General Information 2023
Details to help you prepare
Opening and Closing Times
Open: 12:00 p.m. Friday
Close: 4:00 p.m. Monday
Please respect opening and closing times.
Getting to Black Oak Ranch
50350 N. Hwy 101, Laytonville, CA 95454
From the South:
~ Take Hwy 101 North to the town of Laytonville, in Mendocino County, about 45 miles north of Ukiah and 28 miles north of Willits.
~ Five miles north of Laytonville, at Mile Marker 74.3 turn left onto a long dirt pull-out and look for the WELCOME NCWHS signs. The address number 50350 is tacked onto a post here.
*Remember, this is a left turn off Hwy 101 across traffic, which is usually moving fast in both directions. Be sure to signal your turn and start slowing down plenty early.
~ Take the dirt road down to the bridge, cross it and veer to the left and follow the NCWHS signs to the back part of the property. Watch for the left turn into the parking area and registration (it can sneak up).
From the North:
~ Take Hwy 101 forty-five miles south of Garberville (in Mendocino County) and about twenty-five miles south of Smith's Redwood State Reserve.
~ 2.9 miles south of Rattlesnake Summit, at Mile Marker 74.3 make a sharp right turn onto the long dirt pull-out and look for the WELCOME NCWHS signs.
The address number 50270 is tacked onto a post here.
*Remember that you are making a turn off Hwy 101 and traffic is usually moving fast. Be sure to signal your turn and start slowing down plenty early.
~ Take the dirt road down to the bridge, cross it and veer to the left. Follow the NCWHS signs to the back part of the property. Watch for the left turn into the parking area and registration (it can sneak up).
Black Oak Ranch
We will gather again at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California, in Mendocino County, about 150 miles north of San Francisco. This ranch is home to Camp Winnarainbow, a theater arts and circus summer camp for children.
It is well shaded by majestic Black Oaks and Doug Firs and has two wonderful creeks that we can dip into.
The main meeting area is surrounded by eighteen tipis, most are available for sleeping ten on a first-come, first-serve basis. The tipis are centrally located but are neither quiet nor private.
Due to health department regulations the drinking water in camp is chlorinated. Three water filters will be available for everyone's use at any time.
Please share rides.
Good for the Earth, for Everyone and Everything.
Please go here to hook up with someone:
Thank you for doing your part!
What to Bring
We will camp together among the native oaks and firs.
Be prepared for weather of all types including warm and hot days, cool or cold nights, and even rain.
14 Tipis are available for sleeping 10 campers, dormitory-style, first come first serve, sleeping pads are available, bedding is needed. If you would like to sleep in a tipi just find an empty spot and mat and place your gear there to indicate to others that that spot and mat are taken.
Or bring you own tent. There are many choices of where to set up a tent. Feel free to take one piece of your gear with you as you check out all the camping choices. When you find the spot you want put your one piece of gear there to indicate that spot is taken and then go back and fetch the rest of your gear.
Vehicle camping is permitted. If you would like to use the designated area ask the parking greeter to direct you when you arrive.
~ Tent (unless you sleep in a tipi, or out under the stars, or in a vehicle)
~ Warm sleeping gear (it can get quite chilly at night)
~ Clothes for warm and cool weather (it can get hot in the day and cold at night)
~ Personal items
~ Personal eating dishes & utensils such as: plate, bowl, cup, silverware, chopsticks, etc. These are not provided.
~ Water bottle
~ Note-pad & pen/pencil for taking notes
~ Sun protection
~ Time piece (such as a sun dial, watch, or cell phone)
~ Rain gear
~ Good juju
~ Musical instruments (though hardly optional, wouldn’t ya say…)
~ Blanket for sitting on the ground
~ Camp chair
~ Playful clothing
~ Ceremonial clothing for the Sunday evening rituals
~ Altar items for the Venus Altar
~ Money or trading items to spend at Marketplace or in Sophia's Heritage Bookstore
~ Snacks (none are provided)
Label Everything: This is camp. Things can get mixed up among so many lively campers!
Do Not Bring
~ Candles or burning flames of any kind (fire danger is high)
None of these items are permitted anywhere in camp for any reason, including in the parking and vehicle camping areas. Thank-you for respecting this.
When you arrive please check-in at the Registration Table. Here you will receive a Schedule of Events and sign-up for your Community Work shift (see below). If you pre-ordered a Proceedings of the Symposium book you will receive it here.
T-shirts and Proceedings Books will also be available for sale here.
Participants are asked to volunteer two hours of time to help ensure the smooth running of all aspects of NCWHS. These hours may be spent in the kitchen, serving food, in child care, or in the First Aid/Wellness Center. This is a fun way to meet your fellow campers while being a part of making it all happen. Thank-you for your participation. There will be a sign-up board at registration when you arrive. Women who are not well enough to work and nursing Mamas are exempt.
Trash & Recyclables
Please don't leave us yours! If you pack it in, pack it out. Any trash or recyclables left behind must be hauled out by one of us in the back of our pick-up trucks - and we have plenty to haul out already. So, please, if you pack it in, pack it out. This also includes moon-time products. If you use disposable products, come prepared to carry them off-site for your own disposal.
Nine gourmet vegetarian meals will be served, beginning with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Monday. Delicious hot herbal teas will be available each morning and evening, prepared by Julie Rothman of Flower Power Teas and her team. Coffee will not be provided, bring your own if desired (hot water will be available). There will be a small coffee cart in the kitchen area with coffee, chai, and golden milk for sale. No snack foods will be provided, bring your own if desired.
Hot showers are always available, hot water is limited. If you use the showers please be conservative with water use and use only bio-degradable soap and shampoo. Only Fragrance-Free soaps and shampoos permitted. NO glass in the shower houses for any reason.
Children, Childcare, Mid Kid Classes
A beautiful Inspired childcare will be available for potty-trained children during workshop times.
Please read the Childcare attachment for important information about childcare and children at NCWHS.
Bring your child's favorite snacks.
Mid Kids: Some very special classes will be offered just for Mid Kids, people ages 7-11.
First Aid • Bodywork Circle • Crone Corner
This is a warm and nurturing area for herbal first aid, bodywork, and many forms of healing work. It is also home to Crone Corner, where the Wise Ones gather. All are welcome to use this space to offer or receive any form of healing exchange.
On Sunday afternoon, anyone is invited to offer their hand-made goods for trade or sale. We will spend the afternoon shopping, selling, trading. chatting, visiting, telling stories, sharing music ... just like the Marketplaces of old. This is a special thyme to honor our own and each other's art and handwork. All items must be hand-made by registered participants only. We are strict about this. Seller’s fee is on a donation basis and is greatly appreciated. 10% of sales is recommended and appreciated. If you have not already done so, please let us know if you will be bringing items for the Marketplace.
Please carefully read the Marketplace attachment if you plan to sell anything at Marketplace.
Since Black Oak doesn’t have an herb garden, Crimson-Sage Nursery will kindly provide many potted medicinal plants to create an Insta-Garden for our educational benefit. On the last day most of these plants will be available for sale or trade. If you have any potted medicinal plants to add to our Insta-Garden, please bring them along. Be sure to label everything with both the plant’s name and your own.
Sophia's Heritage Bookstore
Check out our pick of the best in herbal literature at this 'no-host' self-serve bookstore. Browse at your leisure and leave payment in the can if you would like to purchase something.
Help the Scholarship fund! On Saturday night we will raffle lots of cool donated items to raise money for our Scholarship fund. If you have any great items that you would like to donate, please bring them with you and place them on the raffle table near the Organizer's tipi. All quality items will be gratefully accepted and appreciated. Raffle tickets will be for sale for $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. On behalf of all the Scholarship recipients,
Special Workshops and Events
Intensives: Four-hour Intensives will be offered, each devoted to one subject of study.
Mid-Kids: Some very special classes will be offered just for Mid Kids, people ages 7-11.
Crones: There will be plenty of Cronetime through-out the weekend. We welcome all Crones' participation in these special Crone Circles and encourage the wearing of bells, so that everyone will know a Wise Crone approaches! Crones, feel free to bring something to place on the Crone altar and Ceremonial Clothing for the Sunday night Ceremony if you wish.
On Sunday evening we will hold three Ceremonies, honoring the Three Phase of a Woman’s Life. Everyone is Welcomed and encouraged to attend. When you hear the drums calling and see the Crones sweeping through camp make your way to the front of the Wellness Tent.
Wear Ceremonial Clothing and bring High Spirits for this magical evening!
Get dressed up Grrlz! It’s Ceremony time!
Maiden's Rites of Passage Ceremony
We will begin by welcoming our newly bleeding young women into the Sacred Circle of Women. Any bleeding young woman interested in participating will be asked to join Terri and the others in the Moon Hut Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. to prepare. Young women are welcome to go through this Ceremony any year they feel ready, whether it is the year of the first blood or not. There is no hurry or time restrictions. They will live as women the rest of their lives, so it is fine to linger in childhood a bit longer if they’d like. Facilitated by High Priestess Terri.
Mother Honoring Ceremony
Following the Maiden Ceremony we will honor those women in the Mother phase, the bleeding years, whether she has birthed a physical child or not. Those wanting to be in this Ceremony will be called out into the Sacred Circle after the Maiden Ceremony. Facilitated by Priestess BethyKrow.
Crone Honoring Ceremony
Following the Mother Ceremony we will honor our Wise Crones, those who hold their Wise Blood within. Any Crone wanting to participate is invited to join the Crone Lunch on Saturday for preparations. Facilitated by Head Crone Linnie.
We are all teachers! This is a thyme set aside for anyone to offer a workshop, class, or discussion group on any topic of interest. There will be a sign-up sheet on the Rainbow Bridge. Open Forum is Saturday 2:00-3:30 p.m.
We have full intentions of holding camp rain or shine. However, in the event that we are forced to cancel before May 15th we will refund as much of the registration fee as possible, to be determined at that time. If it becomes necessary for us to cancel once camp has begun we will be unable to refund any registration fee.
If you cancel before May 1st we will refund your full registration fee minus a $50 processing fee. All refund requests must be in writing, no exceptions. Email is sufficient.
No refunds, transfers, or credits will be available after May 1st.
If you need to cancel after May 1st you are welcome to find your own replacement and work out the finances directly with her, just let us know her name and that she will be coming in your place.
12:00 p.m. Camp Opens
4:00-5:30 p.m. Class time 1
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Opening Circle
9:00 p.m. Star Gazing
7:00-8:00 a.m. Yoga
7:45-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-1:00 p.m. Intensive Workshop 1
9:00-10:30 a.m. Class time 2
11:00-12:30 p.m. Class time 3
1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:30 p.m. Open Forum
4:00-5:30 p.m. Class time 4
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Talent Show 'round the campfire
7:00 a.m. Yoga
7:45-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-1:00 p.m. Intensive Workshop 2
9:00-10:30 a.m. Class time 5
11:00-12:30 p.m. Class time 6
1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-4:30 p.m. Marketplace
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Maiden, Mother & Crone Rites of Passage Ceremony
8:30 p.m.-midnight Drumming & Dancing 'round the campfire
7:00 a.m. Yoga
7:45-9:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-1:00 p.m. Intensive Workshop 3
9:00-10:30 a.m. Class time 7
11:00-12:30 p.m. Class time 8
1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. Closing Circle
4:00 p.m. Camp Closes
Five to six classes will be offered during each class time.
One to two Intensives will be offered during each Intensive time.
We are so happy that you will be joining us on this empowering and nurturing journey as we carry-on the ancient tradition of womyn sharing plant wisdom with each other.
This gathering nourishes and strengthens us in a way that nothing else does.
We look forward to seeing you there!
All Our Love,
The NCWHS Team