Braided Way Retreat, Fall 2017

October 6-8.
Camp Wanake
Beach City, Ohio

Join us for a weekend of spiritual inspiration and activities.

Program Details: Click Tabs On Left

Join us for a weekend of spiritual inspiration and community.

Workshop Topics and Activities Include:
Concert by Chris Reynolds
Crafting Soul
Meditation for Depth, Healing and True Expansion
Healing with Voice and Sound
Universal Worship Service in Chant
Oracle Session
Mandala Meditation
You Are….Surrounded by Angels
The Creative Spirit
The Wisdom of Listening and Being Heard

Intro to Divination and Ancient Runes
What is Shamanism and Animism in the US and Globally?
Earth Centered Spirituality of Paganism
Morning Yoga (Optional)
Sweat Lodge (Optional)
See More When You Color Blindly



6:00-7:00 pm              Participant arrival

check in, room assignments, etc.

7pm – 8pm                 Welcome

Opening Key Note— “The Braided Way Vision” Michael Olin-Hitt

Ceremony: with Janet Ross and Kate Walsh

8pm    Concert
Performance by Chris Reynolds 


7:00 am                       Optional Yoga – Debra Drew or Trail walk – Cal Reed 

8:00 am                       Breakfast at Dinning Hall

9:00-9:55 am              Water Ceremony—Panoka Walker

10:00 – 11:30 am        Breakout Session 1                                                     90 minutes                 

  1. Crafting Soul – Barbe Beaty  (this program will go until noon)
  2. Healing with Voice and Sound – Su Nimon
  3. You Are….Surrounded by Angels – Dr. Carol Vaccariello

11:30-12:00 pm          Break

(if interested in Sweat Lodge, short meeting in Savage Main Room)

12:00 pm                     Lunch at Dining Hall

1:00-1:45 pm              Breakout Session 2                                         45 minutes

  1. See More When You Color Blindly – Candyce Walti
  2. The Creative Spirit – Peter Schneller
  3. Meditation for Depth, Healing and True Expansion – Eden Koz (Sessions 2 and 3 for 90 minutes)

 2:00-2:45 pm              Breakout Session 3                                       45 minutes     

  1. Meditation for Depth, Healing and True Expansion – Eden Koz (Continued from Session 2)
  2.  Yoga Nidra: An Inner Journey– Dorsey Ney
  3. Intro to Divination and Ancient Runes – Michael Anderson

2:45-3:30 pm              Break – Networking Circle in Savage Main Room

3:30-5:00 pm              Breakout Session 4                                         90 minutes

  1. What is Shamanism and Animism in the US and Globally? – Rebekah Gamble
  2. The Wisdom of Listening – Jennifer Olin-Hitt
  3. Universal Worship Service in Chant – Kate Valentine

5:00- 6:30 pm:               Break

6:30 pm                       Dinner at Dining Hall

8:00 pm                       Meet for Sweat Lodge or Night (Drum Stalk) activity

                                    Question Submissions for Sunday’s “Oracle Session” are due.

10:00 pm                       Bonfire

Snacks.  Open mic instruments, poetry reading…


 7:00 am                       Optional Yoga – Debra Drew 

8:00 am                       Breakfast at Dining Hall

9:30 am                       Oracle Session – A Conversation with the Messenger of the Holy

12:00 pm                     Lunch at Dining Hall

1:00-2:30 pm              Break Out Session:                                         90 minutes

  1. Mandala Meditation – Su Nimon
  2. Earth Centered Spirituality of Paganism – Michael Anderson
  3. Knowledge is the Anti-Drug-Christoper Reynolds

2:45 pm                       Closing Conversation/Activity Thanks for Coming!

Workshop Presenters:

Michael Anderson has worked in adult corrections and drug treatment from 1987 to 2016. He has a Masters Degree and is a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor. His professional experience includes working as a chemical dependency specialist and parole officer with Adult Parole; director of a prison-based therapeutic community; social worker and college instructor in maximum security prison; and counselor in a community based correctional facility and county jail. He has been published in his field of corrections and on religion/spirituality. He is Unitarian Universalist and an eclectic Pagan in Wiccan and Native American traditions; UU guest minister and speaker; and has his own wedding services. He is a social justice activist with the racism against Native Americans in popular sport culture issue. He is a proud father of two children, five step children, six grandchildren and two cats.

Barbe Beaty nurtures her natural rhythm through regular communion with Spirit to keep clear her intuitive path, compassion, courage, and creative flow, reminding her of the abundance of choices in everyday moments. Her passion lies in the creative use of her hands, relationship with nature, and the preservation of lost healing knowledge, art, and cultural history. Throughout her work, Barbe strives to bridge the present with the past, in a contemplative way. As a Naturotherapist, her private practice offers a therapeutic blend of nature-based somatic approaches for living freer through life’s everyday experiences. She is medically trained and naturally focused, having studied Social Sciences at Akron University, earned certifications as a Polarity Therapist and Holistic Health Advisor from the Institute of Holistic Health Careers, and received a degree in Clinical Massotherapy, having graduated from the Ohio College of Massotherapy and licensed with the Ohio Medical Board. Barbe is a homebody and loves spending time with her little family, Jeff (life partner), and Chelle (daughter), where they share a little urban farm of indigenous herbs, vegetable gardens, bantam silkie chicks, and a Dobie named Jaxon.

Deb Drew began practicing yoga 20 years ago, and became excited about the opportunity to become a certified instructor in 2007. She is an Accredited Yoga Teacher, Level 1 in Satyananda Yoga and holds registration with the Yoga Alliance. After receiving her training at the Yoga Academy of North America in Cleveland Heights, OH, she began teaching at the Atma Center, in local churches, and currently teaches on a rotating basis at the Orca House, a women’s drug and rehabilitation center in Cleveland. She received mantra diksha in 2008 and in 2014 received Jignasu initiation from Swami Niranjananda in Bihar, India, where she received her spiritual name, Devadhyanam, which means “meditating on becoming a being of light”. She teaches asana, pranayama(breath practices) and meditation, including the deeply relaxing and renewing practice of Yoga Nidra, and has achieved specialized certification in these areas. Her joy comes from receiving feedback from her students who share their relief from physical, as well as emotional pain, and believes that everyone can practice this discipline with modifications as needed.

Eden Koz has a passion for meditation/mindfulness/energy. She guides people in truly connecting to everything around them… their life, work, family and community. She been practicing for almost 20 years and had her company (home-based in Akron, OH) for a decade, Just Be ~ Connecting Your Heart to Your Soul. At Just Be she offers advanced classes, corporate sessions, speaking engagements, classes on specific challenges (addiction, miscarriage, depression, weight loss, etc) and kid classes all centered around meditation/mindfulness and finding your authentic self.

Laughing Crow is a holistic practitioner from Pittsburgh, PA, where they are the CEO of Embody Healing, LLC, a company offering more than 60 holistic, alternative, and complimentary health and medical services. Laughing Crow is best known for their skills in shamanism, alchemy, and herbalism, all of which come from both family traditions dating back to the Iron Age and more traditional apprenticeship and university programs. Laughing Crow is also an author and the founder of the American Shamanism Movement, which presents a form of genuine shamanism for modern day American people and displaced people around the world. They are also a licensed member of clergy and serves at several interfaith and earth-based communities in four states. You can learn more about them here:

Dorsey Ney: Dorsey has owned and operated Healthy Heart-Healthy Pleasures since 1996, led by a deep commitment to human health.  Dorsey’s Mom has been a constant inspiration to her having believed that the body’s own natural defenses were superior to medicine.  This early training from her mom supported and encouraged Dorsey’s life-long interest in balanced health. In 1999, Dorsey received an Herbal Apprenticeship from Healing Heart Herbals in southern Ohio.   She became a Yoga Instructor in 2002, offering many classes per week for the public.  Her interest in wholistic well-being led her to learn both Reiki (1994) and Shamanism (1999); these forms of alternative healing provide a depth view of body, mind and spirit.  She is now also providing a therapy called Emotional Freedom Technique or casually called “Tapping”; First and Second Level training March 2016.From the Heart Healing Arts opened in 2015, an extension of the Healthy Heart, providing professional Massage Therapy, Family and Individual Counseling, an esthetician, natural hair dye application and a Far Infrared Sauna. It has been her great joy to serve the public by educating on the topic of natural health.  Having learned from her own personal healing story, Dorsey has been continually curious for what may help to heal our bodies and our souls. 

Su Nimon has a background in bodywork, which led her to the most interesting places. She has studied many subjects regarding holistic healing and happiness that are incorporated into her healing practice and classes. She is a licensed massage therapist, a reiki master/teacher, a meditation leader, a musician, an artist and an enthusiastic teacher.

Jennifer Olin-Hitt is a Mental Health Therapist and Spiritual Director. She holds licenses in the state of Ohio as a Professional Counselor and as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She lives in the Akron, Ohio area where she spends most of her days listening for hope and direction in people’s lives. Jennifer is clergy in the United Methodist Church and has been a public speaker in many venues. In her spiritual direction training through the Haden Institute, she learned to appreciate the wisdom of Christian mysticism and Celtic spirituality.She has several articles in Braided Way Magazine.

Michael Olin-Hitt, Ph.D. is a writer, publisher editor and teacher. He has been a Professor of English at the University of Mount Union since 1993, where he teaches courses in creative writing, American Literature, Native American Literature and World Mythology. He is the guiding editor of Braided Way Magazine and has published five books. In his spare time, he likes to write, remodel the house, read, write more, gather spiritual seekers, rent large machinery and leave almost-finished projects throughout the house, which he shares with his wife, Jennifer, their two children, Samuel and Lydia, and their dog, Zia and Cat, Theodore.

Cal Reed spends a lot of time on the road as a Field Service Engineer. He is a self-taught primitive archer, capable of making a complete archery outfit from materials directly from the landscape.  He has taught many earth-based living skills to youth and adults including self-bow making, flint knapping, basketry, hide tanning, primitive cooking, traps, wild edibles and awareness skills, to name a few. One of his notable achievements is when he harvested a deer with a homemade osage bow and hand-made flint tipped cane arrow. He has taken numerous classes from the Tracker School in New Jersey and has instructed at Mid Atlantic Primitive Skills Gatherings (MAPS Meet). Cal strives to have command of all skills necessary to live purely in nature with no fabricated resources. He loves spending time in nature and gives freely of his time to any youth and adults interested in strengthening their connections to the Earth.  Cal is the father of two grown children and he lives with his wife, Sandy, as they share their time between their rural Ohio home and the wilds of West Virginia.

Sandy Reed is a classroom educator for 30 years, Sandy graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS degree in Education followed by a Masters degree in Gifted Education through Ashland University. She is also a certified American Montessori middle school teacher. Her classroom teaching has focused mainly on middle school aged students engaged in science and environmental curriculums. She has served as the K-12 Environmental Education specialist for her current school district for five years, developing curriculum and international programs for students K-12. She has lead high school credit bearing field study courses with students throughout the US and internationally to Belize and South Africa. Her most recent achievement came in 2014 when she was presented with the “Green Difference Award” recognizing her as one of the top Outstanding Green Educator Program Directors in the country. She has been an instructor with Coyote Trails School of Nature since 2006 where she teaches survival and earth-based living skills to youth, adults and families. She is a Level 2 International Wildlife Tracker, certified through Cybertracker in Track ID and Trailing. She often travels to South Africa to practicing tracking and trailing in the bush. Outside of the classroom, Sandy is most comfortable in the woods where she ties together primitive skills and ceremony. She pours sweat lodges (inipi) ceremony in Ohio and West Virginia in the Braided Way tradition. Sandy is currently president of the non-profit Spiritual Quest Foundation. She lives with her husband Cal and two children in Pataskala, Ohio.

Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed. is a singer, teacher and healer. His mission is to sing the dream of Earth onward through songs, writings, ritual, healing concerts and workshops. He is a singer-songwriter with 15 CD’s. He is ordained in a spiritual tradition and also trained in sweat lodge and sacred pipe. He taught high school French for 30 years and was world language department chair in Berea City Schools. He is the lead author on the only publications on depth psychology, creativity and giftedness. In addition to Braided Way, Chris works with HeartSpace UCC, Warriors Journey Home, Ashland University and Ursuline College.

Pete Schneller is a teacher in his 42nd year of teaching. He has many interests, including (but not limited to) Creativity, Growth Mindset, Positive Psychology, Spirituality, Comparative Education, Diversity, and Pedagogy. He has taught K-4 PE, 5-7 Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies, G/T 2-12, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses on a variety of topics related to education, but also within the Liberal Arts. This fall he will teach a seminar on Addiction, a course in Literacy, and a research-based class utilizing comparative education as a focal point.

Rev. Dr. Carol Vaccariello is a storyteller, healer, spiritual director, skilled in dream work.
She is an inspirational speaker and teacher, mentors doctoral students, leads retreats,
facilitates Zen Still Point and is a plant whisperer.
Carol’s braided spirituality is a rich mix:
-Professional Standing in United Church of Christ
-Independent Catholic Bishop/Priest
-Oblate of Mount Saint Benedict’s Monastery
-Recipient of Siksika Blackfoot ancestral blessing
-Elder in the Creation Spirituality Tradition,
-Member of the Populo Spirituale of Damanhur, Italy
Carol authored: The Lion of God: Archangel Ari’El …Personal Encounters
Check out Carol’s Blog and Events at or follow her on FaceBook.

Kate Baqia Valentine is an ordained Cheraga in the Inayati Sufi Order. She is a retired Board Certified Chaplain having served at both Akron General and Medina Hospitals. She completed the International Harp Therapy program in 2000 and utilizes the harp as an instrument of healing in my ministry. Prior to becoming a chaplain she had a private practice in mental health counseling in Kent, Ohio. She is currently retired. She has four adult children and six grandchildren all residing close to my home in Richfield

Kate Walsh and Janet Ross are ordained ministers within the United Church of Christ, having served faith communities for a combined 40+ years. Their ministry has sought to bring people to a more faithful walk with the teachings of Jesus, as they strive to share the Holy gift of unconditional love for all persons and creation.

Panoka Walker is of mixed French and Anishinabe decent from the Deer Clan. Her traditional name is Waabiskaa Waa waash keshi, White Doe. Panoka strongly identifies with her Indian roots as a traditional storyteller, song carrier, hand drum maker, and traditional crafts woman.  Encouraged by her elders after years of apprenticeship inside the sacred circle of life, Panoka is a facilitator of women’s ceremonies. She also teaches workshops and group presentations to adults and youths. Panoka is a member of the United Plant Savers and is affiliated with the Mother Earth Water Walkers, who bring awareness to the Water, the Lifeblood of the Earth. Panoka is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters being brought up in the traditional way. She, along with her husband Deer Walker and daughters. make their home in Monroe, Michigan.  

Candyce Walti is a Licensed Spiritual Healer studying Metaphysical Counselling. Her passion is teaching others how to rediscover the wisdom within and better listen to one’s intuition.

Your registration fee includes meals, rooming and all activities.

We will be staying in a camp-style lodge at Camp Wanake. Sleeping rooms include bunk beds, shared with other guests. (If you prefer to stay in a local hotel, see the “Area Hotels” tab). The lodge features a central meeting room, large fireplace, small meeting rooms and a kitchenette. There are two bath/shower rooms.

Gender inclusivity is expected and cultivated.

Please plan to bring:

Bedding: Sheets, Pillow and Blanket or Sleeping Bag.
Towel and Wash Cloth
Soaps and toiletries
Shoes and clothes for hiking and outdoor Activities
An open mind and spirit

Camp Wanake Address

Wanake Camp and Retreat Center
9463 Manchester Ave SW, Beach City, Ohio 44608

For details about Camp Wanake, visit this link:

If you would like to stay in a motel instead of at Camp Wanake, we will adjust your fee for meals only. See the “Area Hotel” tab.


If you would like to stay in a hotel instead of at Camp Wanake, we will adjust your fee for meals only. 

Lodging for the retreat will be camp-style, in rooms with bunk beds, shared with other participants. If, however, you would rather stay at a hotel, here are the closest hotels in the area. Please know that we do not endorse any of these hotels, and we don’t have any experience with them. We just did the research to find out what was close by for your convenience.

The Inn at Amish Door

1210 Winesburg Road, Wilmot, OH 44689
(888) 264-7436
3.7 miles from retreat, 5 minute drive

Ramada Limited Strasburg Dover

509 S Wooster Ave
I-77 Exit 87 at Rt. 250,
Strasburg, OH 44680-1231
+1 800-946-5338
7.3 miles from retreat, 11 minute drive

Sleep Inn

11155 State Route 212 NE
Bolivar, OH 44612-8746
+1 855-849-1513
10.4 miles from retreat, 14 minute drive

Comfort Inn Dover

2024 State Route 39 NW
Dover, OH 44622-7417
+1 855-849-1513
12.4 miles from retreat, 18 minute drive

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Dover

1120 Gateway Pl, Dover, OH 44622-7352
+1 844-402-3188
12.3 miles from retreat, 17 minute drive

Hampton Inn Massillon

44 1st St SW, Massillon, OH 44647-6642
+1 855-605-0317
11.5 miles from retreat, 20 minute drive

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