5 Etna Project Alumni out for a walk in the snow and coldThis retreat format, meeting for substantial amounts of time over the course of several months, binds the group of us together in a shared space. When you first arrive on Thursday, look over the available beds and choose where you’ll be for the extended weekend. It will be up to you as individuals to address your need for any changes with one another. Some of us are night owls, while others sing welcome to the sunrise every morning. Choosing roommates with this in mind may go a long way toward taking care of your own needs. We will find ways to communicate our needs together in this space through simple check-ins and requests.

A large portion of our time engages us in structured activity, but there will also be time for you to do as you wish. Whether you want to get up and run in the early morning, go for a walk at lunch, or nap in a quiet spot will be your decision. Friday and Saturday evenings, if you would like to go out and explore the area alone or with someone, you’re welcome to do so. Information about local sites will be available for you at the retreat. Or you could spend the evening socializing, playing games, engaging in dialogue about work and what you’re learning, sit and read, sing with the musically inclined. Some of you may live not too, too far away, but we expect that you sleep at the retreat center and not go home. Much of our learning happens just being together, even in unstructured times. And the opportunity to reflect on what we’re learning, to engage others in learning, to simply be in a learning environment- these are enhanced by disengaging from the outside world briefly.