UPDATE (5/10/09) Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2009 (Final Decision!)

WonderMike's picture

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2009 - THE FINAL DECISION!

After careful deliberation on the pros and cons of each site, along with the public/private messages from all of you, we have decided on the Dumas Bay Centre for Labor Day Weekend. I know that several of you cannot make this date and I'm very torn about it, but I think DBC is our best bet in terms of interest and number of attendees.

Here's the fee price breakdown per person (assuming 17 attendees):

$257 - Private room for 4 days/3 nights (Thurs-Sun). All meals and linens included.
$33 - Admin Fee (this compensates Brian and myself for our planning and execution time)
$12.00 - Printing Fees (Handouts for classes... last year I grossly underestimated this cost...)
$9.50 - Men's Knitting Retreat fee (this helps maintain the website and our group liability insurance)
$9.50 - PayPal Fees (this is 3% of the total cost and is charged when you transfer money via PayPal)
$5.00 - Teaching stipend (this year we are offering $20 stipend for instructors/per class)
$2.00 - Supplies (binders, paper, pens, etc)
$1.50 - Name badges

In order to save headaches and PayPal charges, I’m going to ask that everyone who has confirmed thus far, to pay me by May 29th. We need 12 people to reserve the space, therefore we need 12 paying people to make the reservation. We can add people to the list after May 29th and you can pay at that later date, BUT, if we don’t have at least 12 folks by May 29th, we cannot reserve Dumas Bay.

Make Sense?

Check-In Time is 3pm (9/3 OR 9/4), Check-Out Time is 11am (9/6)
There is a 90 Day Contract Signing Deadline (which is coming up @ 6/3 or 6/4) ***
There will be ABSOLUTELY no refunds, once we reach the 30 Day mark (8/3)
Shuttles service recommended is: Shuttle Express
I’m getting a number for taxi service from City of Federal Way to SeaTac…

I know this is more than we paid last year, but the consensus was that we'd like to pay more for better sleeping arrangements and Dumas Bay is head and shoulders above the YMCA. I've also included a fee for Brian's and my time in planning and execution. It's a lot of work to get all these plates spinning so I hope you think this is fair and doable.

What we need now is a firm commitment from all those people who want to attend. I'll have a timeline for deposits in the next day or so, but the bottom line is that we need 12 people per day and we need 50% deposit to hold the dates. If we don't have enough people for Thursday, then the we'll be doing Friday-Sunday. This will bring the price down by about $84 dollars.

Please reply **AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE** to this thread (so that everyone can see who's coming) but also, please Personal Mail me with your contact information: Name, Email, Phone Number

I think that's it. I'm soooooo excited about this event!!

Take care,


Hallo Gents,

Checking back in with two more potential locations that I believe would be great:

1. The first site is Ralston White Retreat located in Mill Valley, CA (just north of SF). They are NOT available the weekend of Labor Day but they do have openings the weekend before Labor Day and the weekend after. This will be the option that folks who are not free on Labor Day weekend would prefer. If you click out to the site, you'll see that the grounds are very handsome and it is located not too far away from where we were in 2008. You can see photos here. If we do a three night retreat with meals, the minimum attendees for such a retreat is 15. If we only stay two nights on the weekend their minimum is 20 (this could be a problem for us, but....). They are quite famous for their food service and charge $117.50 per person, per night, on weekends (Fri and Sat). This includes overnight and three meals, as well as coffee tea service all day. All linens are included as well. They have no bunk beds, but do have various rooms that are private and semi-private (two twins) rooms. They have a floor plan online here.

2. The second retreat site is the Shalom Institute which is 135 acres of breathtaking wilderness & woodlands. The Institute is located in the scenic Malibu Mountains and is miles from the beach and 45 minutes from Los Angeles. Hiking trails, sweeping panoramic views, waterfalls, and oak and sycamore covered terrain make the Institute a favorite site. They are available for our group on the following dates: August 28-30 & September 18-20. Minimum attendance numbers would be 25 and the cost would be $225 per person for the weekend. That price includes 5 meals, some snacks, hotel style rooms (double occupancy) with linens, and a meeting space.

I know this is a lot of information to digest but I wanted to share with you the best sites that I've been able to research.

To recap, here are our three options:

1. Dumas Bay Center (Seattle, WA) - Bonuses include beautiful Washington State and proximity to the beach. We have a tour of Skacel and possibly Cascade Yarns. Other possibilities include farms and yarn store crawl in downtown Seattle. The cost for 3 days would be $254 (not including Administrative and your personal travel costs). Date availability is Labor Day weekend (9/3-6).

2. Ralston White Retreat (Mill Valley, CA) - Bonuses include beautiful grounds, amazing food and proximity to SF/Bay Area. There is a potential for farm visits/wine tours. Cost for 3 days/2 nights is $235. Date availability is 8/28-30.

3. The Shalom Institute (Malibu, CA) - Bonuses include amazing grounds, hiking trails and waterfalls. Cost for 3 days/2 nights is $225. Date availabilities are August 28-30 & September 18-20.

FINAL PITCH: I think our best bet in terms of location, availability and amenities is Dumas Bay Center. I'd love to hear from all of you about your favorites and I'll make a decision based on your feedback in the next week or so. Once we make a choice, I'll prepare final costs and timeline for deposits, etc.

Thx for listening and for reading all of this!!!


(Previous Post)
Hey Everyone,


Our previous potential site actually has turned out to be a bit of a challenge. They were requiring that we have 501(c)3 status and we don’t. Simplicity works in situations like these, so, Brian Kohler has found an even BETTER place!

The new location is Dumas Bay Centre in City of Federal Way. It’s about 1 hour from downtown Seattle and there’s a shuttle from the airport directly to the facility! They are available on the weekend before Labor Day (which seems to be a good weekend for most folks) and the are right next to the beach! Also, the sleeping arrangements are private and cozy. Big improvement on summer camp bunkbeds. Yeehaw!

Here’s a recap of the base costs (not including MKR fees/admin costs and your airfare/shuttles/etc):

The per person/per day cost, with tax, for an overnight room with Breakfast, Lunch and Supper is $84.74. So for 3 days (Thur/Fri/Sat with Sun check0-out) is $254.22. Two days (Fri/Sat with Sun check0-out) is $169.48.

Banquet Room 2 is configured with six 6’ rounds tables with 6 chairs each and has a capacity of 49 folks. You will be eating and meeting in the same room. You have access to an outdoor courtyard at the rear of the room. Banquet Room 2 is provided at ‘no charge’ for groups with 12 overnight guests. (Note: this is the most logical place for us to meet based on last years attendance and interest for this year)

Directions are here.

Pix of Banquet Room 2 are here. (Takes a while to download)

Pix of the grounds are here. (Takes a while to download)

General Rates are here.

Another wonderful thing about Dumas Bay Centre is that there are other dates available (time for you guys to chime in about other GOOD Dates for us to consider). The same benefits of being close to Seattle still apply (LYS crawl, tours of Skacel/Cascade, potential farm visits, etc.).

Waddya yous guys think???

ETA: These dates are not set in stone, but merely a first-pass suggestion. Last year, it was unanimous that we plan an additional full day, so I was building that in by having folks arrive Thursday night, allowing us a full day Friday, Saturday with check-out on Sunday. By doing it this way folks could fly home Sunday afternoon and still have Labor Day to do as they please (with family, with friends, resting before returning to work, etc.). If this wouldn’t work for anyone, they could certainly arrive Friday and stay Saturday/Sunday, or include Monday (for a full 3 days of fiber fun!). From my perspective, I’d really like Monday to recuperate, since I’m going to be zonked (as I was last year).

As long as we have 12 guys, we have the minimum number of required people for any single night.

There are several other dates that are available at this facility. You and a few other folks have said that Labor Day weekend is not ideal, so I’m listing the other weekends that have Banquet Room 2 available:
Sept 17-20, Oct 29-Nov 1, Nov 19-22.

October isn’t great for me because I’m hoping to attend Rhinebeck. Thoughts?

~Michael (aka WonderMike)


(Previous Post)
We're getting an earlier start this year for the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2009.

We already have a potential location and date. It’s called Camp Burton and it’s located on Vashon Island in Washington State.

The timing would be (9/3-9/6) Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun (Check in Thurs evening/Check-out on Sunday afternoon). Estimated cost is $240 (this would not include any administrative fees or travel).

Things that could be included by having it in Seattle:
1) local yarn shops - including weaving works
2) Tour of Skacel, possibly Cascade (they are about 4 blocks apart)
3) Alpaca farms
4) winery tour

close enough to a big city to provide = theater, sports, arts, shopping.

We’re also looking at other places but I’m waiting for call backs. The only thing with Camp Burton is that if we’re at all interested in this facility we should let them know very soon so as not to lose the Labor Day weekend. If you had to decide right now, how many of you would be interested in coming?

And, we haven’t ruled out another weekend but it’s looking like September is a good time (before Rhinebeck, SOAR, but after Sock Summit)

steve kadel's picture

could do later sept date in

could do later sept date in malibu. i've been to that camp. it's nicely located, better than bunkbed sleeping.

MMario's picture

hmmmm - wonder if I can

hmmmm - wonder if I can manage 8 plus hours in an economy seat? Business class would quadruple the price; and first class would be more expensive then the cruise I'm taking in june.

steve kadel's picture

i wish it wasn't labor day

i wish it wasn't labor day weekend. family plans. damn. hoping to be among the adoring buck strong crowd and win the lottery to share his bunk house :)

WonderMike's picture

Thanks to everyone for your

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm and your feedback. We will be presenting a couple of other options and dates, so don't despair if Labor Day isn't going to work for you. I hope to have at least 3 more places and then we can narrow down the best one in terms of facilities, timing, and pricing.

Stay tuned and if you know of any places, you'd like us to pursue, give a shout.


Buck Strong's picture

Super tease. "A man may

Super tease.

"A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn." Blackadder

trpc's picture

Sounds great-will plan on

Sounds great-will plan on it.

KnitteryNinja's picture

I'll be there!

I'll be there!

Buck Strong's picture

I think I can do that

I think I can do that one.
"A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn." Blackadder

QueerJoe's picture

Ya know if Buck makes it

Ya know if Buck makes it there, half of MWK will be there too...hope there's lots of room!

Buck Strong's picture

Tease! "A man may fight for


"A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn." Blackadder

QueerJoe's picture

You make that sound like a

You make that sound like a bad thing?!?!

Buck Strong's picture

Only if there is now follow

Only if there is now follow through.

"A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn." Blackadder

TheKnittingMill's picture

Count me in! -Mill “Now,

Count me in! -Mill

“Now, let us all take a deep breath and
forge on into the future;
knitting at the ready.” -- E. Zimmerman

grandfatherknits's picture

YES !!!!

YES !!!!

Stan Stansbury's picture

Camp Burton's lovely and so

Camp Burton's lovely and so is Vashon in general. There used to be sheep farms on Vashon, as well as alpacas but then I haven't been there for 15 years.

It'd take about an hour and 15 minutes from Vashon to drive to where Skacel is, and about the same time via a different ferry to downtown Seattle. Both of these would take a whole lot longer in traffic. Tricoter, owned by the authors of the "Simply Beautiful..." books and the most pretentious yarn shop in the known universe is in Madison Park, Seattle. The Weaving Works which is the exact opposite of Tricoter is in the U District and used to be run by the most knowledgeable and helpful women in town.

You don't absolutely have to have a car to get to the camp. King County Metro route 118 can get you to within maybe half a mile of it. It runs several times a day but not really often. Metro has good connections to the airport, so if you want to take the time you can get there by bus cheaply.

I'd love to go, but we're going to be in Seattle for the 4th of July, and Labor Day may be more than we can afford.

rc_in_sd's picture

I would love to attend!

I would love to attend!