 1 hour but it’s one of the most memorable aspects of the retreat! Lifelong friendships are formed on these journeys.
Transportation to and from Nature Bridge is not included. The retreat is scheduled in the middle of two weekends giving guests time to transition from daily life to leisure time in Seattle, Canada, or perhaps arrive early in Port Angeles to enjoy the last stop sites before reaching Lake Crescent. Post-retreat perhaps visit the Hoh Rainforest? Or historic Victoria?
While Pre & Post journeys are your own, we love this area and are delighted to give suggestions!
What’s Included and What Isn’t?
- LODGING: Beginning Sunday, August 20th at 4pm through Friday, August 25th, 10am check-out, guest enjoy shared Historic Cottages & Dorms which sleep 2-4 guests per Cabin/Dorm. Twin-size bunk or double-size bunk beds depend on room assignment. No two rooms are the same.
- MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch (& Sack Lunches for hikes), Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages consumed on the Nature Bridge Campus. Departure day sack lunch included as well.
- PRE-RETREAT GROUP COACHING CALLS/ZOOM
One-hour calls with Joanne late July and August
- TWO MONTHS of complimentary ACIM Zoom classes with Joanne to prepare you for the retreat.
- NATIONAL PARK orientation to Olympic National Park.
- DAILY MORNING LAKESIDE ACIM MEDITATION & YOGA:
One ACIM lesson shared. 30 minutes of uninterrupted silent meditation. 30 minutes of yoga & stretch.
- DAILY ACIM INTENSIVES & WORKSHOPS:
Experiential ACIM Group classes, individual self-study and group-study time both in the Lodge, forest, and lakeside.
- (3) GUIDED HIKES/ NATIONAL PARK FEES:
Guided Hikes to Marymere Falls and Sol Duc Falls, Mora Beach, OR Hurricane Ridge based on weather.
- SALISH GROUP CANOE TRIP & ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM: Paddling adventure with the Nature Bridge Guides in traditional Salish Canoe along the shore.
- CAMPFIRES & REFLECTIONS:
Evening Campfire & Reflection Sessions
- TRIBAL PROGRAM: One (1) session dedicated to the history of the local tribes: The Makah, Elwah, Quileute and Klallam Tribes.
- A POWERFUL SUPPORT TEAM: Your tuition ensures that master teachers, coaches, and advanced ACIM students are there to support you. ACIM can get challenging, but you won’t be left alone.
- BODY WORK CLASSES: At the time of this publication master yoga instructors and an incredible breathwork instructor/coach will be joining us.
- POST RETREAT ZOOM & GATHERING: One month after the retreat we will have a Zoom call followed by a local day gathering for those who can make it!
- DONATIONS: Our tuition includes generous donations to the Makah and Nature Bridge to ensure the future of their outreach programs. I believe firmly that as we receive, we need to contribute to these priceless programs.
What is not…
– Travel to and from Nature Bridge (Including flights, car rentals, hotels, ferries, meals, etc.)
– Travel to and from Nature Bridge and (2) Day trips to Sol Duc Falls, Rialto Beach AND/OR Hurricane Ridge not included. Carpools between guests is encouraged and arranged on-site. Parking is limited in these locations.
*** NOTE: A private or rented car is needed to access hikes/locations not included in programming, unless you only hike the trails in the immediate vicinity. There are no Ubers or taxis in this location! ZERO. The nearest town is 30 minutes away. Remember, you are in the heart of a National Park!
- WINE & SPIRITS:
Alcohol is not allowed on the Nature Bridge Campus, but available nearby at the Lake Crescent Lodge.
- MEALS: Off property of the Nature Bridge Campus not included unless specifically stated such as sack lunches for the Day Trips.
- WIFI: Wifi is extremely limited at Nature Bridge! Cell-service is nearly non-existent. The closest Wifi is in the lobby of the Lake Crescent Lodge but plan to be OFFLINE.
- PRIVATE YOGA SESSIONS/MASSAGE: If you would like a private Thai yoga session, or breathwork, signups will be available at an additional cost if time is available.
Cancellation policies are available on the registration page. Additional waivers, health and meal forms, and special consideration forms will be sent early AUGUST.
Included in the Optional VIP…
- LODGING: Beginning Friday evening, August 25th, guests will enjoy luxurious Fireplace Queen Suites with lake views and one Boathouse Double Queen standard room with lake views. Heated pool & Sauna accessible to all Lodge guests.
- MEALS: Breakfast, & Sack Lunches for hikes, Dinners, Snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages through breakfast on check-out day August 28th.
- RETREAT PRIVATE ONE-ON-ONE SESSION with Joanne. A hike, lakeside, balcony chat with a view…your choice.
- DAILY ON-SITE ACIM WORKSHOP:
ACIM lessons focusing on bringing learnings back to our daily lives. Action steps. Accountability plans.
- (1) PROFESSIONALLY GUIDED TOUR
A 2-4 hour Lake Tour at the best sites, waterfalls, trails.
- FIREPLACE Living Room Reflection Sessions
- PRIVATE POST-RETREAT SESSION: A special post-retreat call to work through any issues, action steps, or shifts since the retreat.
What is not included in the VIP…
– Travel to and from Lake Quinault Lodge
*** NOTE: As with Nature Bridge a private or rented car is needed to access this location. There are no Ubers or taxis in this location! ZERO.
- WINE & SPIRITS:
Alcohol is available at the Lodge Bar at an additional cost.
- MEALS: Off property of Lake Quinault Lodge not included unless specifically stated such as sack lunches.
- WIFI: Wifi is costly! Available for $18/day at the time of this publication! Cell-service is available, but limited as well.
Do I need to be an advanced student of ACIM?
No! You don’t need to be an expert if you have a profound willingness and deep knowing that you need to be at this retreat. Sometimes “new” students are highly advanced spiritual learners and easily understand the text with no prior study. With that said, if you are planning to attend it is HIGHLY recommended you join the online Zoom classes prior to the event. Most of my students have been with me for over a year and can go deeply into processes.
What if I don't want a roommate?
Single supplement arrangements can be made, however, in the past year those who had roommates found them to be incredibly supportive and miraculously aligned. It is part of the beauty of this retreat! Room assignments can be changed at any time, but the team will tune into guidance for the best roommate to support your journey!
Do I need to be physically fit for the hikes?
Yes and no. You should be able to hike 3-4 miles comfortably. All trails are easy to moderate, with only a few areas of steep incline. With that said, any time you choose to stay back at Nature Bridge you are welcome to. There are also locations where you can stop before inclines and rest in the quiet and wait to rejoin the group.
Will you help me connect to other guests driving to Lake Crescent?
Yes! We will have a group FB page. Ultimately you are responsible for making your carpool plans, but if believe you are match for another guest I will let you know immediately.
Is this retreat for women only?
No. This retreat is for both men and women. Last year we had couples who study together. I also believe ACIM students connect and “remember” each other energetically. There is always a feeling of “I know you” even if you have just met for the first time.
What happens on Friday, August 25th at Check-out?
Friday will be a busy morning! All campers will rise early to turn in their bedding and linens before breakfast! After breakfast and making our sack lunches, we have a farewell closing ceremony. BOTH Nature Bridge guests and VIP guests will then have the option of a day trip to Cape Flattery to visit Makah Days and the Makah Museum, travel directly to Lake Quinalt if they are VIP, or return to Seattle to catch a flight home. Whatever choice you make, Friday is an exploration day for you to be as quiet or active as you choose. Joanne will be closing the camp before heading to the Makah Day festival and Cape Flattery followed by the evening at Lake Quinault.
What else would you like to know?
Let’s chat: Send a message below…
I am passionate about bringing peace and playfulness into people’s lives. Having navigated tremendous losses and trials, I believe everyone has the potential to find miraculous solutions with the help of the Divine. We can can all hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit, and experience a deep sense of safety and belonging.
The daughter of a National Park Service ranger (Yosemite & Olympic) and a mom who loved having my summers to create and explore, ancient forests became my first spiritual home.
When I was in the throes of divorce, trying to be super mom, and fighting for my son’s educational needs, I discovered weekly lectures by Marianne Williamson and began studying A Course and Miracles. Despite turning away from religion as a young teen, I realized the Divine had been there all along.
ACIM was methodical, and endlessly loving. Realizing ACIM dovetailed with my Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology my professional life as a spiritual teacher & coach began.
I started my private practice and became the in-house Spiritual Wellness Consultant for guests of the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, a job I adored until moving to Bath, England in 2019.
Once in Bath, I completed my Master’s of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, merging writing with my spiritual programs. I began a collaboration with the House of St. John’s, partner organization to the St. John’s Foundation – an 800 year old non-profit.
Although I loved teach creative writing courses and the Artist’s Way, I began to focus all my energy on teaching ACIM and Spiritual Psychology, both in classes and as my primary coaching tool for private clients.
My love of Bath is strong and I look forward to future ACIM retreats at the beautiful House of St. John’s, but back in California I am looking forward to announcing my agreements with a wonderful new online spiritual platform and offering additional live ACIM retreats and courses in Newport Beach.