Sanctuary, Retreat and Wellness


There’s a reason there are so many camps in our surrounding area. But the natural beauty and peacefulness is not just for kids. This area boasts a number of sanctuaries and retreats. They offer a variety of interests and specialties. Here are some of my favorites:

The Lodge at Woodloch is a nationally recognized award-winning destination spa resort that features treatments, classes, activities and speakers whose intention is to rejuvenate and alleviate stress.

The Highlights Foundation is a retreat center in Rileyville that offers an idyllic setting to foster creativity in writers. The serenity of the location combined with modern conveniences and fresh, farm-style meals make this a distinctive experience.

The Himalayan Institute
in Bethany is an education center as well as a retreat facility. The Institute itself is dedicated to education and humanitarian efforts. They also offer excursions unlike any other. Because of their humanitarian efforts they support communities around the world. You can visit these locations, contribute with hands-on activities and have an authentic cultural exchange.


The Sanctuary Heal is a new retreat center in Calicoon, NY, part of our Pocono / Catskill mountain sisterhood.  The Sanctuary is under the direction of Gil Gauthereau. Originally from France, Gil arrived in the States eleven years ago. Six years ago he began his own quest for spiritual awakening by traveling through India and Nepal and studying with Mother Theresa’s Sisters of Charity.   The Sanctuary Heal offers alternative healing opportunities.

I have been living in this area for fourteen years but I first visited over forty years ago (yes, when I was very young).  And from the start there was something magical about this area that spoke to my creative spirit. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there are so many camps, retreats, sanctuaries and wellness offerings. There is an energy that permeates the very air we breathe. I bought a kayak so that I can put-in on the Delaware in the afternoon, long past the rentals, and experience the river as those one hundred or even two hundred years ago. I love the untouched, unchanged natural setting that boasts eagles, otters, eels. Yes, there have been some developments but not as much as other areas so close to New York and Philadelphia metros. We are fortunate to be the caretakers and hosts to others visiting our pristine corner of the world. How lovely to simply walk out your door to enjoy what others pay a fair amount to experience. Does it speak to you? Does it inspire you? If not, I suggest you go back inside and come out again…


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