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a creativity retreat center

New Books

for the love of books

ARC Reading Retreat
September 1 - 4

for independent booksellers & influencers

Outdoor Reading

An all-inclusive
so you can read

With others as you split up the ARC list and enjoy each other's company over group meals.

co-sponsored by:

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Camp Wonder Wander engages people in wonderlost + wanderlust.

You'll spend a long weekend in this retreat with a dose of nature and plenty of spots to find a comfortable place to read. With the waning full moon from August 31, the evenings will be conducive to your restful experience.

Meals are included. While breakfasts and lunch will be available continental style including fresh farm eggs, your retreat host will prepare the group meals each evening.


for a hearty evening meal and socializing with other retreat attendees.

After the continental breakfast on Saturday, you'll get a brief tour of the property including introductions to the donkeys and a shortened version of a guided Forest Therapy walk with your host, certified as a guide by ANFT.

Take the rest of the day to dive into the pages on your list. You can find numerous cozy places for reading including hammocks (weather permitting) or take a chair and head to the river.

Saturday evening we'll reconvene for group dinner where you can share your progress and insights with others. The chance to divide and conquer this important role in your business can also be a priceless experience connecting with others.

SUNDAY is on your own as you gain rhythm and connect to the land. Take a break to visit the donkeys, drink your tea, or meander on a trail. Reconvene for the final group dinner and another session of sharing.

Depart on Monday afternoon (only continental breakfast available).

You can book additional days if you would like to extend your retreat.


star-gazing in one of the best spots in the state of Tennessee

forest therapy guided walk info

What is Forest Therapy?
This guided nature immersion walk is inspired by "Forest Bathing" or "shinrin-yoku" developed in Japan in the 80s when the government recognized an increase in health problems brought about by the intensity and demands of the massive shift into an urban work environment. They conducted much research and through focus groups found significant benefits when spending time in forests and natural surroundings. They discovered that trees emit Phytonocides which benefit humans by increasing NK cells. It makes sense to realize that humans are not intended to live in so much constructed environments with artificial lighting and that being in nature is extremely beneficial.


What does this mean? What does this look like? How does this work? Your host Val is a certified guide and the Forest is the therapist. Each experience is unique to the individual. This is a slow walk without internet or phone distractions where you will be given invitations that emphasizes sensory interaction with the surroundings.

In your regular life, when would you have time to gaze at plants or insects, make a slow wander with no destination in mind, and stop in adoration of colors or more?

The walk is gentle and our shortened version will take approximately 1 hour. This will be your introduction to the land and the camp experience. Camp Wonder Wander is located in the rural rolling foothills of Appalachia in a part of Tennessee called the Western Highland Rim, the camp is about 20 minute drive to the small town of Hohenwald - German for "High Forest".


Book your favorite room knowing that most often the group can meet in the Lemon Lodge, but all lodging options have uniquely designed living rooms, dining areas, and kitchens.

Private Single room / Full bed / shared bath
Private Single or Double room / King & Twin / ensuite

(cats live in the common area here and you should not be remotely allergic to stay in this accommodation).
Private Single room / Queen bed / shared bath
Private Single or Double room / Queen & Twin / ensuite

Private Single Room / twin bed / shared bath (TWO)
Private Single or Double room / Full & Twin / ensuite

Book Now

Maximum of 9 participants including Angela Redden of Reading Rock Books in Dickson, TN.

Please note that this is a non-refundable, no cancellation event and each participant must acquire their own travel insurance that should also cover illnesses that may prevent your participation at the last minute.


We will confirm your registration interest and send you an invoice. Registration is not completed until payment received.

Can't make it this year, but interested in coordinating your own reading or book retreat?
continue below:











Do you have friends, followers, or customers that are Bookworms, Bibliophiles, History Buffs, Librarians, Educators, or have interest in Book Arts?

Do you want to expand your book club by reading books about books, or join such a group?

Are you interested in learning more about book history, book-binding, and how to transform your writing or other stories such as travel experiences into a one-of-a-kind designed book?

Your host and workshop presenter, Val, is a former tenured Graphic Design Professor who shares your love of books. This retreat is based off of a seminar course she designed called "Books, the life and love of:".  As a bibliophile interested in the development of the alphabet, writing, printing, and more aspects of the object of the book she has created a set of activities in order for all participants to share our love of books with other passionate book enthusiasts in a book club style getaway.

Choose from Val's long list of more than 30 books about books for participants to read prior to arrival so we can have a fun book club discussion during our first group dinner. On Saturday, you'll dabble in a bit of historical discovery as Val shares her love of book design and her knowledge of the topic from a graphic design historical perspective. Throughout the day, she'll walk you thru various exercises and craft including: Experience Mapping, Collage, Cyanotype, and other basic graphic design concepts combined with storytelling and visual narrative. By the end of the weekend, you will craft your own small book completed with a Japanese binding stitch filled with your musings, drawings, collage, or other discoveries you've translated into print form from your weekend exploring in the nearby flora and fauna.

Before you depart, you'll experience a guided Forest Therapy walk to enhance your nature immersion and retreat reboot before heading back to the regular world.

Why Val ?

Val's philosophy of being a wonder wanderer and getting lost is the epitome of what happens in our relationship with books. In her youth, Val was an avid reader and as adulthood bears more responsibilities reading sometimes has more purposes than pure entertainment while her choices of material evolved. As a graphic designer, Val is obsessed with book covers and good design in general so wandering into bookstores to look at all the delights is always fun and inspiring. She's admittedly a bibliophile.

At the University where she was teaching prior to starting Camp Wonder Wander creativity retreat center and workshops, the general education program was asking faculty to submit course proposals for seniors in any major to take a seminar that covered the 5 subjects – history, literature and philosophy, aesthetics, science, and human behavior - in some capacity with an overarching theme. '


After much contemplation and brainstorming, Val had an a-ha moment - BOOKS!


You see as she became immersed in design education and teaching graphic design history, books not only became something to read, but artifacts of culture, evidence of historical changes in design, and more. Her passion for books grew enormously and she developed a list which has expanded beyond the initial 24 books about books for her students to read and she read them too. Her proposal was met with rave reviews by all of her colleagues and teaching it brought much joy in seeing students who admittedly never read a book (and graduating from college), or those who didn't think they were creative able to present their reading in an innovative way, or those learning about literacy discovering Malala's story and also book censorship for the first time.

Val is passionate about everything BOOKS: book culture, book design, reading, visiting libraries and bookstores, discovering historic archives, teaching about the history of the book and history of writing, and making her own visual narrative books.


She wants to share her knowledge and passion for this material with you! Contact now to coordinate a book retreat weekend for your group - friends, followers, customers, book club participants.

Contact Val for more info on book retreats
What season?

Thank you for your inquiry. Val will be in touch soon.

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