2012 Women Warriors & The Cowgirls Retreat

The 2012 Women Warriors & The Cowgirls ~ A Women Veterans Retreat

On May 19 to 21, the Cowgirl Co-op was  proud to host our third annual retreat for women combat veterans.  The retreat has become the largest and most successful retreat of its kind in the US.  On Friday May 19 , a convoy of 34 women warriors and 10 counselors  roared up the ranch driveway and were cheerfully met by a welcoming  group of over 25 volunteers and instructors. That was the start of a wild west weekend of fun, healing and connecting. We played together, broke bread together, cried together and all of us came away with renewed strength and new found friendships. What a phenomenal group of lady warriors honored us with their weekend visit! 

2012- Women Warriors and The Cowgirls Retreat for women combat veterans

This is the new 2012 class of Cowgirl Women Warriors!

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

 

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

On Friday morning…up the driveway they came for the start of the 2012 Women Warriors & The Cowgirls retreat.

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

The cowgirl welcoming committee.

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

  women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

 

 

 They unloaded and immediately started to learn the art of becoming a cowgirl for the weekend.

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

First important lesson…..how to tie and use a cowgirl scarf!

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans 

Then it was on to a relay of cowgirl games! How fast can you dress yourself with chaps, spurs and a bandana?

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veteransNext up was the popular cowgirl raw egg throw! There were even some willing, well…semi-willing, human targets!women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veteransYou hit me with eggs!

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans

Cowgirls and women warriors need to eat well, for all that fun! And at the ranch, we feed everyone very well! Then after lunch it was full speed ahead into the events of the day.  Take a look at the two days the warrior cowgirls spent on horseback.

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

 Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 The “cushy way” down to the horse pasture!

The pottery classes were as popular as ever as cowgirls learned  the art of the spining potters wheel. Instructors Collista Benjjani and Kay Lodahl kept the class muddy, fun and informative.

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Raku firing was one of the hits again this year with instructor Liz Bishop keeping everyone laughing and fired up! Vets painted pottery bowls and learned to fire them in the raku kiln. Everyone went home with their new tresured art piece.

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAWomen warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

 Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Painting raku pottery was a blast for all involved! The only time you can do pottery with a instructor potter in full motercylce chaps!

The gardening classes were going full soil ahead under the instruction of Cowgirl Lou. Vets learned about sustainable gardening, bee keeping and how to make herb pots. They each went home with an herb pot tucked under their arm.

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

 

 

 

 Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WAThere were even tractor driving classes!

Some women warriors chose a quiet walk and talk in the ranch woods led by Donnell Sulivan, main horse caretaker at the ranch.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Flyfishing was a real catch with instructor Jeff Jenson,  also a vet himself.

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

Women warriors and the cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal welding with a plasma torch was also a hot class with instructor Sean Smith helping all the vets to make a metal sign to take home.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA 

A special time was written in the Diary and Journaling class with Nance Van Winckel, a nationally know poet and author of 12 books.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Drawing horses with well known artist Janene Grende  was popular with students and horses alike!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Card making and scrapbooking was taught by Sandra Zieroth with the use of Stampin’ Up! stampbook supplies. Sandra is a certified Stampin’ Up! teacher and there were some wonderful cards made that went home wit h each vet in the class.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

A new class for 2012 was making Dream Catchers with Renee Sutherland. Bent willow circles adorned with meaningful beads went home with many a new cowgirl warrior to hang above her bed to protect her and make her good dreams come true.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA                                                                                                                 

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Cooking classes were a big, delicious hit with the class growing in size each time the cooking samples started to be handed out! Connie Spugeon taught an extremely infomative class on dutch oven cooking. Krisha Charbonneau delighted vets about cooking with herbs and a class on very tasty and healthy cooking. Recipe handouts disappeared rapidly!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA                                                                                    

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

What could be better than a massage class with custom massages given?!!! Not only did participants learn about the art of massage from Paul Kays and Nancy they gratefully accepted  some welcoming massaging hands ….. especially the vets coming up from  horse riding!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA 

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Want to have a chicken coop or rabbit hutch at home? Vets learned just how to take care of chicks and bunnies and cusddled a few soft fuzzy creatures in the process.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WAWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 

Making cement stepping stones with instrutor Sean Smith was an artful hit and there were some very nice steps that were carted home to grace a garden.

 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WAWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WAWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

At the Cowgirl Co-op we rope dragons! Cowgirl Shannon gave lessons on just how to handle a rope and rope those illusive dragons.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

And of course we all ate like horses! The food was excellently catered by Connie Spurgeon and Janene Grende and cooked ranch style in dutch ovens.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

There was plenty of time to eat and break bread together and also time to  just stand around talk and connect.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WAWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Then it was good by to the Cowgirl Co-op for the day as the women warrior cowgirls went off to ride in the Spokane Lilac Day Armed Forces Parade.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WAWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

What a night they had yelling and cheering for women veterans in the Spokane Lilac Day Armed Forces Parade! We cowgirls were so proud of them!!  Our last break bread together meal was Sunday morning at the Green Bluff Grange where the women warriors had set up barracks and slept the two nights of the retreat.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Past Mayor Mary Vernor came to join us and honor the women veterans as she has done for each of our 3 retreats. New friendships were celebrated over breakfast and many connecting e-mails exchanged.  Last of all cadence of the weekend was sung and a smudging ceremony ended the retreat.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WAWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

The Green Bluff grange generously cooked and served breakfast to the still hungry cowgirls! What a crew!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 

 

 

Dog gone we hope all the women warriors and new cowgirls will come see us again! The ranch gates are always open to you! And in the meantime … Happy Trails to each of you!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

The Cowgirls want to give a great deal of thanks to all the people who made this Women Warriors & The Cowgirls retreat such a huge success! Our instructors were fabulous and all the behind the scenes back up crew were phenomenal! Our catered food was delicious and the ranch looked its best.

Thank you in particular to :

 The Wounded Warrior Project for their funding,

The Red Cross for their help in cots and bedding

The Spokane Veterans Outreach Center for their support and counseling

The Green Bluff Grange for their warm vet welcome and gracious use of the grange along with breakfast!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls retreat for women combat veterans, Spokane WA

 

 

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