Morning Classes  >  Adult Education Classes, 2023

There are three periods of 55 minute classes beginning at 9:00AM each day, Sunday through Friday. Teachers are selected by the Program & Evaluations Committee. Each teacher teaches his/her class twice each morning for 6 days. Classes are strictly optional and no attendance is kept.

The Program & Evaluations committee seeks to achieve a balance of classes in these categories, usually nine or more classes total:

  • Social/Political:  Labor issues, political workings, and miscellaneous other
  • Religion & Spirituality:  Bible study, comparative religion, etc.
  • Personal Development:  Dance, yoga, etc.

New teachers are sometimes brought in because the committee is looking for someone to teach a specific topic. Most often, a teacher is brought in by a camper who has experienced the teacher elsewhere.


The classes, 2023

—    Socio-Political    —

Revolutionary Love  –  Rev. Marilyn B. Kendrix

Believing that love is the force that should drive all of our actions requires both open hearts and open minds. Understanding that God's love for us is unconditional and is available to all, regardless of the way we worship or the way we pray, the way we look or the way we love, invites each of us into opening our hearts to all and can serve to open our minds to new ways of thinking, new ways of believing, new ways of acting in our world.

Yet, there are those who believe that religion should be separate from the political, that preachers should not be “preaching politics from the pulpit.” This course is intended to challenge that notion, using current problems that exist in America among God's people (meaning ALL people) to chart a path directly back to scripture.

Marilyn is a graduate of Yale Divinity School with a Master's of Divinity. She worked for over 15 years as an Organizational Development Consultant principally at AT&T but also in other profit and not-for-profit settings and served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ. Marilyn earned her Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, her Executive MBA from the University of New Haven and an MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, also from the University of New Haven. Marilyn retired from serving as Bridge Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ and is working on her first solo book. Marilyn is married to her best friend, Alan, and together they have 3 children, 6 grandchildren and two dogs, Bear and Sugar.

Restoring Community  –  Len Raymond

This class will explore the social science of restorative practices — known in my experience as restoring the world to "the garden" [or heaven] it is meant to be. "Circles" are the core practice — structured group discussions that focus on repairing harm and restoring community. Three of the days will be dedicated to experiencing a specific type of circle — listening, repair and witness types. Additionally, we will discuss the challenges restorative practices presents to traditional social systems and institutions. Lastly, natural resistance to change will be weighed against the potential of ugliness being transformed and corporate decision-making being improved.

Sunday:  Experience a Listening Circle.
Monday:  What is "being restorative?"
Tuesday:  Experience a Repair Circle.
Wednesday:  Kindness as a restorative side effect.
Thursday:  Experience a Witness Circle.
Friday:  Challenges and benefits for "the establishment."

Len is a seasoned practitioner of restorative practices, with over 12 years of experience and graduate level education at the International Institute for Restorative Practices. He has facilitated restorative circles with a wide range of micro-communities, including homeless individuals, residents of communal households, hospice, expelled students, and social workers and in various contexts at Winni. Prior to his interest in restorative practices, Len has had a varied career, including stints as a software engineer, user interface designer, tech support specialist and social worker. He finds his spiritual path in Zen Buddhism and is familiar with many traditions of American mysticism. He shares that his greatest spiritual awakenings have been through beauty — the intangible kind — and has been known at Winni for encouraging and writing haiku poetry. Favorite quote: "[we are] spiritual beings learning to be human rather than humans trying to be spiritual" — Kathryn Breese-Whiting.

Exploring Food as a Social Justice Issue  –  Lisa Garcia

Events of the past few years offer many examples of how food has become a social justice issue not only in the United States but around the world. In this discussion-based class, we'll explore some of the many aspects of food in the light of a social justice issue. Some of the areas will include, but not be limited to:

  • Climate:  Food production can have many impacts on communities where it is grown as well as communities and populations dealing with the environmental "spillover" from water, heat, weather, run off effect, and resource allocation. We'll also explore the generational aspect.
  • Production & Distribution:  The pandemic highlighted numerous social justice issues related to this previously mostly "hidden" aspect of food.
  • Access:  The Buffalo shooting, pandemic, and the war in Ukraine are a few examples of how where and how people access their food is a social justice issue.
  • Legislation & Finance:  Food politics has existed for hundreds of years, but in today's economic and political environment, it's gone from being largely hidden to something that is front page news on a local, state, national and international level.

Lisa , as a registered dietitian nutritionist, combines her lifelong passion for food with extensive education and experience to help people conquer weight and gut health issues. She also frequently explores the ever-changing worlds of science, nutrition, food policy and their implications on our health and that of our planet. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in nutrition science from the University of St Joseph. She is a member of numerous professional groups. Her practice, Food Coach LLC (FoodCoachForMe.com), reaches people in many states through telehealth and in-person sessions.

—    Religion and Spirituality    —

Not Quite Ready for Prime-Time Bible Stories  –  Mark Brady

Every day we will take an interesting chapter from the Bible, read the whole chapter, and then talk about everyone’s impressions. No previous Bible experience is necessary to participate. We will do some stories from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament. We will all read along with the reader, and read some other versions of the text to see if they differ in any significant ways. We'll sum up what was read after the reading and then off we go!

Many people have never heard some of these not quite ready for prime-time stories. Preachers cherry pick from scripture, but may not get the whole story out. Come ready to look into the story and see yourself in a mirror, look for the nature of God, and the nature of the relationship between humans and God (and between humans!). We may do a little play acting and what’s called Bible sculpture to help dissect what we’ve read.

This will be a fun class! Bring a good ear, a sense of humor and an open mind. Together we’ll make the stories come to life.

Mark is a storyteller, full time Pastor, carpenter and kitchen designer/builder in north central Connecticut. He’s been leading Bible story readings and acting them out for years. His motto is, “if it’s no fun, it’s no good!” He loves the stories no one else will touch. Mark has been a Winni camper for 34 years!

Christian Icons: Traditional and Radical  –  Rev. Jason Wells

Christian icons have a rich spiritual tradition spanning many centuries and cultures. Yet, they tell common stories of the Bible and the saints and speak an artistic language of their own. In this class we will survey the history of this unique art form, learn to read their symbolism and experience their spirituality. Finally, we will see how this ancient tradition has been freshly interpreted to create artistic messages of God's radical love, speaking to current issues such as racial justice.

Jason has served St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Goffstown, NH since January 2022. Before coming to Goffstown, Jason was the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches and served Episcopal congregations in Hampton, Portsmouth, Manchester and Concord following his ordination in 2004. Jason received a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and also holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics from Southern Methodist University.

Jason lives in Pembroke with his wife Courtney and their daughter Lydia with their three cats and their flock of chickens.

—    Personal Development    —

Dance and Release – Hip Hop  –  Mariana Campbell

This class will focus on various dance styles within the hip hop umbrella. In addition to learning some hip hop foundations, we will explore our own individual styles through improvisation activities. We will start with a warmup at the beginning of each class that includes stretching and some light cardio. Then we will move on to improvisation activities and learning some hip hop fundamentals. This is not only a dance class, but also a space to let go of outside stresses and release energy in the form of physical expression.

No dance experience is required. The desire and ability to move and do light cardio are all you need!

Mariana is currently part of a competitive hip hop dance team based in Philadelphia and continues to learn and train in dance outside of this team. Although hip hop is her main genre of dance, her earlier years focused on modern dance. In her college years she embraced hip-hop dance, learning the "art" of working in dance teams and dance companies. Additionally, her dance education includes ballet, house, lite feet, dancehall, salsa, contemporary, locking, wacking, Capoiera, body percussion, and street Jazz.

Carving and Conversation  –  Tom Weston

Wooden spoons are perhaps one of our earliest tools. They are useful for cooking and serving food and for feeding ourselves. They can also be beautiful pieces of art as well as functional utensils.

Ten years ago, I carved my first spoon here at Geneva Point Center. If you would like to learn how to carve a wooden spoon, I will help you design, carve, shape, smooth and finish your spoon. We will start with some basic safety instructions, and then move on to carving.

While wood carving is an activity that requires your complete attention, it still allows for conversation. We may have a theme some days. Or we may simply enjoy conversation with one another as we go about our project. The class will learn from myself and from one another as we all improve our carving technique.

If you have spoon carving tools or cut resistant and/or leather gloves, please bring them. I will bring what tools and gloves I have and we can all share them. I will also provide some NH hardwood for carving.

So come spend an hour with me and carve yourself a hardwood spoon as we enjoy the fellowship of “Carving and Conversation”.

Tom has lived in NH since graduation from New England College in 1973. He fell in love with NH from being a camper at GPC since 1953. He is a retired insurance professional and regulator, serving 21+ years with the NH State Insurance Department. In retirement, He enjoys singing with Concord Chorale, hiking with the Concord Mountain Goats, photography, beekeeping, gardening, fishing and cross-country skiing. He is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen since 2015. Crafting one-of-a-kind NH hardwood spoons that are both functional and make an artistic statement has become his passion.

Mindfulness for Mental Health  –  Bill Milford

This course will provide an overview of mindfulness as a mental health practice - exploring research about mindfulness, theories about how and why it works, its connection to Eastern philosophies, and last but not least - practicing together as a small group and community. We will touch on using mindfulness in daily life, with children and teens, and as prevention and adjunctive treatment for mental health concerns.

Bill is the Program Director for the Social Work Program at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia and has been teaching their clinical practice classes for 19 years. Mindfulness is a component of the "Social Work with Groups” class he leads. He is a long, long, long time Winni attendee (since he was 12) and has known the highs (being Dean) and lows (GEMS Editor) of being at Winni. He has facilitated an online Mindfulness Group for the last 3 years, since the Covid pandemic emerged. It has over 325 participants who receive weekly Mindfulness Readings and an online Zoom gathering of around 10-20 each week. He loves music, a good laugh, and trying to figure out what makes us all tick... and tock.

Early and Even Earlier Morning Yoga  –  Jennifer Brosious

It has often been said that the best time for yoga is early in the morning and now you have an opportunity to check it out! This year I’ve been taken up on my offer to teach yoga at 6:30 a.m. – a class I’ve been teaching in Hamden for over 10 years. Many local students have marveled at how much better their days go – calmer, longer lasting energy, more focused, relaxed and productive – after starting the day off with yoga.

And if 6:30AM is just a little too early – join me at the 9:00AM session!

Looking forward to seeing you in the barn on the mat!

Jennifer , a life-long member of the Winni community, first experienced yoga at Winni in her teens while taking a class taught by George Blackman. Decades later, after delving deeply into yoga, she taught her first classes as a newly minted yoga teacher at Winni. Her teaching style promotes a calm, centered, and peaceful atmosphere with an emphasis on integrating breath with movement and finding balance between strength and mobility. At the end of this year, her yoga studio at home – Your Community Yoga Center – will celebrate 17 years of serving her local community.

Total Body Conditioning  –  Sue Nisson

This is an interval exercise class mixing weight training and aerobics. We will be using our own body weight and items from the land such as, rocks, logs, the trees and the water! We’ll be blending in Cardio to get your heart rate up.

I will provide modifications to fit any level of fitness and for those who have injuries or other challenges with doing the movements as taught.

Sue and family have been attending Winni for 25 years. She has been in the workout arena for 42 years, teaching various workout types such as kickboxing, weight training, step and cycling. Sue is an advocate for getting the most out of your workouts in mind, body and soul.

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What is Camp Winni?

Camp Winni is our fun n’ fabulous annual conference meeting of NNESRE (Northern New England School of Religious Education) which meets this year from Saturday August 3rd to Saturday August 10th, 2024 at the Geneva Point Conference Center — 108 Geneva Point Road, Moultonborough, NH 03254 — www.genevapoint.org.



Why camp?

Living in community with your family, friends, and new-friends-to-you for a week provides an awesome opportunity for people of all ages to experience the fun of getting to know people in an intergenerational, interfaith (all faiths and non-believers) context. With the activities provided, you make connections with people in a variety of settings — connections of play, dance, discussions, workshops, campfires, music, etc. Imagine your favorite summer camp with around 300 friends of all ages and backgrounds!

Why Winni? 

Ahhhhh,  that is what makes us special. Our conference (referred to as the Northern New England School of Religious Education or NNESRE) has been meeting together as a group for 100 years. And for most of that time we have been meeting at “Winni” — Geneva Point Center — located on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Geneva Point Center is a conference center with a wide variety of housing options from tenting to cabins to motel-like rooms. Meals are provided 3 times a day in a dining hall in an Inn and plentiful meeting and play spaces for our participants to enjoy — along with extensive woodlands and a beautiful beach on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Why Camp Winni (NNESRE)?

Our annual conference, which meets this year from August 3rd, Saturday to August 10th, 2024 — is rich in traditions of fun, play, inclusion, spiritual exploration, and LOTS of campfires to sit your chair down and make a new friend. Although NNESRE began as a Christian Education conference — at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire — we have intentionally evolved over the years to become an interfaith conference, welcoming all beliefs in the appreciation that diversity builds understanding that strengthens both our community and the world.



What happens besides classes?

Activities are designed to engage people of all ages in a spirit of recreation and fun that deepens relationship and connection to one another. The days are full of opportunities, and yet there is complete freedom to do nothing — and, of course, no one needs to do the dishes. It builds memories of all kinds with campers often reporting milestone experiences. The week has become known as a place of exciting community — a place of re-charging oneself each year. Participants have begun as kids, continued as teens and adults, and grown to be new families returning each year. It is much more than just 300 people gathered together in the same place and time.

Community singing, dancing, and games

Each year the camp is blessed with a multitude of musicians who offer their talents in a wide variety of contexts: Community Concert, Campfire Sing-A-Long (family and camp songs), Bonfire Sing-A-Long (contemporary folk and campfire music) and Drum Circle. We sing at meals, services, campfires, on the porch, by the water — wherever voices are gathered, music often follows. Our Hootenanny, and Coffee House, present opportunities for all campers to display their talents. Almost every night intergenerational Folk Dancing and fun spirited Games are offered in the Barn on the main campus. Activities are provided for all abilities, skills, and levels of embarrassment. Our leader extraordinaire, Ms. Barb Siftar, carries on the tradition that her parents established at Winni back in the 70’s. For many, this experience is the heart and soul of the conference as they re-experience the joy of play and the deep connection that dancing the final dance around a candle as a community can bring.

Recreation and play 

A large green space in the heart of campus becomes the playground for people of all ages with ultimate Frisbee, football, throwing a baseball, playing table games on a picnic bench, sitting under the trees or star gazing at night. There is also a softball field for the annual camp softball game, a labrynth, and a volleyball court. The annual Winni-Swimmi is an open water ½ mile swim and often there are water front games led by the lifeguards. And of course, there are beautiful hiking paths on the property into the woods and around the water. We are big on fun for the sake of fun. Every morning at ½ past 8:00 we sing a song about a little boy named Georgie. Every Friday after dinner, we all gather for the annual Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest.

Spiritual exploration, discussion, and retreat

As an annual conference in such a beautiful setting, it is hard for those attending Winni to not take stock of how their life has changed over the past year and the meaning they have drawn from that. Our Camp Chaplain organizes a Morning (7:30 am) and Evening Watch service each day where messages, experiences, and music are shared from a variety of contexts. It has been our tradition to offer a Communion, Labyrinth Walk, and Shabbat Celebration service during the week to those in our community. We welcome you to come take your place, share your faith, and be part of the spiritual journey at Winni. In addition, many of our Adult Education classes explore scriptural and religious texts to deepen our understanding. However, for many — being in the beauty of Winni — in the quiet of the woods or by the water on the shore — or the deep gaze into a campfire — provides the opportunity to connect with whatever holds meaning for you. And while Winni is a place of great joy, we also take time during the week for our Annual Memorial Service, where we remember the lives of friends lost during the past year.

Education and personal development

The Adult Education Program at Winni strives to provide a variety of classes to engage participants in exploring religious issues, political topics, and personal development/creative skills or hobbies. You can develop your water color technique during one period, talk scripture the next, and finish off your day discussing global issues. All classes are optional and are taught by campers who are part of the community. Perhaps you have a class you would like to teach? Parents can attend these classes as their children attend the Winni Ed. School Program. Children from infants to teens are provided with activities during the morning so parents can take a break and attend classes — or simply take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Conversation and connection

Basic to the camp experience is the ability to connect and speak with an old friend, make a new friend, and/or join a group that makes you feel like you are part of the community. At Winni, this happens in numerous settings: at meals, in classes, in recreation and play, sitting on the porch, and especially sitting around a fire. There are numerous fire pits around the Winni campus and at night they are lit with fire, conversation, and hospitality. Bring your own chair and beverage and be ready to settle in to discover a unique conversation and friendship.