Retreat Information

A Letter from our Board President - April 1st, 2020

Dear friends of Creative Healing Connections,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of CHC, we want you to know that you and your families are in thoughts and prayers during this time. Who would ever imagine that we would be in the middle of a global pandemic? Many of you are wondering how you will get through this. We don’t know for sure what is going to happen, but what we do know is that we need to support one another.

CHC Board of Trustees and Retreat Team Leaders have been communicating quite frequently. We are deeply saddened to have to report that both retreats for 2020 will be canceled. Our team leaders, Helen and Wanda, will be reaching out to past attendees and those who have already registered for one of the 2020 retreats.

We know that at this time, there are things we can do to support hope and healing even through social distancing. This summer we will provide a host of creative arts and healing classes. They will be delivered via various platforms to meet the individual needs of those who we love and serve. This will be at no cost to our attendees. To be able to do this, we will need to continue our fundraising efforts so we can cover the cost of the supplies and our dedicated staff.

In closing, we want to thank you for your continued support. Take care of yourselves and your families. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, should you need anything.

“​Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear hardship today.”​ ― Thich Nhat Hanh

Lisa Keegan
Creative Healing Connections


2021 Arts Retreat Update

CHC has had difficulty planning their Retreat program with continuing required COVID regulations.

We are happy that an in-person opportunity has been offered to CHC for 2021 at Great Camp Sagamore, but it too is not without intense COVID regulations and restrictions. 

One of those is a capacity limit of 14 people, including staff.  At the moment, the CHC Arts retreat is filled but we have a “wait” list for exchanging places for those who are currently registered who find they won’t be able to attend by September. There could be shifting numbers by then.

Let us know if you would like to be added to our waitlist and we will continue to let everyone know any changing status for the retreat. 

Creative Healing Connections 2021 Arts Retreat 


Location: Great Camp Sagamore 

1105 Sagamore Road 

Raquette Lake, NY, 13436 




One in-person arts retreat, led by Helen Demong and Wanda Burch, will be held September 12-14, 2021, at Great Camp Sagamore, Raquette Lake, NY. This retreat invitation will include both veterans and those surviving cancer/chronic illness. Arrival will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 12, with the opening gathering after dinner. Workshops and other activities will take place all day on Monday, September 13, and departure will be Tuesday, September 14, after a post-breakfast final gathering. 


The retreat offerings will include music, dreamwork, art, creating your spirit arrow and guided meditations. Hiking and paddling at Sagamore will be available. Sagamore staff will have appropriate sign out/in sheets for hiking and paddling, plus an instruction/rules orientation for paddles and boats. 


Great Camp Sagamore will have protocols in place for continued social distancing and wearing masks, plus required government protocols for sanitizing and cleaning spaces. Temperatures will be taken. Until the Pandemic is completely under control, there is no absolute guarantee that there will not be institution shutdowns in 2021. Until then we are preparing for the September retreat at Great Camp Sagamore. 


For those who have not been to Sagamore, we have a large room, called “the Playhouse,” for our circle gatherings. Social distancing will be more possible in that space. Mask use will be required in the public spaces unless noted otherwise by staff.


Lodging will focus on “pod” groups of four who will have rooms close to one another and access to a bathroom for use only among each four designated participants. We will be asking for people signing up to think about the other people they feel most comfortable with in sharing a bathroom. Most rooms are two-person rooms, so you will also need to think about a person you feel comfortable with sharing a room. If there are special requests, we will talk with the Sagamore staff about those. 

WiFi is available in the Collins Building (Conference Center). 


There is no requirement of a COVID vaccine at Great Camp Sagamore at this time, but we are including, for our records, a check box on our registration form for those who have had a vaccine.. Any additional rules will be passed along as the year progresses. 


Registration forms, including Health Form, Scholarship form and Waiver form are available on the website. A $50 registration fee will be required. Scholarships will be available for those who need them. 

All Registration forms and Deposit will be sent to Helen and additional needs will be handled by Helen and Wanda. We will maintain communication with Great Camp Sagamore for changes and additional information. 


Please send completed registration materials to: 


Helen Demong 

PO Box 535 

Saranac Lake NY 12983

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We are not in the business of curing people. We are in the business of providing opportunities for them to heal.




Creative Healing Connections retreat at Great Camp Sagamore in upstate New York provides a safe space where women are recovering from cancer or other chronic illnesses can come together. Retreat participants share stories and emotions. Through sharing, they find a support network.


Our program was founded in 1999 to support women recovering from cancer or with chronic illness in the North Country of New York State, a region encompassing the Mohawk River north to the Canadian border, a vast area with low population figures, high unemployment and low per capita income, great distances between communities and, for many that we serve, among the highest per capita rates of breast cancer in the state.



Come to a safe and beautiful place. Meet other women who have walked a similar path. Share your challenges and joys. Cry and laugh. Take the time for yourself to reflect on what is most meaningful to you and how to create more of what nourishes you. Let your creative side unfold, even if you have never thought of yourself as an artist. Join our circle of women. Come to Great Camp Sagamore and experience the healing.



“I am so happy to be part of the 9th Adirondack Women’s retreats. I have grown over the last couple of years with the help of Creative Healing Connections. The best thing that has happened to me in years is the meeting of other vet women, and the staff has become part of my life. The staff just doesn’t facilitate the retreat and then just drop you. They continue on with you the rest of the year and invite you to other venues that they think will be beneficial to your health and well-being.” 

–Anonymous Veteran


Important Forms

Click on the PDF to access the form

2021 Registration Form

CHC Scholarship Form

Health Form

COVID-19 Liability Waiver for Arts Retreat