2017 WHOLEHEARTED Fall Retreat

Yahoo! It’s time for our seasonal Wholehearted Retreat in Big Sur. I hope each one of you will join us for this very nourishing & awesome experience.

Here’s everything you need to know.

  1. WHEN: Our wonderful campout event begins early on Saturday morning October 14th. We will meet from 9am Saturday until 2pm on Sunday, October 15th.

  2. WHERE: We will gather on a beautiful private property just north of Esalen Institute in Big Sur, approximately 60 minutes south of Carmel.

    54540 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920

    GPS does not work in Big Sur! Do not rely on your phone to get here, however directions are simple.

    From Rio Rd. in Carmel you will drive approximately 1 hour south on Highway One in Big Sur. You will pass by all the main restaurants and parks in Big Sur and the bridge will be open for unobstructed access south. After you pass Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, you will go a few more miles and the property is on the right – it will be marked with balloons and the address is marked on the gate.  If you reach Esalen you have gone a little too far. Come down the driveway to the left and we will help guide you to parking. Early arrival highly encouraged.

  1. Everyone must RSVP for this event in advance. This event is for current, regular singers in the Wholehearted Chorus and their partners and/or children. No pets please. New singers are welcome if they are ready to join us for the rest of the season and concerts. You may come for part of the time if you can’t be there for the full event, although staying for the full time is very highly recommended.

  2. COST: If you are a season dues payer or subscriber, it’s free. Otherwise please bring $25 cash or check to contribute ($20 for Saturday only, $10 Sunday only), in addition to your food, supply & service contributions.

    Sign up for your contributions below and RSVP at the bottom of this page.

  3. This is a do-it-ourselves event. Everyone is asked to contribute one food item AND a needed supply or service to the weekend. If you don’t have time or capacity to contribute these things you can bring $25 instead.

Please sign up for 2 things:
1 food item + 1 service/ supply contribution here:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com



This is an outdoor camping event.  There is plenty of space for tent camping, as well as a large dome we will be using during the day for singing that can comfortably sleep several people. There are several car camping spaces that will be reserved first-come, first-served through the RSVP form below.

There is one bathroom on the property. It is a 5 minute walk from the car camping area. There is a shower but no hot water, so if you’d like to shower, bring your own solar shower bag.

Bring everything you need to be comfortable for the weekend. If you need support with supplies, many chorus members have extra camping gear you can borrow. Let us know in your RSVP. There may be neighboring Wholehearted members (within a 45 minute drive) willing to host non-campers in their homes. Please make your request in the RSVP.

There is plenty of water on the land and we will set up a basic, outdoor community kitchen. There is power on site. 

We will be meeting and singing outdoors. Bring what you need to stay comfortable, warm and dry in changing weather. Weather this time of year is typically warm during the day and chilly at night, with very slight chance of showers.

This is a privileged opportunity on a beautiful, expansive private property. Our host has generously extended their home to our group. Let’s do everything we can to leave the site in better shape than we find it.

There is little or no cell service or wifi at the site. Plan to take a luxurious vacation from your phone! There is a phone available for use if absolutely necessary.


Carpooling is strongly encouraged! Those who are not car camping will be asked to unload their belongings and then park their cars along the highway.

retreatThings to Bring:

  • Tent or car camping gear
  • Rain gear and warm layers for diverse temperature ranges
  • Your own plate, bowl, mug and silverware for the weekend. We will not provide these!
  • One food contribution AND one supply or service offering, OR bring $25. Sign up for these here.
  • Your own folding or camp chair if you have one. Extras welcomed!
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Water bottle – there is water on site
  • Sunblock/ sun protection
  • Chorus folder and lyrics
  • Instruments if you’d like to share songs around the campfire
  • Your own alcoholic beverages if you like
  • $25 cash contribution (or $20 Saturday only, $10 Sunday only) if you’re a drop-in singer


Can I come just for part of it?

Yes. Come for as much as you can.

The real value of this retreat is the good, rich, deep time spent with our singing community. Some of the best moments of the year come in the personal interactions between singing sessions, around the campfire or at the morning coffee station. It is highly recommended that you come for all of it if you can.

Can I come even if I’m not singing in the concerts?

If you are a subscriber, season dues-paying member or have been singing with us most weeks this season, you are very welcome and encouraged to join us, even if you can’t sing in the concerts. This is a community-building event designed for our regular chorus members. If you haven’t been to any classes yet and want to join this season that’s ok, but be prepared… we will be jumping into songs we’ve been learning over the months that most of our other singers have familiarity with. See the songs page and CDs are available to support your learning so you can get up to speed with us.

Can I bring my partner/ spouse / children?

Yes. Your partner, friend and/or children are welcome, so long as they understand we will be singing for much of the time and they are content to entertain themselves and be on their own. Guests are asked to contribute $25.

Can I bring my pet?

Sorry, no.

Are there bathrooms?

There is a comfortable indoor bathroom with toilet and sink. Guys, if you’re willing to water the trees that’s encouraged.

Retreat Schedule


8:30-9:30am – Arrival, camp set-up

10:00-12:30 – Opening, singing, surprises & group photo

12:30-1:30 – Finish camp setup, potluck lunch

1:30-2:30 – Solo auditions

2:30 – 3:30 –  HIGH & MIDDLE HIGH singers sectional practice (some with Lisa, some with chorus leadership)

3:30 – 4:30 – LOW & MIDDLE LOW singers sectional practice (some with Lisa, some with chorus leadership)

4:30 – 5:30 – WOMEN’S sectional practice

5:00 – 6:00 – MEN’S sectional practice

6:00 – 6:30 – Sing!

6:30-8:00 – Dinner

8pm till late – Campfire Singing & Shares


8:00-9:30 – Pancake Breakfast & Short Morning Gathering

9:30-12:30 – Sing! Concert run-through and closing circle

12:30-2 – Camp cleanup and breakdown