Rocky Mountain Retreat

From Paula . . . (sounds like a great time!!)

Save the Date
2008 Rocky Mountain Retreat for LDS Women,
May 30th – June 1, 2008
Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies

Featured speaker: Claudia Bushman
More details and registration info coming mid-February

An announcement for Mormon “women of good will” who’d like to spend a weekend in the Colorado Rockies, eating, talking and meeting others.

(This is a recycle of last year’s post about the retreat.) 15 years ago, a group of LDS women in the Denver area started a group that came to be called the DAM Women. The name has nothing to do with the current DAMU community. It stands for Denver Area Mormon Women. It is a group of friends, who, in those pre-internet days, used to get together to discuss various church issues. ( Yeah, I know the internet existed 15 years ago, but most of us weren’t cool enough to have modems.) We also decided that we needed to have our own retreat, like unto the Exponent II retreat, and the Midwestern Pilgrimage. So, we started one. This year will be our fifteenth year. And, if you’re a mormon female, you’re invited.

A little background about the retreat– While it’s similar to the Exponent II retreat, we have no official connection to Exponent II. And, fairly obviously, we have no official affilation with the LDS church either. I have a very warm spot in my heart for the retreat, since I was one of the “founding mothers”. It was mostly started out of frustration, in those pre-internet days because we’d keep hearing about things going on in Utah, such as Chieko Okazaki’s talks, or we’d hear about cool things going on in Boston, but nothing much was going on in Denver. We also needed a way to meet other women who “didn’t fit in” to traditional Mormonism. A friend told me about the amazing Snow Mountain Ranch* and it turned out to be a perfect place for us. We stay in two large cabins, with flush toilets, running water, and real beds. Attendance ranges from about 35 to about 60. Age ranges from about 18 to about 80. Typically about 1/3 of the women there have attended every year, another 1/3 have attended most of the time, and another third will be new or newish. We try to be very friendly, and usually we succeed. As far as religious affiliation, we really run the gamut from folks who are still very active, to folks who haven’t been to any church in years, yet come to the retreat every year. We ask that if you have axes to grind, you grind them with consideration to the feelings of others, be they conservative, liberal or whatever. A few people have been critical of us for having speakers and planned activities, rather than just a big group discussion, but we feel it’s better to have some organization, and we do have lots of time for free discussion, and plenty of interesting women to discuss it with. We’ve also been criticized for not being activist, but that really wasn’t the intent either. The intent was to meet other women, to talk about the kinds of things we can’t normally discuss at church, and to bring in interesting people from outside the Denver area.

In the past, we have made classic Relief Society glass grapes, and, another year, tampon angels. We’ve watched Trapped by the Mormons, and New York Doll. Past speakers have included Barbara B. Smith, Chieko Okazaki, Aileen Clyde, Linda Hofmann Kimball, Elouise Bell, Dorothy Solomon Allred, Marjorie Condor, Cherry Silver, Peggy Fletcher Stack, Robert Kirby (the first man ever allowed), Emily Watts, Kathy Stokes, and Fred and Marilyn Matis.

I don’t know for sure what Dr. Bushman will talk about. We’ll have a potluck and opening activities on Friday night, and featured speakers on Saturday morning and evening. Saturday afternoon is a trip to the hot tubs at Hot Sulphur Springs. Sunday morning is Quaker meeting. We’re always very happy to have new women come, so let me know if you’re interested at


Deborah is K-12 educator who nurtures a healthy interest in reading, writing, running, ethics, mystics, and interfaith dialogue.

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  1. amelia says:

    i went last year. it was wonderful. if you can make it, you should.

  2. Paula says:

    I realized that I left out at least two speakers– Margaret Young, and Lisa Butterworth.

    And we have a new website: .

  3. Paula says:

    I need to clarify my last comment here. Lisa and Margaret were past speakers that I managed to leave out. Not speakers this year.

  4. Jessawhy says:

    A few of us from AZ are planning on carpooling up for the weekend.
    We’re excited to attend.
    I just had a few questions.
    What time on Friday is the potluck/opening activities?
    The trip to the Hot Springs sounds fun. Is there an extra fee for that?
    Also, any advice for newcomers?
    Thanks for organizing this.

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