We can do our best to provide the space, environment, teachers and surprises to ensure that you have the experience that you most want-- but there is no guarantee. It's a mystery on the highest order. Yet, clearly something good is happening for many (though we are probably not the ones who should be telling you what it is like or helping you to set your expectations as attending Squam is an experience unique to those who make the journey).  It really is best if you hear it straight from people who have come before, so below please find an ever-growing list of feedback we have received to give you a glimpse of what it can be like.

photo credit: Christine Chitnis, Andrea Viets, Kim Clawson Stone

"I feel like the Goddess knew this was exactly what I needed and sent me here to continue my healing journey... I am rested and restored, creatively inspired and brimming with gratitude. I heard loons for the first time! I even made friends and exchanged contact info, which I never do! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" - Kathy Teller

"It's a big commitment, both of time away from family (not always easy to justify when children are small) and money (same). But perhaps even more than that, it's a declaration of creative freedom. It's this thing that you get to go and do, just because you want to. And doesn't that seem like the ultimate luxury - doing something with the sole purpose of nourishing your creative soul?" - Laura Gaskill

"It was a smashing success!  So much yummy goodness.  From a long-time attendee's perspective while [Meg's] touch and style was apparent, everything seemed so organized and well planned it was as if [she'd] been hosting Squam for years!  It was a lovely gathering.  The weather was perfect, cabin arrangements well matched, classes and food fantastic as always and opening ceremony not only visually beautiful but warm and seemingly effortless.  Well done!" - Mary Lawrence

"I don't know how to be brief about such an amazing adventure. Where to start? What to share? How to truly explain the experience? ... There was canoeing, learning, drawing, great food, quiet moments on the dock, and most of all - this amazing sense of belonging. I was surrounded by strangers, but they felt like home."- Sam Lamb

"So, here's the thing. In my mind, I've started this post, I don't know, maybe five, six times. I've ruminated on it, and mulled over it, and otherwise thought it through. What I keep returning to, though, is that words really fail to convey just what it is that happened up on that glorious lake. I wasn't planning on having profound, epiphanic experiences. I wasn't at all intending to come away completely renewed, and restored, and invigorated. I had no clue I'd develop deep, meaningful new friendships the likes of which I hadn't encountered in some time. No, none of that. I just thought I'd go to the woods, enjoy the setting, teach classes on how to can foods and make dairy products, and return home. Little did I know." - Ashley English

"It was so good it was almost surreal, like a sweet dream gently nudged into wakefulness by the rooster's crow. The dream was fluid, the conversations were lucid and uninterrupted by the needs of the small people, unencumbered by The List that always barks at me from the sidelines like an over-zealous basketball coach." - Meg McElwee

"Home again and missing Squam already. Others have already spoken about the retreat more eloquently than I can, so I'll keep this short: Squam was more than I ever thought it would be. I left inspired by the community and motivated by the immense show of creativity, warmth, and openness. I'm in awe of the wonderful people I met and all they brought to the lake. There's an infectious energy there... and I hope that I can hold onto a bit of it and keep exploring. This was a beautiful, affecting experience, and I'm so grateful for it." - Kehley Coviello

"Elizabeth created Squam Art Workshops and I have never met a person so insightful and warm, she has put together an experience which seems to adapt itself to each individual, offering just what that person wants or needs and allowing them to create their own unique experience while still being part of a community. There is magic in those woods, my science loving brain is working hard to process that but it's still true, Squam IS where the magic happens." Rachel Coopey

photo credit:  Amy Gretchen

"I am incredibly cynical. I accept this about myself, so when I signed up for Squam I felt the cynicism kick in. I read reviews by previous attendees and just couldn't believe a retreat could be as transforming as everyone claimed. But it was, and I was happy to find my cynicism breaking down. And with that in mind, I am going to share pictures and talk about some of the things I encountered - but I feel like it's important to say that while this will help you see the beauty of the place, it's impossible to capture the amazing spirit of this retreat." - Ana Campos

"Squam is all about nurturing oneself, the creative spirit and reconnecting with ourselves so we can better navigate this messy, beautiful world... It is what drives us in everything we do. " - Tona Bell

"Sometimes experiences are too rich, too full to write about. Squam is always like that for me. But I think the rawness that I feel as I drive away catches it all. The words that are spilling out as I leave and force me to stop for a moment so I can catch each and every one of them. I scribble quickly..." - Colleen Attara

"It is hard to describe the experience because there is nothing like it. You walk in full of anxiety, fears about inadequacy, and most times wondering what the hell are you doing here. Nevertheless, you are quickly cocooned by loving embraces of other women who feel exactly as you do, and almost as instantly as you settle into your cabin, the low cloud seems to dissipate. There truly is no other word for it, but magical." - Abby Bullock

"like many adults and scientists, both my age and my education have robbed me of any magical thinking, and as much as i love to write nonfiction, and to read fiction, writing fiction is a wholly uncomfortable, unnatural experience for me. i figured squam was as good a place as any to step outside my comfort zone." - Ashley Higgs

Our days were filled with yummy food, amazing classes, crafting, hiking, sitting on the dock and lots of laughter.  We were even fortunate to spend the weekend on the lake during the Harvest full moon. - Anna Dianich

Photo Credit: Marceline Smith

"and how wonderful it was to go to Squam and be surrounded by such beauty & creativity. sometimes, i wished the magic few days would never end though in my heart i know that if i could have this all the time, some of the sparkle would wear off. i also know that i carry that magic around inside of me and can connect into it whenever i need." - Leonie Wise

"I'd been seeing photos and hearing about Squam for the past few years, and longing to attend, and I can tell you the place is even more beautiful than the pictures." - Karen Templer

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Duvivier

"The recaps I've read throughout the years were so effusive, with phrases like "magical experience" and "nurtured my spirit" and such, that it did cross my mind a few times: exactly how freakin' "magical" could this thing really be? Well, I gotta say, it was pretty darn magical. And yes, it really did nurture my spirit and left me deeply inspired." - Mary-Heather Browne

"It has been over a week since I returned home from my second annual trip to Squam Art Workshops. I've waited to blather on about it because the task of capturing the profundity of it all is staggering and because I am sure to fall short." - Brienne Moody

"Having a bit of time away from the kids and home really gave me a chance to reflect on how busy life has been lately, and to set some new intentions for myself, my family, my work and my creativity." - Christine Chitnis

"I never wrote a blog post about the Squam Art Workshops before, though I've been attending since 2011. I suppose I never knew how to put it all into words: meeting great people, taking intriguing classes, dodging "woo", and, well, the food." - Heather Classen

"Since I've been back home, I am feeling more focused, energized, creative, and patient - qualities I noticed were somewhat lacking before I left (especially the patient part!)" - Amie Plumley

Photo Credit: Tara Morris

"oh Squam. you never fail to intoxicate, rejuvenate and educate me. this was my 9th (!) time at this creative gathering on a loon-filled lake in the woods of New Hampshire. i just read my account of my very first Squam experience and it all holds true to this day. it never gets old." - Cal Patch

"First, my apologies, for this post will be full of expostulations on just how wonderful a trip to Squam can be. I know, I've been there, done that before, but it cannot be helped. Here goes for the third time." - Dianne MacDonald

"It's a bit overwhelming and it fills me with that lump in my throat that comes from knowing that it's all part of something bigger. Something beautiful and earthy and connected - and based in what we do with the things we love to play with. And I was only there for a bit of socializing on Saturday night! Is it pathetic that I'm waxing all poetic about it after a few hours (and a few beers) or does it just speak to what Elizabeth has created? I'm going with the latter." - Thea Colman

"I have been trying to write about the experience for the past three days, but haven't found the right way of stringing together the words to properly convey and commit those moments to the meaning I intend. . . .There are no simple words for it, and using metaphor is the only clumsy way in which I can imagine it might make sense." - Cheryl Riedel

"The creative energy and talent of the women there was indescribably inspiring. I came home excited and energized and so grateful for the people that I met… and feeling so so fortunate to have been able to luxuriate in a few carefree days of just making stuff in a beautiful part of the world. I'll cherish the memory of sitting around in our cabin in the evenings… drinking wine and working on our various projects… and sharing stories and laughing our heads off! It really was magical." - Suzanne French

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"It was here where I was infused with inspiration and courage. I learned that I could do it. I saw myself through new eyes" - Jennifer Belthoff

"Sunday morning was clear and calm, the water like glass. I'd have loved to have stayed all day, but it was time to pack my suitcase, bid my housemates farewell and head back down the I-93. There's always next year. I'm looking forward to it already." - Austen Gilliland

"When I go to Squam, I "fill up" in the most mindful way-it changes me every time." - Camille DeAngelis

"It was so glorious, everything felt a little surreal. We breathed deep, and sank into peace, quiet, and the presence of fellow makers. My students were amazing, and the whole weekend was such a lovely island in time." - Amy Herzog

"Squam is all about mellow." - Jill Neill

"Squam's magic this year was awakening my slumbering creativity. It stretched the limits of my photography and surprised me with an idea for a story. The supportive and loving environment whispers to the heart "Yes, you can do this!" And we fly." - Teri Simonds

"Sure, I was really slow compared to my classmates, but the thing about Squam? No one is judging you. It is a judgment-free zone. Even after three sessions I still need to be reminded of that." - Jen Barlev

"oh, squam! after coming back from squam, i never know what to write - and i never take enough photos or even begin to capture what a magical place it is." - Emily Falconbridge

"How does one re-enter the world after a glorious respite in an alternate universe? How does one descend from this cloud without landing on her head or falling on her ass? Very delicately, I'd imagine, and slowly." - Mary Jo Borchardt

"But it was so much more than that. It was a quiet and healing time for me. I feel so renewed and full." - Sarah Greenman

"The magic of this place never ceases to amaze me. The beauty. The people. All of it." - Stephinie Miner

". . . my mind has once again clicked over to a new setting of slow, calm, excited, inspired, focus, thrive, and light. Yes, all rolled into one. In other words, R E F R E S H E D. And, my heart is completely and utterly full." - Rachel Bingham

"I feel so lucky to have been able to go to Squam, meet many wonderful people and be inspired. My heart is full of joy." - Helen Stewart

"Right before the sale, I was eating my dinner on the dock, and it became very clear that this is where the pattern for the platter came from. From the serenity of Squam Lake, it surfaced from my memory to my hand to the platter. Thank you, Squam, for all the loveliness and connections that have emerged from meeting you." - Asya Palatova

"I am missing the woods and our tiny cabin. It was a dream for me." - Jessica Marquez

"It's hard to put into words what Squam meant to me this Spring without gushing. It was magical, inspiring, perfect….it was like letting go and having everything work out." - Melissa Jean

"For me, I find it hard to find just one word that suits my personal experience each Spring. Each session is unique in respect to the classes I take, teachers I learn from, cabinmates that I meet, the weather that factors in to how many layers should I pack, and finding new trails in the woods to walk through. Squam simply 'IS' and therefore it yes, is magical, peaceful, soulful, stirring and full of life." - Judy Dziadosz

"For me, although my classes were important to me, it wasn't making stuff or the incredible environment that really left the impression - it was the fire-side talks, the adventurous *ahem* moonlight swimming , the friendliness and the laughter. It was kind of a return to childhood. It was this good." - Harriet Goodall

"I don't think I fully realized how many walls I'd built up until they started crumbling. Squam magic, one beautiful person said. I believed. Everywhere I turned, there was understanding and support and love and hugs. Simply put, it was amazing." - Cara Stockton

"To me, Squam is an experience to be felt; it is a sense of expansion. A loosening of outworn ideas, of patterns that no longer serve." - Lyndsay Mazzola

"Beauty, Magic, Kinship… My heart is still spilling over in the best way." - Tracey Duncan

"I'm a Squam convert forever.... I'm still feeling oddly unfocused and disconnected with my "real life," but I can't get over the sense that this new, beautiful community of women is still so close to my heart and whispering encouragement into my ear." - Sadee Schilling

"In the end, for me, the sewing class, the photography class, and the writing workshop I took were only a smidgen of this experience. The classes were the springboard, and as lovely as they were, it's the personalities that filled those learning rooms, the dining hall, and the trails in between, that made those hours so memorable. It's the pieces that people openly gave of themselves, the intimate and late night conversations we shared as cabin mates and as strangers, and the unique contributions of every individual that made every passing minute worth savoring and remembering. - Misa Terral

"We were all in the woods together. Some came in groups. Some wandered in alone. Many returned. So many strong circles of friendship. I stood inside circles and outside circles. Feelings of belonging and aloneness. And as close as we walked together in those woods, Squam is a very individual experience. Personal. I made many connections. Lasting friendships no doubt. But I also came face to face with me. The creative, driven and intense me. The adventurous and affirmative me. And because of Squam, I have returned a calmer, gentler version." - Colleen Attara

"I looked up the actual definition of the word Glamour. One of the definitions listed took me by surprise. It defined Glamour as "magic" or "enchantment". Based on that definition, there is nothing more glamourous than Squam." - Melinda Meredith

"It was such an amazing AMAZING event ! It is a new gift I will give myself every year in the fall. I had the best best BEST time . I feel recharged and ready for the rest of the year. It was such a gift. I had the most fullfilling new connections ever . My friend Sally of over 27 years .. well to get away together for a real vacation .. no words. We cried, we laughed, we discovered, we HEALED, we created new life long bonds. You ladies gave gifts that no words can convey. I am blessed. You have no idea how grateful I am. You are all Angels. Thank you from the deepest part of my heart." - Kelly Harnisch

"i mean really…all of this goodness in a matter of days?!" - Michelle Dzema

"I suppose that's how I found photography in the first place because i needed a way to express what I couldn't say in words. Squam has always been that, an experience too close to me that words cannot do it justice." - Amy Gretchen Maher

"I went reluctantly, fearfully into those woods, not knowing what to expect, knowing that I was not an artist, knowing that somehow I would be found out, that I would sit in the corner, and everyone else who was there "belonged", they were artists, photographers, writers, but not me. I was so very wrong, I did belong there, I was meant to be in those woods and make life-long friends, create art, write stories and learn more about myself." - Melissa Piccola

"My life has been forever changed in in a matter of days and there is no possible way for me to squeeze it all in one post...each and every moment was perfect. Magical." - Amiee Wright

"I've been trying to write for weeks about the magical time I had at Squam in the woods but words have failed to sum up the experience. If you have ever considered going but are afraid (like I was) - do it anyway! You will grow, you will refresh and you will connect, I promise you! ...There is an energy there like no other. Peaceful. Healing." - Celina Wyss

"It was a beautiful whirlwind of an experience, soaking up beautiful New Hampshire in September with some of my favorite people. Swimming in the rain, crafting by the fire, meeting so many amazing and kind people." - Phoebe Wahl

"Much like last year, I feel like it's impossible to wrap up the experience of Squam in one post. This is because there are two amazing overarching themes to Squam: the setting, and the classes. Squam Lake is beautiful, magical, and completely removed from "regular life." It's amazingly restorative to be in the woods yet surrounded by water, living with strangers who quickly become dear friends. That alone is transformative." - Ana Campos

"Squam is one big hug-fest. But the sense of being welcomed, held, and received extends beyond the act of a physical hug. The experiences and the encounters with old and new friends, teachers and classes is a repeated series of homecomings." - Lisa Hofmann

"it was a time to set intentions and go deep, but also to laugh and cry and make art and make friendships - with cabinmates, new best friends, and with yourself...to push yourself beyond...to expand and settle in quietly, as your spirit asked of you...for me, it was the best of everything" - Linda Esterley

"It is so hard to accurately capture what Squam means - its a feeling, a look, something almost intangible." - Melissa Piccola

"When we recapped our classes with each other, we all kept talking about how we knew we'd be reflecting on the things we learned for some time." - Ravelry

"I met interesting, intelligent and talented women from all parts of the country." - Christine Mauersberger

"The smell, the feel of the air… isn't it incredible how that smell can bring you back 30 years so vividly? Does that happen to anyone else?" - Jaclyn Pawlowski

"I wanted to share with you a really great experience I had this fall. . . me and my family packed up the rental car with snacks, bathing suits and a lot of art supplies and took off on a small road trip. We departed New York City and headed up to New Hampshire--to Squam Lake to be more exact. I was going to take a workshop that took place right by a wonderful lake, in the middle of the woods, and I was real excited to go. After a 6-hour drive we arrived and, WOW, what a gorgeous place!" - Lotta Jansdotter

"I am forever thankful and deeply changed. Still healing, because the soul work never ends. And that's ok. I am ok with that." - Bella Cirovic

"it was a place for wishes to be set free" - Mindy Lacefield

"Silly grasshopper. Insights don't always make you feel good--at least not right away--and truly, it isn't much of an insight if it doesn't yank you out of the confines (emotional or otherwise) you've laid out for yourself." - Camille DeAngelis

"It was both the experience of being seen-really seen-and also of having time, finally, after a whirling, confusing, busy summer, to finally sit alone at the end of a dock, listening to acorns fall into the lake from the trees above, and watching the ripples spread from each epicenter, until I found my own center" - Christina Rosalie

"A feeling of plenty, and plenty more to go around." - Jonatha Brooke

"I entered these same woods five years ago ~ shy ~ quiet ~ unsure of myself ~ not knowing who I was. This time I emerged ~ grounded ~ strong ~ glowing ~ with a strong sense of who I am. It is beautiful to look back on the journey. To see where I was those five years ago and feel the strength, love, and courage I know embody. I am blessed to have witnesses to these moments. Individuals who were there five years ago and who stand beside me today, reflecting back to me all that has evolved." - Jennifer Belthoff

"truly. madly. deeply." - Mindy Tsonas

"On Thursday I took Alena Hennessey's Awaken the Muse class, and words can't describe how wonderful it was. Alena created a warm, easy, safe place to create, leading us in breathing exercises, helping us to set our intention for the class, and providing music so we could wiggle our butts." - Kat Sweeney

"Just got back from Squarm Art Retreats in Corolla, NC!! What a wonderful time creating and enjoying communing with other beautiful Squamies!! I think I just may be an artist afterall!!" - Shelly Norris

"I struggled to explain squam too - to myself, to anyone who wasn't there. the friendships I made have carried me on to more and more creative endeavours, as I can feel each one of those glorious friends around me always, encouraging me to say 'yes'." - Leonie Wise

"From the moment I arrived at Rockywold-Deephaven camps (and I could go on and on about the fabulousness of RDC) I could feel the joy that everyone there had for Squam. Two hundred people happy to be somewhere and surrounded by such natural beauty creates seriously positive energy." - Zoe Maja McInerney

"It was just beautiful, in every way. I was very focused on the workshop aspect of it beforehand, but what happened around the workshops was just as valuable and healing, and taught me more about living life." - Jessi Cerato