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Gathering ’43 - Activities Schedule 
Note: Page updated as activities are added.    Schedule is subject to change.  

Check back after registration as the schedule grows.

Jump to activity descriptions


No Breakfast

Set up @ Camp Scully

11 am - Registration Opens (for Thursday arrivals)

Open for onsite and offsite ad-hoc activities

No Lunch

2:00 - Silent Auction Opens

4:00 - Nature Photography

Open for onsite and offsite ad-hoc activities

6 pm Dinner

7:30 - Icebreaker Games

8:30 - Star Gazing

Details:   Thursday


8 am Breakfast

9:00 - Morning Qi Gong Centering Set

9:30 - 4 pm - Tubing the Battenkill River

10:00 - Plant Walk

11am - Registration Opens (for Friday arrivals)

12:30 pm Lunch (optional for those arriving Thursday or who purchased as an Add-On)

1:45 - Bike the Erie Canal along the Mohawk River

2:00 - Paddle Leader Training

2:00 - Forest Therapy

3:00 - Becoming a Better Birder

6 pm Dinner

7:30 - Summiting Mount Rainier Slideshow

8:30 - Dance the Night Away

9:00 - Concertina Campfire (fire pit)

 Details: Friday


6:45 - Pre-breakfast Bird Walk

7:30 - Polar Bear Plunge

8 am Breakfast (with a board member)

8:45 - Group Photo

9:00 - Beginner Kayak

9:00 - Hike at Burden Pond Preserve 

10:00 - Bike Repair

11:00 - Diversity Discussion

12:30 pm Lunch (RC Meeting)

1:30 - Intermediate Kayaking

3:00 - Poetry Reading and open mic for original work

3:00 - Worm Composting

4:00 - Fun with Improv

5:30 - Silent Auction Bidding Closes - Get your bids in!

6 pm Dinner

7:00 - Annual Meeting (pavilion)

8:30 - Talent Show

8:30 - Bonfire (fire pit)

  Details: Saturday


7:30 - Polar Bear Plunge

7:45 - Peebles Island State Park/Cohoes Flats Bird Walk

8 am Breakfast

9:00 - Beg & Int. Tandem Canoeing

12:30 pm Lunch (add-on option)

1-3 Open for onsite and offsite ad hoc activities

Clean up and take down @ Camp Scully

  Details: Sunday

Gathering 43 Trip/Workshop Descriptions

Jump to:   Thursday    Friday    Saturday    Sunday


4:00 - 5:30 pm: Nature Photography

Find out what your camera can do and get off of AUTO. Learn basic techniques for capturing photographs in the outdoors. We will review composition, light, scenes, manual settings, and equipment. Most will apply to both phone and point-and-shoot cameras.

      • Composition
      • Easy Modes and Settings
      • Ditch Auto Mode

7:30-9 pm: Icebreaker Games

Meet or reconnect with your fellow Gatherers with some fun games! We’ll start with a very short icebreaker game, then move to Taboo. A great party game, Taboo has teams of hinters and guessers, as well as a rotating role of “buzzer” from the other team. Hilarity often ensues! No previous knowledge, skills, decorum, or equipment required! All are welcome.

8:30-9:30 pm: Star Gazing

Let’s get together to explore the night sky and share interest and knowledge with the help of a small telescope and phone apps. If you want to come prepared you can download Sky Map (iPhone) or Sky View (Android). They should be free apps.

Jump to:   Thursday    Friday    Saturday    Sunday


9:00 am: Morning Qi Gong Centering Set

Qi Gong, which means energy practice, is the name given to a variety of techniques designed to enhance the natural flow of energy through the body. These include breathing exercises, simple movements and guided meditation. We will be doing Tai Chi warm up exercises and then a centering set of Qi Gong routines to energize every part of our bodies and start the day right.

9:30 - 4 pm: Tubing the Battenkill River

In the shadow of the Green Mountain National Forest, lie the sparkling, pristine waters of one of the East’s most delightful rivers: the Battenkill. The surrounding forest and grassland is teeming with wildlife: trout, deer, mink, songbirds, heron, eagles, and osprey. Each year, the Battenkill invites thousands of fisher-persons, canoeists, kayakers, and yes, tubers. This will be a full day excursion. You will need to bring your own inner tube, quick-dry clothes, and water shoes or sneakersDetails, Maps & Directions

10-11:30 am: Plant Walk

Spot and ID plants. Ideally we’ll explore several habitats and find things we haven’t seen before. No experience with plant identification necessary. Walk difficulty will depend on the abilities of the participants. Bring water, your favorite field guide and your enthusiasm!

1:45-3:45 pm: Bike the Erie Canal along the Mohawk River

Join us for a scenic 18.5-mile ride along the Erie Canal and Mohawk River. This trail traverses through residential neighborhoods, woods, and fields, with a significant portion riding parallel to the Mohawk River and resulting in some beautiful views. Landmarks along the way include Lock 7 on the Mohawk River, as well as an old train station building at Lions Park in Niskayuna. You will ride on roads for brief portions of the route, with clear signs directing you back to the dedicated bike path. The terrain of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is relatively flat in most portions. There are facilities along the way plus loads of history re: the Erie Canal, 300 yr old Dutch and English community plus indigenous communities living in proximity.

You will need to have completed a bike ride of 18 or more miles within the past 3 months to join us for this 18.5 mile ride.

Start time is at the trail head. You will need to add time to get there.

2:00-5/5:30 pm: Paddle Leader Training

This workshop, taught by two highly experienced ACA certified women, is designed for current leaders and aspiring leaders. It will include discussion and on the water training. Topics to be covered; leadership challenges and how to address them, learning and practicing the hard skills needed to lead a paddling trip: towing, rescues and precise boat control.

There will be 2-3 hours of on the water training in kayaks and canoes. Expect to get wet as you will be in the water for part of this workshop.

2-~4:30 pm: Forest Therapy/Shinrin Yoku Walk

Forest Therapy, also known as “forest bathing,” stems from the practice developed in Japan known as the Art of Shinrin Yoku and is a profound way of deepening the connection with yourself, with others and all of nature. A Forest Therapy Walk is not a hike for exercise rather a mindful quiet slow walk, allowing you to experience the wonders and healing powers of nature. June, a Certified ANFT Forest Therapy Guide will provide a series of relaxing invitations to engage all your senses (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, imagination, heart sense), release your mind chatter, deepen connections to nature, allowing you to connect with yourself and others through nature in new ways. You will have opportunities throughout for both individual reflection and to come together as a group to listen and share what we are noticing. This 2 hr. walk ends with a tea ceremony with wild foraged tea from the local area.

3-4 pm: Becoming a Better Birder

Learn from veteran birder Beth W. how to be a better birder. Beth will be review Code of Ethics, equipment, dress, education through bird clubs, free Birding Applications on cellular phones, migration, bird feeders, etc. Questions are welcome during the Show N' Tell.

7:30-9 pm: Summiting Mount Rainier Slideshow

Join Women Outdoors Board Member, Randi, as she talks about summiting Mount Rainier (elevation 14410) to celebrate turning 40 this year. Randi will discuss required gear, training plan, the route and logistics, working with a guided team, as well as sharing photos from this experience.

8:30 pm: Dance the Night Away

I’m not a DJ, but I love to dance. Will bring in my danceable Spotify playlists so we can enjoy the dancefloor together. Including my favorite new P!nk song: ‘I’m Never Gonna Not Dance Again”. I welcome special songs or playlists you’d like to contribute, but please see me well ahead of time so I can figure out how to incorporate them.

9:00-10:30 pm: Concertina Campfire

An open invitational to music and song. Calling musicians and singers of all levels to come share some of your faves! Everyone is welcome to play, sing, listen in, hum along, or stoke the fire. Kate will supplement with some folk ballad tunes on concertina. Look forward to a moving collective experience. Holly will be playing the guitar for those who would like to sing a long.

Jump to:   Thursday    Friday    Saturday    Sunday


6:45-7:45 am: Pre-Breakfast Bird Walk

Join birder Beth before breakfast to walk around Camp Scully Rd and the Lake Snyder Beach and identify members of the local bird population by song and sight.

7:30-8 am: Polar Bear Plunge

This early morning swim will wake you up and start your day with (shivers and) smiles. 

8:00 am: Breakfast with a Board Member – a chance to share your suggestions & thoughts

The board believes members may have: ideas for improvement or topics on their minds. If you have a suggestion or concern that you would like to share with a board member, please plan to have Breakfast with a Board Member Saturday. This is an opportunity to make suggestions and voice concerns directly to a board member prior to the annual meeting. A board member would love to hear what’s on your mind.

8:45 am: Group Photo

Please gather in front of the Dining Hall to take a group photo for Gathering 43!

9 am-noon: Beginner Kayaking

Lead by Bonna, a ACA certified kayak instructor, this workshop will cover learning and practicing basic strokes and some more advanced strokes, safety and rescue techniques. You will be on the lake in a kayak.

9:00-11:30 am - Hike at Burden Pond Preserve

Burden Pond is a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail near Troy, New York. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 54 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and snowshoeing, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.

10 am-noon: Bike Repair

Workshop taught by a former professional bike mechanic. We’ll learn how to check wheels and other rotating parts for proper adjustment. Then: we’ll practice removing front and rear wheels and changing flats. Nuances of flat repair will be discussed, including use of a tire boot. We’ll demonstrate the proper adjustment of gears and brakes, and make sure everyone knows how to center their brakes and use the barrel adjusters. Gear adjustment basics, including the function of stop screws and cable tension, will be demonstrated. Repair stand, tools, grease, chain lube, and rags provided.

11 am - noon: Diversity Discussion

The WO Diversity Committee invites you to talk about possible paths for our membership to become more welcoming and inclusive to women from diverse backgrounds, ages, and abilities (our mission!) We'll share stories, talk about some of the implicit biases and barriers that WOOF speaker Lily Otu shared that have traditionally affected outdoor groups. Please Join Us. The Diversity Committee is open to all WO members.

1:30-4:30 pm: Intermediate Kayaking

We will review boating safety and basic and advanced paddling techniques, including forward and reverse strokes, turning strokes, draws for lateral movement, and braces for stability. Assisted and self-rescues will be demonstrated, and participants are invited to get wet and try re-entering their boats from the water. Other rescue techniques such as towing boats and swimmers may be practiced. Bonna and Deb, ACA Certified Instructors.

3-5 pm: Poetry Reading and open mic for original work

Join poet and published author, Patricia Roth Schwartz, who will read original works of her poetry. After Pat reads she will open it up to participants who would like to read their own original works in a round robin format. All are welcome to just come and listen.

3-5 pm: Worm Composting

Are you a woman who would like to make your own soil for your garden, or indoor plants? Would you like to recycle vegetable food scraps to keep wet waste out of our garbage? Join Neva to learn more about worm composting. Neva will be bringing 2 working bins and 2 empty bins to create worm composting containers with workshop participants. This is a “get your hands dirty” kind of workshop. Please bring non/or latex gloves as you choose. I will have some small latex pairs to lend. No gloves mean your hands will get black with newspaper ink. Wet Newspaper is used for bedding.

4-6 pm: Fun with Improv

We will start with some sound and movement warm-ups. Then we’ll do some theater games improvising with words, sound, and movement. Finally, we will use improv theater to create one or more skits with diversity and empowerment themes to perform in the Saturday evening Talent Show. Whether you are savvy or curious about improv, if you are interested in exploring difference and strengths through Improv Theater, or both, this workshop is for you. No experience needed. If you don't want to perform, you can still help create the skit(s).

5:30: Silent Auction Closes - Get your bids in!

7:00 pm: Women Outdoors Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting and election of the board is required by our bylaws and is your chance to participate on the national level in Women Outdoors. Come hear about activities in other chapters and plans at the national level.

8:30 pm: Talent Show

Do you sing, dance, play an instrument, write/recite poetry/stories, are you a comedian, magician or have a talent you'd like to entertain us with? Or create a skit with others when you arrive! There will be a prop box with fun and interesting items. Look for the sign-up sheet at the Gathering, please sign up for a 5 minute slot. See the organizers, Stef and Monica, for questions.

8:30 pm: Saturday Night Bonfire

Come sit by the bonfire and hang out with other Gatheringistas. Maybe we will make S’mores and sing.

Jump to:   Thursday    Friday    Saturday    Sunday


7:30-8 am: Polar Bear Plunge

This early morning swim will wake you up and start your day with (shivers and) smiles. 

7:45-11:45 am: Peebles Island State Park/Cohoes Flats Bird Walk

The wooded areas of Peebles Island are good for seeing a variety of songbirds. The river area and rocky flats around the island are usually good for Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Bald Eagle as well as shore birds, herons, egrets, Chimney Swifts and ducks.

9 am-noon: Beginning and Intermediate Tandem Canoeing

This will be a tandem canoe class taught by an ACA-certified Canoe instructor and suitable for beginner or intermediate paddlers – solo canoeists with single-blade paddles also welcome. We will work on turning strokes (sweep, draw, cross-draw, pry) from both bow and stern and correction strokes (rudders and J-stroke) for straight paddling. Reverse paddling and lateral movement will also be practiced. Intermediate paddlers will work on static strokes like the hanging draw and supportive/bracing strokes. A buoy course will be set up to practice maneuvers. Canoe designs and their application will be discussed, along with boating safety.

1-3 pm: Open for onsite ad-hoc activities

Most of us will be packing up and cleaning the campus, getting ready to leave. But you can take a last dip or paddle in the water, hike around the campus, or arrange to meet up with others for an off-campus hike on your way home.

Jump to:   Thursday    Friday    Saturday    Sunday

More resources / Contact

More Information:

If you have any questions or special requests, please send us an email to

For workshops and evening activities:

For more information on registration fees and dining:    The Gathering 2023

For programming and activities overview:  Programming & Activities

For detailed information on our lodging options:     Lodging Options 

For additional resources such as menus, packing list, paperwork, and more:  Resources

For general information about the Gathering, plus our history and the Jan Brown Scholarship:    Main Gathering Page

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