Women Warriors & The Cowgirls 2011

The 2011 Women Warriors & The Cowgirls ~ A Women Veterans Retreat

The Cowgirl Co-op was once again honored to host a retreat for women combat veterans.  The end of May 30 women warriors and 8 counselors came to the ranch for a weekend of fun, healing and connecting. We played together, broke bread together, cried together and came away with renewed strenght and new found friendships.

The weekend centered around horses, art and gardening. All endeavors that connect us with the healing powers of animals, creativity and the earth.  Thanks to assistance from the Spokane Vet Center, Red Cross and VA Medical Center the 2011 Women Warriors retreat was another succesful veteran event. Just see for yourself below….

 

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls Retreat

Smiling Faces were how the weekend ended and this is how it all started…

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat

The Women Warriors are almost to the ranch! Nestled in a valley on the back side of Green Bluff, WA the ranch is a peacful setting for healing.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Up the ranch drive  in giant trucks, the arriving women warriors just weren’t quite sure what to expect for the weekend!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

De-trucking and ready for adventure.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

“Commander cowgirl” Jill gives the first briefing and threatens to keep everyone in line with her blue fluff whip!

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

The first instruction on horses came from THE Cowgirl Shannon mounted on her trusty steed, Raven.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Intently learning horses!

 Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

Next experience was learning how to fire the pottery raku kiln!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

After serious horse and art talk…. the cowgirls got out the industrial strength egg launcher! Launching and throwing raw eggs was fun for all! Sometimes you just have to break down and do something “eggxactly” ridiculous!

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 Time for lunch and a chance to relax and break bread together.2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Next it’s saddle up and get ready to ride!

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Cowgirl Shannon ‘saddles’ her dog.

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to ride those ponies!

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another class was into heavy metal! Cutting out metal signs and designs with the plasma tourch and instructor Sean.

This area racous with laughter 2011 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

Then there was the wild and crazy raku firing area!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The raku kiln area was raucous with laughter the whole weekend as women warriors painted and fired pottery bowls and did the “raku rock” to get them through the whole firey process.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Working with clay and then conquering the potters wheel was also a popular endeavor. Instructors Colista and Virginia were right there to offer suggestions and support.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up…….cooking!

A class on working and cooking with herbs taught by well known cook Alison was also popular.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out on the range, Dutch oven cooking is the way of the day. Instructor Connie gave a great demo that left mouths watering!

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

Fly fishing is a rapidly growing sport for women. Instructor Nancy came to help the Women Warriors launch a perfect cast!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Who can resist an impromptu game of jump rope. Cowgirls always have lots of rope handy!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Other classes centered around gardening and sustainability.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

The horses were right there for counseling help and loved the hugs, pets and kisses.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Plenty of time was left for talking and connecting.

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Last ride of the day, a great Dutch oven cooked diner and then a heart felt campfire around which to reflect, relate and connect.

Night was spent at the Green Bluff Community Center and was peaceful until midnight when the water pipes broke and flooded the basement sleeping area! No problem….Women Warriors and Cowgirls take everything in stride and just grabed their gear and moved upstairs!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast was scrumptious and made up for the water-filled adventure of the night before!

Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat Women Warriors and the Cowgirls 2011 Retreat, a women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

Load up the transport trucks and back to the ranch for another wild west fun day!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

The horse corrals were ready for action … ride’m cowgirl!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horses and fun horsing around!

 

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drawing horses class taught by nationaly known artist, Janene Grende,  created many warrior women artists!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

The “healthy cooking” class taught by Krisha Charbonneau was a hit and a delicious treat for those who attended.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

The pottery classes were off and throwing pots.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Who knew “mud” could be so much fun?!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

 

vWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Over in the front garden, our Cowgirl Gardener, Lou, was giving instruction on sustainable gardening.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Herbs were there for each woman warrior to make their own herb garden and take it home. A living rememberance of the weekend

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

To add some art to the garden, Sean Smith was teaching classes on making cement stepping stones.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Each women warrior could take  a step home to remember the connecting steps that happened at the retreat.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Nationally known writer and poet, Nance Van Winckel, came to teach a diary and journaling class to the warriors.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Learning about keeping chickens and bunnies was a hands on feathers and fur session with Mandy! Ooooo, baby goats too!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Meanwhile things were still rock and rolling hot over at the raku kiln!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Grab those pots out of the hot fire!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Painting pots and doing the raku rock! Friendships sealed by fire!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Then came lunch! The whole weekend was deliciously catered and prepared on site in Dutch ovens and Bar-B-Ques by cowgirls Janene  and Connie. Cowgirl style eatin’ and was it ever good and plenty!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat  Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Dishin’ up the grub!

 Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

A precious moment by Women Warrior Precious!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Nationally known writer and poet, Nance Van Winckel, recited some of her poems for lunchtime entertainment.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

A few more activities and then it was time to load up and leave the ranch. The Women Warriors proudly rode in the Spokane Armed Forces  Torchlight Parade that night  to the cheers of thousands of people lining the streets to honor our military.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Sunday breakfast was hosted by the Green Bluff Grange and literally stuffed us all with generous eggs, sausage and pancakes!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Lots of laughter and weekend memories flowed at each table.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

 

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat Spokane mayor, Mary Verner, came and spent time with each women veteran to hear their stories and offer her thanks for what they have done for their country.

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Mayor Verner and the Cowgirls all wish to thank these fearless Women Warriors for what they have  done and what they continue to do. We were honored to have you at the ranch for the weekend.

What was the weekend really about? Healing, connecting and making new friends and doing it through creative challenges, the feel of a horse, fingers in the soil of the earth and breaking bread together. Peace.

We heartily wish to thank the following for the generous support they gave this project. It couldn’t have happened without you!

Spokane Vet Center

Spokane Veterans Hospital

Wounded Warrior Project

Spokane Red Cross

Trading Company Stores

RnR RV Center

Generous Individual Donations

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

The faces of new friends!

Women Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreatWomen Warriors and The Cowgirls, women veterans retreat

Yee Haw!

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One response to “Women Warriors & The Cowgirls 2011”

  1. Would love to join you again this year. Is it OK if I come out on Sunday morning?

    Wishing you a glorious spring day. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
    Call on me if there’s anything I can do to support you!
    Mary

    Mary Verner
    Chief Executive Officer
    Spokane Tribe Enterprises
    P.O. Box 98
    Wellpinit, WA 99040
    509-496-4880
    mary@spokoenterprises.com

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