Retreat Information

This page contains all you need to know regarding your time at the 2019 NWSSR! All of this is also being sent to you in emails. Please let us know if you have any questions!

To view the daily schedule please CLICK HERE! Workshops may be posted a few days before the retreat. If not, they will be announced on opening night.

Schedule and Workshops


The retreat is located at Camp Solomon Schechter / Stamphfer Retreat Center
Address: 1627A 73rd Ave SE Tumwater, Washington 98501

Directions from 15 (north or south): Turn East on EXIT 101 to Tumwater BLVD. Drive East on Tumwater BLVD for .4 miles. Turn right on Capitol Blvd and then an immediate Left onto SE 73rd Avenue. Drive until the end and you will see the big gate on the right.

arrival And Departure Info


Gates open at 4pm on Thursday, October 10th. We ask that you arrive between 4-7pm.

Dinner will be served on opening night from 5:30-7pm. Make sure you get there in time for dinner! This opening dinner is a great way to settle in and connect with others.

It is imperative that you arrive on time on Thursday. We are setting a very intentional container and It's paramount that everyone be present for the beginning. We will be going over some important information and activities to set the stage for your whole experience. Please do yourself a favor: If you haven't already, do what's needed to get the time off so you can arrive on time.

For anyone who does end up late on Thursday - please let us know as far in advance as you can so we can know when to expect you.

Enter through the locked gate at Camp Solomon Schechter. The gate code is #6033 ( make sure to put the # BEFORE the number just as shown).

Drive until you reach the first parking lot. There you will be greeted by a parking attendant and directed to registration. There you will settle your accommodation arrangements and be directed to your space. Among other surprises!

The retreat will end at 3:30pm on Sunday, October 13th. We ask that everyone be off the land by 5pm. Breakfast and Lunch will be served on Sunday the 13th.


We encourage it! Help get more cars off the road. If you can offer a ride, it will really help people out. We have lots of people looking! To offer a ride or ask for a ride please visit our fancy google sheet CARPOOL PAGE.

NWSSR runs smooth on volunteer power. For those of you that have offered to volunteer, thank you for helping to create an amazing First Annual NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat!  We have a small list of specific volunteer jobs that can use your helping hands this weekend.  If you want to help out and help make the magic happen, please go to our VOLUNTEER SIGN UP PAGE and add your name in the yellow boxes.   Our volunteer coordinator, Jennifer will be in touch with you! 

As a community we can all help the weekend run smooth by doing our part. Help us keep the space clean and nice by chipping in when you see something needed. Empower yourself and don’t wait to be asked. Keep tables clean, floors swept, decorate things. Your mother isn't coming (unless you bring her - and even if you do, she'd rather be making music!) so we will need to clean up after ourselves.


Fully catered meals will be served by the retreat center. This includes all food and dishes and clean up! All you have to do it show up and EAT! Meals will be served buffet style, so you have a variety of options. If you included your dietary preferences and restrictions in the intake form, it is being accounted for. If you have further concerns, please contact us. Snacks AND a full coffee and tea bar will also be provided 24 hours in the main lodge! You are also welcome to bring your own snacks and food. However there is very limited refrigeration provided by the venue.


Community Considerations

Keeping the Container
The feeling of community that develops among us is an important part of
camp and provides the atmosphere that encourages the sharing of music.
Although there are stores very nearby, it is a luxury to not have to use
your car during the weekend. We encourage you to bring with you whatever
you will need and to stay on the land. We do not allow visitors.

Video and Photos
We have a strict policy around video. Please ask before shooting ANY video of anyone who might be in it. Also get explicit consent to post anything online before doing so. If anything is found posted w/ out permission it will be asked to be removed.

Our camp is a true “retreat” -- a haven where the competitive rules
of the daily world are suspended, and we're free to try our musical
wings with no need to be self-conscious or worry about impressing an
audience. Camp isn't a completely "safe" place. It's a "safe enough"
place for people to take some pretty big risks - showing their love for
music with hearts wide open. We do invite people to take those risks.
And we want to keep camp "safe enough" that people take us up on that
invitation. Videotaping can inhibit this possibility.

Photos are fine. Please get consent before taking whenever possible.

Cel Phones
We invite you to fully participate this weekend. Please
put your phone and any other devices on Airport Mode as soon as you arrive, and keep it there any time you're not actively using it. If you really can't just turn it off for the weekend, please set your phone to Silent or Stun. Our lives are speeding up to ever more urgent, frantic levels. The uninterrupted time we have together becomes more and more of a contrast and ever more precious. Cell phones have become a huge disruption to both our sense of rest and relaxation, and to our connections with one another. Please, if you do have to use your cell phone, leave buildings and any people you may be with, while you talk on the phone. Thanks!

WIFI / Internet use
Internet is (unfortunately) available to all guests. Please only use it if absolutely necessary and apply same principles as cel phone use. The password will be available at registration.

Wine and beer is permitted and we ask it is used in only light social moderation. Anyone notably inebriated will be asked to leave the event. Please be aware of the feelings of some of your fellow campers who are not comfortable with the use of alcohol. There are folks among us who are in recovery. Please be thoughtful! Please consume alcoholic beverages only from cups.

Smoking is allowed ONLY at a designated smoking area, which will be pointed out at opening circle.

The organizers of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat recognizes that oppression is real and that some of us (white people) reap unequal benefits from a legacy of privilege. 

We believe that anytime people gather and hold space, it is a powerful opportunity to acknowledge and shift the ways oppressive systems harm and disconnect us from ourselves, from each other, and from the earth. We see it as a necessity in order for growth and transformation to take place.

We recognize that there are people in bodies which are marginalized. We aspire to co-create a space that is as safe as possible for all people, with the understanding that a fully safe space is impossible in our world. People of all races, sizes, ages, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma backgrounds, and religions are welcome. Intentional words and actions that promote racism, misogyny, hatred, bigotry, supremacy, sizeism, transphobia, ageism, or divisiveness will not be tolerated and will constitute expulsion from the retreat. 

Safer Space Policy

Soiree Music Sharing Guidelines

On Friday and Saturday night, we will be coming together for the "soiree" portion of the camp. This is our open mic style music sharing time. Each person will get to perform a song or two of original music in the best listening room ever! A couple of guidelines:

• The sharing is largely acoustic. Meaning no elaborate plug ins of keyboards and and amps please. However, we sometimes make exceptions. We just ask that if you want to use amplified or electronic elements that you please contact us first to talk about it!

• We will have a house guitar, piano, keyboard, and amp available for you to use

• Please limit your song to under 5 minutes

• We will be having a sign up sheet for each night available on Friday morning. We'll explain more on the soiree portion at opening circle.

Connect on the Event Facebook Group!

Please join our private Facebook Group to connect to other participants, ask questions and get smaller updates and reminders! You received an invite for it.

• Instruments - ( as well as songbooks, music, recorders, tuner, batteries, strings, picks...) We provide a house guitar AND piano!

Please note: The soiree is mostly acoustic based. We ask that you perform with that in mind. ( Please limit instruments that need amplification) If you have a question about it, please contact us! ) There will be a guitar amp available.

Bedding!!! - This is the most important! Bedding is NOT provided by the venue! You must bring your own sheets, pillows and blankets! There will be a limited amount of bedding for rent if needed.
• Towel and toiletries ( yes bring a towel!)

• Earplugs if you're a light sleeper
• Hot water bottle if you're a cold sleeper
• Clothing for cold, rainy, weather (It’s October, you never know)
• Notebook and pens for writing and workshops

• Munchies
• Flashlight or headlamp
• Dress up clothes if you want to get fancy!
• Light strings to decorate your cabin (especially LED lights to save on

• Pets
• Electric Instruments, drums, bagpipes etc unless you check w/ us first.
Feel free to check! (Keyboards are very welcome! They turn down better
then the acoustic models. We will have 1-2 keyboards available as well as 2 pianos.

What to Bring
and Not to Bring!

Are you sick, or starting to get sick? Please don't bring your germs to
camp. Pretend we're a tiny cruise ship on a musical voyage. If you wake up sick the morning of camp, please come late to make sure you're over it first, or stay home this time.

WASH YOUR HANDS--OFTEN—especially right before meals. Most of all, stay home if you are sick. We love you all, and we want us all to stay safe. Contact us and we'll figure out about the money. You don't need to panic; just wash your hands, OK? Now let's go play music….!

Keep Camp Healthy