Restorative Nature Retreat

Sun, August 2 @ 7:00 pm – Wed, August 5 @ 11:00 am
Sou'wester Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort
Spring 2020 Wellness Retreat Series

Restorative Nature Retreat

 with Emilie Bess


Fill up on gorgeous Pacific Coast nature during this guided, peaceful outdoor retreat. Relax, reconnect, and rest.

Combining nature exploration with walking meditation, journaling, and natural history, we will get to know the unique beauty of the Pacific Coast in a new way.  Each day begins with an early morning walk to the beach.  In the spirit of Forest Bathing, we walk together quietly and make private observations of our surroundings. At our morning session, we have the chance to share what we’ve seen and to use writing prompts to explore how our experiences of nature have shaped our sense of wonder about the world. Each day, we’ll adventure to a unique beach or forest to learn about the local plants and geology, or simply to bathe in the fresh air and daydream. If we want a closer look, we can use a portable microscope to observe creatures and minerals that call the beach their home. In the evenings, we’ll share s’mores and stories around a camp fire, and take a moonlit walk to watch the glowing waves and gaze at stars. During unscheduled times, guests can explore, nap, enjoy the spa, and do whatever you like.


Emilie Bess is a biologist, science educator and visual artist.  She has led nature retreats and scientific field expeditions throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as the Hawaiian Islands, Australia, and Central America.  Currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Emilie is also a proud member of the executive board of Short Run Comix and Arts Festival. She is co-founder of Seattle Nature Schools, a natural science-based outdoor preschool and upper school.  Emilie holds an MS in plant biology from University of Missouri – St Louis, and a PhD in insect biology from the University of Illinois. She posts tales of nature exploration and science teaching on instagram @seattlenatureadventures

“It’s clear to me that people belong outdoors. Humans are animals of the outdoors. We evolved outdoors. The outdoors can anchor our consciousness and fuel our connection with ourselves and each other. My philosophy in leading groups begins with an agreement. My students are trusting me with their time, and my job is to use it in constructive ways. To guide them through activities that they would not take the time to do themselves, to give them permission and support to slow down, look closely, and listen patiently. ”  -EB


(All activities are optional and can be customized to accommodate people with limited mobility. Low tide walk times may change based on tide times.)



Check-in, settle in.


  • Camp fire.
  • Bring your dinner with you (cook over the fire if desired).
  • Intentions and leaving-behind exercise.
  • Talking and sharing stories.



  • Quiet walk to the beach at low tide.


  • Writing meditation. What are your experiences of the natural world?
  • Sharing favorite writings, sharing goals for our time together.


  • High tide outing to Beards Hollow.
  • Beach combing & creating a nature sculpture inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy.


  • Full moon night walk & star gazing



  • Quiet walk to the beach at low tide.


  • Forest walk in Cape Disappointment State Park
  • Learning to identify trees, sharing nature observations. Bring your journal to record your thoughts and sensations.


  • Being in our bodies at the beach.
  • It’s high tide, so we might find some treasures delivered by ocean currants. And while we’re here, let’s have some fun!
  • Flying kites, building sand castles, wading, sand bathing… what else can we think up?


  • Camp fire. 
  • Sharing experiences and looking forward.



  • Quiet walk to the beach


  • Group choice activity. 
  • Possibilities include collecting scientific specimens, feeding seagulls in high wind, a photo safari and photo sharing, time for exploration and discovery.


  • Final reflections and wrap-up. 
  • Closing writing exercise.  What curiosities will you take home with you?


BEGINS: Sunday 7pm

ENDS: Wednesday 11am

COST: $200 + Lodging

BRING: A notebook and pen, footwear for the water (sandals, boots), a hat for shade, a blanket for the sand, a warm hat for windy nights, and a daypack to carry with you. Everyone is encouraged to bring a favorite poem or narrative reading to share with the group.

This workshop is best for participants age 12 and up.

BOOK ONLINE by clicking BOOK NOW, enter the date range and the “promo code” NATURE

The Sou’wester Lodge at 3728 J Place, Seaview, WA 98644


This class is part of the Summer 2019 Wellness Retreat Series. All classes are open to the public and all skill levels welcome.

Visit to see the full schedule of retreats.


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