Reflections on HerWildness at Camas 2023

HerWildness in kayaks

At the start of June we had the privilege of welcoming a group of women to the HerWIldness retreat at Camas led by Iona Community member Valerie Allen.

With the promise of letting spirits dance wild, leaving behind gentle dove and flying free with the wild goose we welcomed a wonderful diverse group of wild women down the track to enjoy a week of Camas hospitality and brilliant programme held tenderly by Valerie.

It’s always hard to describe a week at Camas but these reflections of the week from our guests manage to capture something of the experience:

“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologising for my wild.” Nakita Gill

Reflection by Shannon:

In this world where we are living the absurd paradox of crowded cities, ‘over population’ and advanced communication technology, but where simultaneously so many of us find ourselves feeling isolated, lonely and disconnected, what a sweet relief it was for me to stumble across this incredible opportunity for intentional connection with a spontaneous sisterhood community at the HerWildness week at Camas!

Entering in, I had no idea what to expect, and upon leaving, I still couldn’t quite explain what had happened, except to say that it was a little bit magic, a whole lot of fun, extremely touching and exactly what I needed!

For a lot of us there, my sense was that this experience was a doorway into a place within ourselves that is difficult to enter alone. But with the spacious facilitation of Valerie Allan, and surrounded by the open hearts of the whole group, each of us in our own way, was invited to take a step towards the Wild Woman within and get to know her and ourselves a little more.

Now as we all return to our own lives outside Camas, I’m sure this experience will mean something different to each of us going forward, and our days will continue to be full of normal routines, challenges and simple pleasures as always, but, I believe, a little bit brighter for what we have shared this week.

For myself, I’m most deeply grateful to now be connected with this diverse community of beautiful Wild Women, and as I journey on will certainly draw from the wisdom, support, encouragement and friendship that I’m taking away from our time together.

Reflection by Beki:

An amazing week to step back from the craziness of life and to just be still. To laugh from the very depths of my being. To learn and grow from friends new and old. To discover more of what it means to be a wild woman and how to take that back into our day-to-day lives. We can’t of course forget the excellent food we had either! 😋

If this leaves you more intrigued about what happens at Camas there’s still space on our open weeks later on this year, find out more and sign up here.


HerWildness gang
HerWildness  by V.Allen 2023
HerWildness Chapel of the Nets
Chapel of the Nets by V.Allen 2023
HerWildness Kayaking
Kayaking by V.Allen 2023
HerWildness Wild Swimming
Wild Swimming by V.Allen 2023
HerWildness climbing the gully
Gully to Markey Bay by V.Allen 2023
HerWildness raft race
HerWildness raft race by V.Allen 2023



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