Kathy Sellers of Oxford said, “I attended the retreat last year and was so impressed that I just had to come again. This time two of my sisters joined me, and we’ve had a ball.”
Randy Young said, “I wanted to offer a retreat experience that wasn’t just one class after the other. Besides hands-on writing activities, we had a study of creating plot and characters, of current trends in the writing and publishing industry, plus a session on blogging. Campers had the opportunity to read from on-going works and get feedback from the other writers.”
“For something different,” Young added, “I included an art class -- painting a picture on canvas with acrylics, and painting glass Christmas ornaments. Campers could hike to a waterfall and lake in a wooded setting, sit around a log fire swapping stories, and take part in a fun book swap.”
A former teacher at Trinity Christian Academy in Oxford and now a reading teacher at White Plains Middle School, Randy Young is a “jack of many trades.” In addition to teaching school, he teaches art classes at Hobby Lobby in Oxford. He is a great cook, cooking most of the meals at the weekend retreat. John Roberts of Wellington said, “I had to make myself stop. The food was so good, I could have kept eating on and on. The people I’ve met here are a group of the kindest and most interesting people I’ve encountered anywhere.”
At one meal Young featured his buttermilk cornbread baked in an old iron skillet reserved only for cornbread making. “Everyone in my family knows my iron cornbread skillet is hands-off. They better not touch it!” He served two homemade soups with his three-inch high slices of cornbread-- broccoli-cheese and chunky potato.
As organizer and planner of the writer’s weekend, Young gave out packets of handouts on current writing topics for all participants compliments of Sleepytown Press. “My publishing company has really taken off. I’ve published 35 authors in just two and a half years.”
Kathy Weiser of Jacksonville said, “This is just what I needed to give me the extra push to finish my book of humorous teaching stories.”
Campers/writers included Elaine Heath of Gadsden, a music and songwriter;Betty Wilkinson of Choccolocco, inspirational author, Kathy Weiser of Jacksonville, a story writer, John Roberts of Wellington, a short-story writer and poet; Marianne Lock of Anniston, a published poet; John Gruenewald of Anniston, a retired lawyer amd writer; Sherry Kughn of Anniston, a journalist and author of three inspirational books, Cindy Craft of Lineville, a playwright; Nonnie Price of Talladega, a southern story writer; Kathy Sellers of Oxford, a storyteller and author of a book of humorous southern stories, and myself, a columnist and author of two children’s books.
By the end of the weekend, campers had expanded their ideas for writing, and all felt a special place for Bolton Camp, dubbed “Coop Camp.”
Side Bar: Bolton Camp (part of Heaven Bound Ministries) serves many area churches for retreats, camps and special ministries. For more information: Camp Directors-Turk and Beth (Bolton) Holt Phone-256-354-2764 Website-www.coopcampalabama.com. Bolton Camp began in 1981 by owners Coy and Sybil Bolton (property of family home place). Bolton Camp expanded in 1991 and 2001 with additions of a large Lodge and Game Room bldg. The property includes a 3-acre playing field for sports, lake, swimming, boating, hiking trails, and scenic waterfall.
Alice G. Duckett writes regularly for the Oxford Sun. She has two children’s books published. Visit her website at www.Shadowpurr-r-rPress.com.