During the Wine Down in the Wilderness event this past weekend, 10 women gathered from across the region to share time together in nature, from seasoned naturalists to budding beginners. And in that time, something was established beyond new friendships.
The Wine Down in the Wilderness Ladies’ Retreat marked a milestone for Blue Ridge Discovery Center. This all-inclusive, weekend-long adult event, spurred by the acquisition of the new group campground and field station, was not only the first of its kind for BRDC, it was also a transitional point from being place-less to place-based. This is an exciting next step as we work toward renovations for the future residential education facility, the Center, which will have the capacity to host over 80 people for a wide breadth of events and experiences.
Wine Down in the Wilderness kicked off Friday evening with pizza, wine, dessert, and fellowship. Saturday began leisurely with some enjoying coffee and yoga outdoors while others skipped right to the freshly baked seasonal French toast. Forest bathing techniques prepared all senses for a saunter across Whitetop Mountain before participants refueled with a mountaintop picnic.
Saturday afternoon, local fiber artist Dawn Waters joined us for a needle felting workshop. One of Dawn’s pieces currently graces the cover of the Fiber Arts Now magazine. Through wisps of wool and needle points, participants engaged in one of the fundamental elements of both art and science: close observation. Where does the bee’s wing attach to its body? Which bird lays this speckled egg? Which oak tree produces this acorn? When surrounded by inquisitive minds, a plethora of books, and open conversation, you never know what you may learn.
The rest of the weekend offered more time for relaxation, book and idea sharing, and for enjoying locally-sourced food and drink.
All proceeds from the Wine Down event will be applied toward the Capital Campaign for the Center, which is a mere $200,000 away from our restoration fundraising goal. Visit our Capital Campaign Page to learn more and to make a contribution.