Jan. 8–10, 2016: Music, Nature, and Storytelling

With special guest Jon Young

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Storytelling and music are essential practices of nature connection. Whether we are recounting an event, sharing through music, or “catching” the story of another, storytelling as a practice broadens our perspective and helps us understand the significance of our experiences. As a mentoring tool, deep listening coupled with the art of questioning is a powerful way to expand a student’s experience and inspire curiosity.

This workshop falls during the short, crisp days of January: a natural time for reflection and renewal, and the traditional season for gathering around a cozy fire, warm beverage in hand, to share stories and music in community. Join us this winter as we explore how our music, songs, and stories can convey the essence of what it is to be fully alive and connected with the world around us.

PLEASE NOTE: No prior experience is required to participate. If you have no experience with music or storytelling, this workshop is for you! If you do have experience, this workshop is also for you!

Come join us in this weekend workshop as we

  • Examine the roots of storytelling and how to activate the storyteller’s mind—in ourselves and in others—through the practices of music, story, and nature connection
  • Experience how the storyteller’s mind engages all of our senses  
  • Explore the very powerful mentoring tool of listening to others’ stories and following up with questions designed to inspire
  • Learn to catch the stories and songs of our own experiences in a way that reflects our unique cultural perspectives and that is respectful of other cultures
  • Sing, play, share, swap stories, have fun, eat well, and spend time around the fire

The weekend will also include

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    • Permaculture with Matt Bibeau
    • Naturalist skills with Deb Scrivens
    • Ancestral skills with Sarah Hill
  • Youth programs for children and teens with Laura Goldstone and Tony Deland
  • Time on the land, games, songs, and more

When: Friday, January 8, through Sunday, January 10. Arrival and final registration begin at 4 pm on Friday; optional potluck dinner is at 6 pm in the dining hall. Weekend concludes at 3 pm on Sunday.

Where: Cedar Ridge Retreat Center, 18062 Keasey Road, Vernonia, OR.

Cost of workshop: $190 for adults, $45 for children. Lodging and meals are extra.  A variety of options are available to choose from when registering.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for those in need; please contact us directly for more information at 8shieldsPDX@gmail.com.

If you are a teacher this workshop can be taken for 2 CEEDs through PSU.

To learn more go to: http://8spdx.com/continuing-education-credit/

Youth programs:

Three programs for children and teens run concurrently with adult programs, including groups for ages 3–6, 7–12, and 13–17. Youth will participate in activities related to storytelling and music and learn naturalist and traditional skills. Children will be with their parents for meals, breaks, and evenings. Because we want to make it as easy as possible for families to attend, parents may bring a partner, grandparent, or other caretaker at a discounted price.


The Cedar Ridge Retreat and Conference Center is on 28 acres, nestled in the beautiful Coast Range, featuring a mix of cedar forest, open meadow, and creek. We will be spending time outdoors as well as getting cozy indoors and by the fire.

Please send questions about accessibility or special accommodations to 8shieldspdx@gmail.com. We aim to make this workshop accessible to all!

Lodging options include:

  • Space in a house (with standard twin-sized bunk beds, linens and towels included, carpeted floors, and private showers and toilets)
  • Space in a bunkhouse (with standard twin-sized beds, bring your own sleeping bag and pillow)
  • Camping

The registration page (http://8spdx.com/workshops-2/register/) includes pricing information for lodging, camping, and meals.


The weekend begins on Friday evening with an optional potluck. All other meals—Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch—will be freshly prepared by Cedar Ridge staff, with vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free alternatives available.

What to bring:

-A potluck dish to share if you plan on joining us for Friday night’s potluck

-Camping gear (for those choosing this option)

-Bedding (for those staying in the lower grounds/bunkhouses)


-Appropriate clothing and shoes (warm layers, rain gear, waterproof boots: be prepared to be outside part of the day)

-Thermos for tea or warm beverage of choice

-Blanket or other cozy items for fireside and story time


-Musical instruments (optional)

Registration is open!

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Come join us for Music, Nature, and Storytelling!