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Camp Hollis To Host ‘Relaxation, Reflection And Writing’ Workshop

OSWEGO TOWN, NY – Calling all writers!

Give yourself the gift of time.

A cluster of writers has scheduled an event at Camp Hollis on the Lake Ontario shore in Oswego Town for Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will be hosted by Mary Slimmer and Jim Farfaglia.

The facilitator will be June MacArthur, the guest writer.

The “Relaxation, Reflection and Writing” workshop will give participants the time to express themselves through one or more of the following:

  • Finishing a poem
  • Working on that book
  • Composing a letter to that special someone
  • Capturing the beauty of Lake Ontario
  • Persuading others to consider different views
  • Learning from each other as we share
  • And – learning something new from our guest writer

Participants are asked to bring a light lunch and a small item that fits into your pocket.

They may be asked to write about it. Or, it may be passed to someone else to write about it.

RSVP at 343-4404 by Sept. 27. Leave a message with your name and phone number. Checks for $25 should be made out to Clearpath Life Coaching to cover the cost of the guest, use of the building, beverages, cookies and other materials.

Participants should wear appropriate clothes.

Slimmer a former elementary school principal and Farfaglia, director of Camp Hollis, were sitting outside at the camp the other day discussing plans for the event with Oswego County Today.com

“Jim and I have been friends for a long time and we were at a function together. The conversation evolved into writing,” she said.

“It was sort of a creative arts function,” he explained. “Somehow we’d gotten on the top of writing.”

“Yes, we did and I said, ‘I write poetry’ and you said, ‘I write poetry, too,’” Slimmer recalled. “I was surprised to find out that Jim loved to write poetry like I do.”

He hasn’t shared any, she politely chided her chum.

“I’ll do my best – at the event,” he acquiesced.

At the previous event, she had told him that Camp Hollis would be a beautiful for people to write in.

“I had always thought about doing a workshop for teachers or kids here,” the former principal said. “And, then Jim said, ‘why don’t we do it?’ And, so that is how this all started. Both of us are really on task.”

“When Mary says she will do something, I always know that she will follow through, Farfaglia said. “I try to do that as well.”

“Once I knew we were both interested, I knew this was going to happen, he continued, jokingly adding, “Even if we’re the only two that are going to show up.”

“We are inviting people to come to Camp Hollis and we’re giving them time to go anywhere they want to find a place to sit, mediate and write,” Slimmer explained. “It doesn’t have to be poetry. You can write a letter or whatever you want.”

“I loved how Jim said it the other day. He said he had such a hunger for writing and reading,” she said.

“I would venture to say that we are hungry for that because of technology and our busy lives,” he said. “We all are looking for a place to slow down and reflect – have some time for ourselves. To have some time to reflect, I don’t think we give ourselves enough time to do that.”

Mary came up with the title of the workshop, he added.

“I don’t remember that,” she said.

“Well you threw out some names that I liked. You came up with them and I kind of gave you some feedback,” he replied.

The organizers hope the weather cooperates.

“The nice thing about the camp is if there is terrible weather we can go inside one of the buildings (with windows) or the pavilion where you could still get a feel for the camp, Farfaglia noted.

They are going to do a survey to see if all age groups can handle what they’d like to do during the workshop, Slimmer explained.

“We want people to come who are serious about listening, learning and writing,” she said. “We hope to have high school age and up; not just ‘old’ people.”

“We really don’t like to put an age on it. Because if there is a young person that has a passion then they are more than welcome to take part,” Farfaglia said.

It does involve sitting and listening for long periods of time, he added.

“Some of it will be workshop style. It’s not going to be free writing the whole day,” he explained. “The participants will have to take some time where they are sitting and engaging in conversation.”

Youngsters do have a lot of talent, the camp director said.

Camp Hollis had mini camp for 13 and 14 year olds. One of the projects was creative writing.

“Those kids wrote some poems and short stories that just blew me away. It’s just amazing how talented they are,” he said. “They actually sat down on the lake shore to write. And, I thought what a great experience.”

During part of the workshop, they will ask people to share their favorite poem word or their favorite word when they’re writing; like for instance loquacious, Slimmer said.

“I think that would be great. I know I’d like to build my vocabulary, and I think other people do, too,” she said.

“Mary and I are sponsoring this event separate from my job here as camp director,” Farfaglia explained. “We paid a fee to use the camp, just like any other group would. The small registration fee will be used to help pay for use of the facility and the guest writer.”

For more information, call 343-4404.