FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can attend?

I have special dietary needs. Can I still attend?

Absolutely! If your diet is restricted in any way, simply make that clear on your registration form. The staff will do its best to accommodate dietary restrictions. If there is some unusual food that you need, you can bring it with you and store in the kitchen area.

Can I bring my child(ren) to the conference?

The Conference is a family friendly event. Children’s Registration is required for children ages 5 to 18. A Children’s Program is offered for children from age 5 to 15 years old. The Conference fee per child aged 5 to 18 is $500. Children ages 4 and under attend for free.

I have a medical condition which requires special arrangements. Can I still attend?

Yes. Simply make your needs clear on your registration form, and we will be happy to work with you in order to make it possible for you to attend.

Is financial assistance available for those seeking to take part in the conference at a lower cost?

Yes! Participants who have not previously attended the Great Mother and New Father Conference seeking financial assistance are eligible to apply for a Scholarship.  All other participants may apply for a Work Study position.

How do I get to the conference?

How do I get to Camp Kieve?

Travelers generally arrive to Camp Kieve by a combination of air and land travel.  Shuttle Service reservations are available to and from Portland International Jetport, for a fee. Learn more.

Road Map to Camp Kieve

Is transportation available to and from Portland International Jetport?

The Conference offers shuttle service to and from Portland International Jetport, for a fee. Reservations can be made online and must be made in advance.

How do I connect with others who want to carpool?

The Great Mother and New Father Conference Community group on Facebook is the best place to connect with others who may be attending and traveling to the Conference. There is no formal carpool or ride share board available. All attendees are responsible for their own travel to and from the Conference. Visit the Facebook group to join and connect regarding the possibility of a ride share or carpool. If you are registered for the conference and have trouble joining the group, please contact us for help.

What should I expect?

What is the weather in Maine like?

It’s a beautiful time of year to be outdoors in Maine; loons will be singing on the lake, the trees are fully leafed out, and wildflowers and ferns carpet the forest floor. However, Maine is a northern state, so bouts of cold weather and rain are possible. The average high and low temperatures in Maine in the month of June are 72 and 52 degrees, but occasionally the temperature can descend into the 40s. Be prepared for a variety of weather; bring clothing that can be worn in layers, a sturdy rain coat, and umbrella. Black fly season is usually over by June, but there are often mosquitoes around after dark.

What should I pack?

A good start would be a sleeping bag, a flashlight, rain gear, good walking shoes, a journal to write in, a sense of adventure, a good sense of humor, and an openness to the mysterious and the unforeseen. Bring towels, toiletries, and a pillow if you want one. Sunglasses, insect repellant, sunscreen, a bathing suit, and a mug or water bottle are also useful. It’s likely that you’ll want to bring some “festive” clothes to wear for our banquet at the end of the week, and perhaps for the opening of the Art Gallery as well. View the Packing List.

What happens at this conference?

Any day at the Conference could include such things as Sufi chanting, a lecture on the Alhambra, dancing, the telling of Celtic myth, quiet time by the lake, a poetry reading, sitar music, or a simple campfire. The week tends to be a mixture of both large- and small-group activities. One of the goals of the Conference is to nourish the heart, the body, the mind, and the soul, and to do so in community.

What is a typical day’s schedule like?

Generally speaking, each day begins with an opportunity for early morning singing which is followed by breakfast. Mornings are spent in a community activity usually involving poetry, story, or lecture (or all three!). After lunch we meet in smaller groups for about an hour. The afternoons are a combination of workshops taught by our guest teachers and free time. There’s usually a performance of some kind in the evening. Throughout the week there are numerous opportunities to get involved in poetry, art, music, dance, and story, either as an audience member or as a participant. No activities are scheduled on Wednesday afternoon. You can use this time for writing, going for a walk, carpooling with others for a trip to the beach or other site, or however you like. The week is bookended by opening and closing ceremonies to bring participants together and to create a beautiful container for the week’s festivities.

What are the accommodations like?

This year the Conference will be held once again in Maine at Camp Kieve. Accommodations include wooden bunks in cozy, heated cabins near trails that lead to Lake Damariscotta. Bring your own gear if it is your preference to tent in the woods. Learn more.

What is the food like?

All meals are served cafeteria-style, with a wide variety of choices available. The staff at Camp Kieve serve hearty breakfasts (eggs, protein, oatmeal) and always offer cereal, fruit, yogurt, and bagels, english muffins, toast as well. Lunch usually features a variety of salads, soups, and sandwiches. Dinner is generally a protein selection along with vegetables, a green salad, and dessert.

Are vegetarian options available?

Yes. Alternatives to meat dishes, such as tofu and tempeh, are available to those who sign up for the vegetarian option in advance. Simply indicate this on your registration form, so that the camp staff can plan ahead.

Is there wireless service at Camp Kieve?

The major buildings at Camp Kieve do have wireless service, but service in the cabins and other areas of the camp is intermittent. However, we highly recommend unplugging from the Internet and accessing instead the beauty of nature!

Are there copying and printing services at Camp Kieve?

No. There is a copy/print shop in nearby Damariscotta. Plan ahead; bring copies with you of whatever you will need during the week of the conference.

What is expected of me?

Do I have to come to the whole conference?

Part of the magic of this particular conference is the long-standing sense of community and belonging.  This is broken if participants choose to come and go throughout the week. Full participation in the ceremony that is the Great Mother and New Father Conference serves not only the individual but also the community.

 

Do I have to be a poet, musician, or creative genius to come?

Absolutely not! One of the goals of the Conference is to nourish our creative souls, but that is simply a part of the larger goal of building a playful, creative, and collaborative atmosphere that enriches both ourselves and the larger world of which we are a part. Artistic expertise is definitely not required.

Can I bring musical instruments or artwork of my own?

Yes! There will be a communal Art Gallery at the Conference, and an opening to celebrate it. If you wish to bring work to exhibit in the gallery you will need to fill out the art gallery form.
Musical instruments are also most welcome, as music jams are known to develop in the evenings, or in some of the workshops. We would love to have another minstrel, drummer, horn player or any other kind of musician among us!

Will alcohol be present at the conference?

Wine will be served at the Art Gallery opening and at the Saturday banquet at the end of the week. Outside of these two occasions, no liquor is served. A wide variety of juices plus coffee, tea, and herbal tea are available at meals.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Cell phones work in some locations (depending on where you are standing and the strength of your provider’s network). We’re out in the woods, and that’s a good thing! There is a telephone at the camp, but it is restricted to emergencies, so please don’t plan on using it for making or receiving calls.

Cell phones are not allowed in Innisfree, the main meeting hall. All of the programming is recorded and cell phones, even in silent mode, disrupt the sound and cause an audible buzzing in the audio system. If your phone happens to be with you, please turn it off completely in Innisfree.

When should I arrive?

Please plan to arrive at Camp Kieve no earlier than 2 PM Saturday afternoon. Registration will begin at 2 PM in the Art Gallery. All participants will be expected to check in. Dinner will be served at 6 PM that evening, followed by the first meeting of the Conference in Innisfree.

Can I take photos at the Conference?

You are welcome to take photos on the grounds of Camp Kieve and anywhere outside of Innisfree, the main meeting hall. We ask that you do not take photos of presenters in Innisfree. Please be considerate of other attendees’ privacy when choosing to take a photo during the conference and if you choose to post photos on social media after the conference.

 

What if I have questions about Registration?

What if I need a refund?

To request a refund please send your request in writing through our contact form. When filling in the form, choose the Registration category. Requests for refunds prior to May 13, 2016, will be honored in full, less $25 handling fee. No refunds will be issued after May 13, 2016.

Can I write a check?

Checks can be made payable to Great Mother Conference.

Mail to:
Great Mother Conference
PO Box 29
Peacham , VT 05862

Can I make payments?

Conference Registration fees, Work Study and Scholarship Application fees are due at time of registration.

Who should I contact with questions, comments, suggestions?

Because members of the community work together to support the Conference, the best way to get in touch is to send an inquiry through the contact us form. Roles evolve through the years so this is the best way to share your questions, comments, concerns, praise and suggestions.

When does registration open and close?

Early Bird Registration opens in the Fall, usually in October, and is effective until April 1. General Registration remains open until May 1, when all registration fees are due. Work Study applications and Scholarship applications are also due by April 1.