Teachers: Lauren Fleshman, Jennifer Louden, Susanna Spies, Erin Taylor

Camp Director: Meredith Brandt


This co-ed Wilder Running and Writing Retreat utilizes running, writing, storytelling, improvisational comedy, yoga, coaching, and the beauty of the outdoors to inspire creative and physical courage. We aim to stretch ourselves with the help of incredible teachers, learn from the work of other participants, and fill ourselves up with fresh air, big trees, dramatic landscapes, rushing water, good food, laughter, and a mixture of community and solitude. A wilder approach to running, writing, and creative expression will help fuel confidence and purpose in the work we do at home for ourselves and our community.



Sisters, Oregon

Caldera Arts Center is located 3,500 feet above sea level on the shores of Blue Lake in the Cascade Mountain Range, just west of Sisters, Oregon. The 116 acres are immersed in beauty, surrounded by the effects of volcanism and the Deschutes national forest, and is a renowned space for creative work in the Pacific Northwest. Features include a Hearth Building for group activities, a library, comfortable writing space, indoor and outdoor spaces for group and individual activities and relaxation, a private dock, a variety of lodging options, and access to beautiful running trails.


The retreat will officially begin Friday afternoon, August 25th. Saturday and Sunday will be very full days from sunup to sundown. The retreat will conclude with a half day on Monday, August 28th. The detailed schedule will be released to accepted applicants in plenty of time to plan travel.


This is a retreat for runners who write and writers who run, capped at around 50 participants. It is open to both men and women. The May retreat is a smaller, women’s only event for those more interested in that instead.


you will be physically able to run up to 8 miles, three days in a row. Pace isn’t important

you are interested in an immersive experience with very full days, mixing action, ease, togetherness, and solitude

you are excited to dive into the empty page with an open mind, and create

you like the idea of contributing to a collective experience

you value discomfort and joy as pathways for learning and growing

you believe you never “grow up” but are always “growing up"

you enjoy exploring the outdoors in a variety of weather conditions

you love good nourishing food, fresh air, adventure, and the company of amazing women

you love the outdoors and exploring

you are comfortable in the humble accommodations of pacific northwest artists and creatives

you can take responsibility for yourself and the things that may come up for you in this work


you don't like to run

you have an inflexible training program that doesn't allow you to participate with the flow of the retreat

you don't like the idea of working in groups

you are primarily interested in publishing advice, or refining a particular piece of writing

what you really want is a four-day vacation to explore Bend or Sisters on your own, stay in a luxury hotel, and get lots of spa treatments (which we highly recommend on a future trip)

COST: $1650 - $2100

Price varies based on lodging options (included).

*There will be two scholarships available to cover a significant portion of lodging and retreat costs. Preference will be given to recent graduates and people working in social justice. The scholarship application is included within in the retreat application below.



We will use running in different ways, for different purposes. All paces and experience levels will be respected and encouraged. We'll experience beautiful, scenic trail runs in the wilderness, with footing ranging from smooth to technical. One day will include a more formally coached workout by Lauren Fleshman, with instruction on technique, mental strength, and core strength. Over the course of the weekend, each guest will also have an opportunity for one-on-one advice if desired.


This retreat features a new writing teacher, the incredible Jennifer Louden. We will explore writing in many forms. There will be full group sessions, smaller breakout groups, independent writing and reading time, and the opportunity for individual guidance with Jennifer on the work you're doing at the retreat. The emphasis will be on writing for potency, and removing the barriers that get in the way of our most powerful work.


No experience required! We are so fortunate to have the wit and wisdom of Susanna Spies at this retreat. She will teach us to use improv and comedy as a way to get out of our heads and into our bodies, opening up creative channels and having an amazing time learning not to take ourselves too seriously.  


Yoga, mindfulness practice, and meditation will be available throughout camp to enhance the experience, led by Erin Taylor, yoga for athletes pioneer and author of Hit Reset. There will be whole group sessions, optional sessions, and opportunities for individual guidance on how to enhance your home practice.


Caldera is a private venue that does not generally offer lodging to the public outside of their artist residency program, camps and specific events that share their creative mission. The spaces are designed to be minimalistic, rustic, and clean, in synergy with the natural surroundings and suited to an artistic lifestyle. Wilder will have exclusive use of the entire property for the retreat, with three different lodging options for participants, all accessible on foot. Accepted applicants will get to choose between Sioux-style tipis, A-Frame loft Cabins (shared), and Tamarack Hall (private queen rooms with shared bathrooms) upon signing up, on a first come first serve basis, while space lasts.

Tipi Village:

Sioux-style tipis are on wooden platforms and equipped with cots. They are adjacent to an outdoor eating area, and bathhouse. Guests must bring their own (warm) sleeping bag and pillow. Capacity is 2-4 people per tipi.





Creekside A-Frame Cabins (18 total spots available):

These airy A-frame cabins are simple, clean, and perfectly suited to a communal Wilder retreat experience. Each one features a sleeping loft, living room/work area, kitchenette, bathroom with shower, wood stove, and a porch overlooking the creek. Standard cabin design includes two beds downstairs in the space that serves as a shared living space during the day, and two beds in the loft. Capacity is 2-4 guests per cabin.



Tamarack Hall (22 total spots available):

Designed to be a space for artists to have both private and communal space, Tamarack Hall features hotel-like accommodations with shared but private bathrooms, shared kitchenette, laundry facilities, and a central meeting room with a large fire place. There are 22 private bedrooms, each with one queen-sized bed.






We will provide nourishing meals to fuel your body and soul throughout the retreat from the start on Friday afternoon through our final session Monday morning. This includes:


Day 1, Friday: afternoon appetizers and dinner

Day 2, Saturday: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3, Sunday: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4, Monday: light breakfast and brunch


*We will be able to accommodate vegans and provide gluten and dairy free options. Those with severe food restrictions may need to make their own meal arrangements. Let us know and we'll do what we can to help you find what you need.

*We will also have a variety of snacks available throughout the retreat, and guests are welcome to bring whatever special food items they would like onsite.



Transportation to all off-site running adventures will be provided to and from the retreat site. Participants will need to make their own arrangements for transportation to and from airports to Caldera on Friday and Monday.



The backyard of the retreat site is Blue Lake, and there will be stand up paddle boards and other toys to enjoy, as well as places to sit back and watch people and wildlife enjoy the water. The trails through burn forest and volcanic cinder are beautiful for hiking or finding a quiet space to relax.


It's gonna be good.



The retreat does not include travel to and from Caldera Arts from the airport on Friday and Monday. 

The Wilder Women's retreat in May is limited in size to 30 people. The Wilder Men's and Women's retreat in August is limited in size to 50 people. Up to 30% of spots will be selected by the retreat teachers from applicants in their personal communities who they feel will be additive to the overall experience, and 70% of spots will be reserved for the public. We are looking forward to reviewing your application! 

Application deadline 12/3/16 @ 11:59pm PST

if you have any questions, please contact

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