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Fall Creative Retreat Opportunity

This retreat is sponsored by MSTA but is open to the public. I am posting it ahead of the June newsletter because I got the info this week and thought some of you may want to register. Registration opens May 1.


Registration opens May 1 for fall Creative Retreat

Take time to slow down at MSTA’s annual retreat for creative people along the scenic banks of the Jacks Fork River in the historic Ozark Waterways. There will be time to learn and time to create. Participants will stay in rustic cabins and enjoy family-style meals in the dining hall. Grab a friend and register early! Registration opens May 1.

Brought to you by the Missouri State Teachers Association, the retreat is open to the public. The registration fee is $240 for MSTA members; $280 for nonmembers. Includes workshop fee and lodging in shared cabins Friday and Saturday; three meals on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Questions? Please contact Sarah Kohnle at, 800-392-0532

Learn more and register at

Your choice of two tracks (each limited to 15 participants):

WRITE YOUR LIFE with international author Ibtisam Barakat

A memoir writing workshop with renowned poet and memoir writer Ibtisam Barakat.

During this weekend at Bunker Hill, you will slow down to look at your life, find the moments that can become brilliant expressions of poetry or storytelling and can connect you with yourself and the world at once. Come grow your voice, your self-understanding and your art of writing. At this workshop you will laugh and possibly cry as you meet hidden parts of yourself, and have fun saying hello, connecting with your child self, adolescent self, grownup self, writer self and artist self. Author website:

SKETCHBOOK JOURNALING (no artistic talent required) with artist Mary Gainey

Sketchbook Journals, The Bunker Hill Corps of Discovery

We are going to embark on a Corps of Discovery at Bunker Hill on the Jacks Fork River. Just as Thomas Jefferson clearly directed Lewis and Clark to document “your observations with great pains and accuracy,” we shall do likewise with our sketchbook journals. Eight men on the Lewis and Clark expedition recorded everything from wildlife, landscapes, native people, and trees, to camp life and map making. The journals were issued to the men, along with the finest pen nibs and stoneware inkbottles from France. Keep in mind, there was not one single “artist” employed for the expedition, so all the drawings and writings were entirely untrained documentation, and that includes invented spellings! “I employ myself, drawing,” wrote William Clark, and we shall do the same. The modern educator is familiar with the connection of right and left brain. The concept of sketching and journaling is very useful in educational settings where direct visual contact and descriptive writing can develop deeper understandings. In drawing and writing, we shall connect, unabashedly, unapologetically, and faithfully, committed to giving this adventure the focus that Jefferson directed. We shall set out to explore, to draw, and to write about the common and extraordinary things we see at Bunker Hill. We can write poetry, essays, descriptions, prayers, or reflective musings. None of us will be graded on how we draw or write!

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