Frequently Asked Questions

The answers here provide clarity for attending the conference in years when it is held in person. If you have a question about the virtual conference, please send us an inquiry.

For attendees, the following forms are available for reference: Participation Waiver, Youth Waiver and Release.

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. Registration is required for children ages 5 to 18. A Youth Program is offered for children from age 5 to 15 years old. The Conference fee per child aged 5 to 18 is $500.

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. Those who have attended the conference previously are eligible to apply for a Work Study position for up to 3 consecutive years. You can apply for either a Scholarship or a Work Study position through the General Registration form.

How do I get to the conference?

How do I get to Camp Wavus?

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

Map to Camp Wavus

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. The reservation deadline is May 1.

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 about COVID-19?

The conference will be following the 2023 COVID-19 Safety Policy, which is in line with the Kieve-Wavus Education camp policy.

What if I’m not vaccinated?

We strongly recommend obtaining vaccinations and boosters to protect against COVID-19 infection and its serious consequences, according to eligibility by age group and medical condition.

What if I get COVID symptoms right before leaving for the conference?

Stay home and take care of yourself. Please follow the guidance from the CDC if you become sick.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 while at the conference?

Pack up and leave camp as soon as possible. Please notify close contacts and a Convenor or Greyhair. All conference participants should have an exit plan in advance of coming to the conference. All attendees are responsible for their own exit from the conference.

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. 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?

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 Wavus no earlier than 2 PM Friday afternoon. Registration will begin at 2 PM. 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.

Can I take photos at the Conference?

You are welcome to take photos on the grounds of the camp and anywhere outside of The Jewell Lodge (the main meeting hall) during programming. We ask that you do not take photos of presenters in session. 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, send your request in writing through our contact form. When filling in the form, choose the Refund subject category. Requests for refunds prior to April 15, will be honored in full, less $25 handling fee. No refunds will be issued after April 15.

Can I register now and pay later?

Registration information is collected at the time of payment. Be sure to expedite checks and to confirm a credit purchase is processed. Unpaid registration forms submitted are not saved. Due to the growing interest in the Great Mother and New Father Conference, we are unable to save spots for unpaid registration.

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?

General Registration begins in January and remains open until the conference reaches capacity or April 15, when all registration fees are due. April 15 is also the last day for refunds.