2017 WHOLEHEARTED Spring Retreat

Yahoo! It’s time for the Wholehearted Spring 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 April 15th. We will meet from 9am Saturday until 1-2pm on Sunday, April 16th (Easter Sunday, and also World Voice Day!)

  2. WHERE: We will gather on a beautiful private property on the northern end of Big Sur, approximately 45 minutes south of Carmel. Due to limitations in parking, we will ask for your transportation needs & preferences in your RSVP and then send you directions to the location. The forecast looks good! We will announce an alternate space if there is inclement weather.

  3. 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 friends, pets or new singers unless 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 definitely recommended!

  4. 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 and RSVP at the bottom of this page.

  5. 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 and 1 service or 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 6 car camping spaces that will be reserved first-come, first-served through the RSVP form below. Please 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 are a few indoor beds for those who cannot camp – contact Lisa to reserve one in advance.

There is an indoor toilet and plenty of water on the land, and we will set up a basic community kitchen. There is power on site. Bring your own solar shower if you want to shower.

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 light chances of showers.

This is a privileged opportunity on a beautiful, expansive private property. Our hosts have 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 limited AT&T & Verizon cell service at the site and no wifi. Service may not be reliable. Plan to take a luxurious vacation from your phone! There is a phone available for use if absolutely necessary.


There is limited parking on site. Carpooling is strongly encouraged! Some of you, especially those with low clearance vehicles, will need to park at a designated turnout and be shuttled to the site. We will make sure everyone’s needs are accommodated – let us know in the RSVP form.

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
  • Water bottle – there is water on site
  • Sunblock/ sun protection
  • Chorus folder
  • 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 and/or children are welcome with you, 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. If you’re comfortable peeing outside that’s encouraged.

vicki-murrayRetreat Schedule


8:30-9:30am – Shuttles, 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 – Solo auditions

2-3 – Wholehearted business meeting, open to all 

3-3:30 – HIGH singers sectional practice 

3:30-4 -MIDDLE HIGH & HIGH singers sectional practice

4-4:30 – ALL MIDDLE singers sectional practice 

4:30-5 – LOW & MIDDLE LOW singers sectional practice

5-5:30 – LOW singers sectional practice 

5:30-6:15 – Sing!

6:30-7:30 – Dinner

7:30pm till late – Campfire Singing & Shares


8:00-9:30 – Easter Morning Pancake Breakfast & Egg hunt

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

12:30-2 – Camp cleanup and breakdown


Your Name:


Accommodations Preference:
Tent CampingDome CampingCar Camping (6 available)Indoor bedDon't need accommodations

Will you be with us the whole time?
YesSaturday onlySunday only

If you are driving, please tell us about your vehicle:
I have a 4WD or AWD vehicleI have a low clearance vehicleOther

I can give a rideI need a rideI will drive alone

If you can offer a ride, how many people do you have room for, with their belongings?

Will you be bringing a guest?

If yes, please list their name. Please tell them to bring $25:

Have you signed up to contribute a food item AND a supply or service yet?
YesI will soon!I will bring $25 instead

Retreat payment (if you paid $250 for the season or are a monthly subscriber your fee is included):
I'm a subscriber or season donorI will bring $25I will Paypal $27 to lisa@thebirdsings.com

If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know:

Are you in need of any camping supplies to borrow?

Do you have an extra tent, sleeping pad or other camping equipment you can lend?

Anything else for us to know?