CGS Retreat 2018

California Gourd Society Retreat
 at the Episcopal Conference Center Oakhurst - E.C.C.O


43803 Highway 41 Oakhurst, CA

Thursday August 9 - Sunday August 12, 2018

Our hope was to inspire, challenge and motivate our attendees and give them useful tools to help spread the "CGS Gourd Glow" and fulfill the CGS mission with our members, our regional gourd groups and the public, in a fun and relaxed setting.

GCS Members received: A welcome goodie bag, and several art project kits. We had a Trading Post with items that the members brought to sell and trade. CGS had a Raffle to fund future Retreats. There was plenty of time to work on your own projects, enjoy the area surrounding ECCO or have a spa treatment.

Each attendee received a kit with two different precut doll bodies and embellishments.

Gourd Gals are the Best!

 Retreat Team

Olive Moore - Pamela Argo - Mary Bliss - Susan Gouig - Sylvia Nelson - Becky Manzo - Marilyn Phelps - Gail Zimmerman - Sherry Hunga-Moore - Betty Finch - Mary Hufft - Patricia Blesso - Christina Chrivia

These pictures were taken for our use by E.C.C.O. Staff  Photographer 

2018 Retreat Hat Parade
By Betty Finch

The late Jim Story of Pendelton, Indiana enthusiastically promoted the wearing of gourd jewelry and apparel at gourd festivals in many states. In his honor the California Gourd Society sponsored a Hat Parade at the Oakhurst Retreat.

Six competition categories had been announced in advance so participants would have time to create something to fit. Only a few hats were seen on the first day.  Some judges had concerns there might not be enough entries to award all the ribbons. When the hat parade was announced by Pam Argo 34 people rose wearing hats that seemed to appear out of nowhere!  Some were wearing entire head-to toe costumes to match their hats.  The San Diego group surprised everyone with their coordinated Mickey Mouse themed hats.  The group even entertained everyone by singing the Mickey Mouse song causing the room to join in.

Participants were asked to parade slowly around the room while judges Betty Finch and Sylvia Nelson conferred.  There were many fabulous hats. The quality and quantity of entries had the judges so overwhelmed it was decided to have the participants stand still so the judges  could walk down the line to more closely observe the details and interview the participants. Sylvia and Betty independently chose two or three favorites for each category.  With assistance from the President, Olive Moore, the lists were compared.  Where both judges had selected the same hat in a category the name was circled revealing the winners.

Category winners were called to the front and the other participants returned to their seats to cheer for their favorites.  The overall winner was determined by audience applause. Christy Tsai's beautiful, stylish, bird nest hat was proclaimed the winner and Pam presented her with a $100 bill.

Libbi Salvo - San Diego - Special Recognition
Karen Ayers - Tulare/Sequoia - Funniest 
Cathy Warrick - Calabash - Gourdiest
M.E. Hue Graham - Tulare/Sequoia - Most Interesting
Christy Tsai - Calabash - Most Beautiful - Grand Prize - $100
Terrye Temple - Bachelor Valley - Most Original

Everyone had loads of fun but there is always room for improvement.  Next time you can expect to sign up before the parade. We welcome you to submit any other suggestions for consideration. 

Future parade categories are anticipated to remain unchanged. 

1. Most Original

2. Most Beautiful

3. Most interesting

4. Gourdiest

5. Funniest

6. Other special recognition

More pictures will be added.
If you would like to have your pictures added to the website please send with the names and captions you want to:
Mary Bliss  
You will be leaving the GCS website for the links below.
If you would like to check out the facilities and grounds you can find pictures at their website:
Click here for Trail Map
Click here for Travel Map
Click here for Facility Map