Many people who came to our Vermont workshops stayed for the entire week in  cottage rentals on Lake Champlain. We helped to find cottages that soon became filled with a blend of consultation groups, individuals, couples and families from around the world. Over the years, this experience of shared living by the lake has affectionately taken on the name, Narrative Camp.

The Spirit of Narrative Camp

Narrative Camp took advantage of our beautiful Vermont location with participants living side-by-side in cottage rentals on Thompson’s Point (Charlotte) on Lake Champlain. We strove to create rich learning experiences where participants can further develop skills in narrative approaches in collaboration with others while experiencing outdoor living, shared meals and lively conversation. Our scheduled program also allows space for restoration:  kayaking, hiking, cycling, swimming, sharing meals, yoga by lakeside watching naps, glorious sunsets and hanging out talking on lake-side verandas.

We welcomed intergenerational conversations. Everyone benefits from these inspiring exchanges that level the playing field, bringing together teachers and students, seasoned and early career voices. Together our participants shared a commitment to sustaining the future of narrative practice, and thereby document many of our lived-in experiences, ideas, knowledges and skills. Watch this brief youtube that captures the spirit of Narrative Camp 2017.

Voices from Across the Globe & Diverse Communities

Over the years, our participants in Narrative Camps have included narrative enthusiasts, practitioners and teachers from countries/continents around the world: Australia, Belgium India, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, Spain, – as well as from across Canada and the USA. We strive to create informal space to share and disseminate knowledge and practices, while simultaneously honoring the unique features of local culture and language.  Teleconferencing makes it possible for some people who cannot join us in person to still participate. This Youtube Video gives a glimpse at what we can co-create together from across the world in a Narrative Camp context.

At our first Narrative Educators Camp, Danielle Drake locates herself as a first generation African-American Californian. She describes being raised within a family of matriarchs, and how their wisdom has shaped her approach to teaching within the Creative Arts Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in Oakland, California.

Hear from the participants

Here are some of the reflections from our participants. You are welcome to share your experience here: … ?

“I was needing a catalyst to mix into my thinking to propel me forward in my ability to ask therapeutic questions. This workshop dropped the catalyst into my brain and opened new doors of thinking and language”

“This location is magnificent. I loved seeing old friends and meeting new people, being reminded that narrative practice involves a distinct set of skills (in addition to a good attitude), and that these need to be practiced”

“I appreciated how “hands on” it was – the mix between seeing questions, witnessing a live interview and getting time to discuss and breakdown the intent behind asking questions. I appreciated that we were able to slow down the process of formulating questions, in a way I’d never done before”

“I loved how the workshop challenged my thinking about my work, getting me to ask new questions of myself and planted ideas about how to strengthen my use of narrative ideas”

“I especially appreciated discussion of how narrative therapy is not only cognitive but a “celebration of the heart and mind”

“Attending narrative camp in Vermont this summer was my first professional experience with narrative practices. Since being introduced to the tenants of narrative therapy, I’ve been trying to identify why I felt so completely different at a narrative workshop compared to other trainings in more “conventional” modalities. Not only did it feel different professionally, but I was able to be present in an unusually authentic way, personally. As a person with ample lived experience, I am generally afraid of being “found out” by colleagues, which is a fear that has only grown as my career progresses. I felt so different at the narrative workshop. The energy was different, the people were different. Most notably, I didn’t feel like an imposter and I didn’t feel hot shame smoldering in the background. As a clinician with lived experience, I always feel I need to subordinate one identity (professional) over another (sick person) in frameworks that focus on pathology. Either health wins or illness wins, but there is often not space for a more complex and nuanced narrative. Consequently, the sense of internal fragmentation with which I always contend becomes thicker and more alienating. The energy required to present well becomes an ever increasing tax demanded to inhabit professionalism, a tax I’m terrified I won’t be able to pay on any given week”

“I especially enjoyed having lots of practice time with the permission and encouragement to stop, check in with each other, try again and play. How another training could measure up to this, I’m not sure. the place, people and format were perfect. This is just what I needed!”

“The gathering was wonderful, start to finish. It is especially heartening to see  a bright and dedicated younger generation coming along”

“A thoroughly delicious stay in the Vermont wonderland. I left the camp buzzing with new thoughts and passion for the work. Thank you for all you have given to us. A heart filled with gratitude”

Narrative Camp Photos

Narrative Camp 2016

Spending a week together gives lots of opportunities for shared experiences.

People from different countries share cottages, which we give names like The Russian House or The India House.

We cook and then eat meals together.

Kayaking anyone?

Morning Yoga by Lakeside

Jay-Bobbi-

Evening Communal dinners and Conversations at The Red House

Weather permitting, we experience some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. Every night is different!