This is a two night, three day retreat focusing on rest, recuperation and restoration with an emphasis on group support with no pressure to accomplish anything.
There is no electricity or running water. No wifi.
This is a chance to unplug, go deep into your own self within the beautiful setting of Charleston Lake.

Our water side sites are within easy walking distance from the parking lot, on a small peninsula quite far from other campers. There are picnic tables and level tent pads.

Maximum 6 people.


“Who deserves the creative inspiration, friendship, healing, and deep connection with nature that this wonderful trip fosters? You do!

The spot is breathtaking – those iconic Canadian Shield boulders; Tom Thomson Jack Pines bending their limbs over the bright, clear and inviting Lake Charleston; and real live wildlife – you might make friends with a porcupine!

The camp set up allows for communal delicious meal-sharing, singing, dancing, story-telling, and for lots of quiet private space for rest, creative work and forest bathing.

Julia’s impressive deep-woods camping skills and her incredible tree knowledge make her an ideal guide. And if you know Julia, you know she is constantly encouraging creativity with the way she makes everything into a song, dance or joke. She leads responsibly (yes, your lip balm must be hoisted into the trees away from racoons), respectfully and with a joyous heart.

The experience will continue to feed me for the coming year until I can return again.”
Arwyn Carpenter

“Julia’s joy and love for the wild is an inspiration. She chose an incredible spot for our retreat and cooked us extraordinary meals. We were encouraged to enjoy everything at our own pace and Julia was always on hand to help. She leads with tremendous insight and generosity, and this retreat adds years to your life force.”
Banuta Rubess

What I provide:

All gear ( tents, cooking gear, stove etc)
All food items
All campsite reservations and fees
Organization of transportation
Canoe, paddles, lifejackets
Planning and facilitation
Support for Creative Practice of your choosing
Hauling of heavy gear

What you provide:

Personal gear (Clothes, footwear etc I can provide a list of items you will need to be outside for 3 days)
Personal items you need for creative practice plan (writing, painting, singing, breathing, thinking, hiking, canoeing or mere lounging)
Help with set up, cooking, and cleaning up
cost of transportation to the park
Any alcohol for special drinks or special extra food items

2:00 Arrive Charleston Lake
2:15 Hike and/or Canoe into Sites
2:30 Set up
3:30 Lounging time
4:30 Cocktails and Welcome Circle
5:30 Cooking
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Campfire stories and Singing

Coffee, tea, breakfast
Lounging with trees, Swimming in the Lake, Personal Creative Practice
Lounging with trees, Swimming in the Lake, Personal Creative Practice
Late afternoon cocktails- sharing of creative practice
Campfire songs and stories

Coffee, tea, breakfast
Lounging with trees, Swimming in the Lake or Creative Practice
Departure Circle
Hike and/or paddle out
2:00 Departure from Charleston Lake

* schedule is subject to change.

about Charleston Lake…

I love this place. I have been a few times and each time has been magical. I am so excited to be there with you!

There are often fireflies, like dancing fairy lights at night.
I saw baby turtles being born here one summer!
There are no bears in the park. (but lots of raccoons that can do circus tricks on ropes and have amazing manual dexterity so we have to secure the food in barrels at night)
The lake is very pretty with your typical Tom Thompson rocks, trees and water type scenery.
My favorite thing to do is to swim and lie in the hammock but the park also offers fantastic hiking trails and a Nature centre.
The park is officially governed and maintained by Ontario Parks.

about our sites…

Our sites are officially called “backcountry”sites because you have to walk to them but in fact they are not far from civilization. It will only take us 15-30 minute to walk from the cars. (depending on our speed and how distracted we get by the little things like mushrooms and wildflowers)

The sites we have at Buckhorn feel very private and wilderness-y. We are the only people that will be staying in that area.

Hikers and other boaters do pass through the area occasionally so while we are alone we are not completely isolated.

You can see from the map that we are sheltered from the bigger part of the lake by islands. The wind coming off the lake won’t be too grand.

what we will do…

I want this retreat to be a rest and rejuvenation time for you. I want you to experience the powerful healing effects of nature with the positive support of other amazing women.

I have loosely scheduled gathering circles and meal times as anchors to our day but the day’s choices are open.
I suggest you have an idea of a creative practice for yourself yet remain open to new possibilities. Your practice could be some idea that you want to write about. You may want time to listen to your thoughts. Maybe you want to explore with paint or learn three chords on the ukulele? You might just want to sleep in the hammock. or go for a three hour hike. All of this is possible at Charleston Lake.
Talk to me about what you’d like and I will help to make it happen.

about the meals…

I love cooking over a campfire but I will also bring a stove for quick access to coffee and tea in the morning.
I will plan meals and provide all the things necessary to cook. I will be head chef at each meal but everyone will take turns assisting and cleaning up.
Please let me know if you any dietary restrictions so I can plan accordingly.

about transportation…

Charleston Lake is located 45 min North of Kingston. About a 3.5 hours drive from Toronto
Car pools will be arranged from Toronto.
Pick up from Gananoque train station is possible.

questions and concerns…?

Even small concerns. even big ones. if you have any let’s talk them through and sort them out.