Workshop Questions & Logistics:
We want you to enjoy yourself (and maybe even learn a thing or two) here at Blue Rock Station. You will find a safe, relaxed, peaceful atmosphere in which to learn.
Over the years hundreds of people have attended workshops at Blue Rock Station. Most arrive seeking something - perhaps answers to why society seems so crazy lately, or maybe a bit of calm and quiet, or perhaps just some skills which might come in handy later. But some folks, rather than seeking, are running away from something. Unhappy with their present situation and hoping to change it. Hoping to escape a bad job, bad marriage, gloomy outlook, or wanton consumerism - even if just for a moment or two. Unfortunately those running away usually bring most of their problems with them.
We mention this because the environment and activities at Blue Rock Station are not for everyone. If fact we often comment that only about 5% of the population will and can appreciate what we are trying to do here. You may find bits of your experience here uncomfortable - both physically and mentally. This is part of the learning experience. We must push ourselves out of that comfortable place if we are to learn new ways. So bear this in mind prior to signing up for any workshops. This is not Club Med. This is a place where we are, together, exploring ways to live a more sustainable and purposeful life.
Okay, enough pontificating - on to answers to real questions...
How easy is it to get to Blue Rock Station?
We are located about 90-minutes from the Columbus Ohio International Airport. We are only about 20 minutes away from the Zanesville I-70 exit. (for complete directions)
What should I bring?
For tours and most workshops - bring a good attitude and proper walking shoes. If attending a "hands on" workshop or skill building event - a good pair of gloves is always handy, as well as comfortable shoes, safety glasses or goggles if you have them, a water bottle (we will provide water) and anything you simply can’t live without (like medications or prescription glasses). We will provide everything else.
What should I wear?
There is nothing formal about Blue Rock Station. Wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. But come prepared to get dirty when attending one of the “hands-on” workshops.
What is the Class Size?
Workshop classes are always limited to 6-15 students (depending on the event). This allows us to spend a great deal of time with each student and we aren’t tripping over each other. Typically there will be two instructors per class.
Telephones, pagers and the like.
There is little or no cellular service here (although Verizon just put up a nearby tower, so subscribers to Verizon are getting better service). Be prepared to be out of touch. There are telephones here (land lines) which you can use to make or receive emergency calls. We do have wireless Internet available within the Earthship (which you can tap into)- but your time at Blue Rock Station is a break from the “real world,” so we do encourage you to leave your technology at home if at all possible.
What about food?
If food is provided at the workshop (and most all-day workshops include a catered or potluck lunch - we do not sell food here at Blue Rock Station) we break around noon for a long (60-90 minute) lunch. The food will be plentiful, mostly vegetarian, locally grown and organic. We will eat as a group giving us time for building community.
We find that many students find this the most enjoyable part of the experience - as there is usually lively discussion on politics, the environment... Or whatever the group fancies. We will also serve tea. Breakfast and dinner, however, will be on your own (unless other arrangements are made with Annie - especially for those staying at Blue Rock Station).
What about parking?
Plenty of parking on site for your car, truck, motorcycle or even RVs (no amenities, however).
Okay, there are a lot of animals here at Blue Rock Station. Many of them run loose. For this reason, please do not bring any more with you. We have free range chickens, cats, dogs, llamas and goats that all get along just fine. Adding any to the mix will just add to life’s uncertainty. Rosie - our guardian livestock dog really takes issue with other dogs in her territory. So please don’t bring any critters, no matter how well behaved. Also, if you have any animal allergies, you need to be aware that the dogs and cats are quite affectionate and (especially the cats) have no manners at all. This is a working farm and animals are part of the mix. Remember, this is not the Hyatt or the Marriott.
What about smoking and other disgusting habits?
We are a no-smoking farm (and we are pretty darn smug about it). So if you must smoke - Annie will insist (and I am not kidding about this) that you go out to the road to get your fix. As for the other disgusting habits - there may be more flexibility. We do not, however, allow alcohol on site during the workshops for safety reasons as well as in consideration of all the guests and permanent residents.
I don’t consider myself particularly fit. Is that going to be a problem?
While most of the projects entail some physical activity - we won’t ask you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Work as hard or easy as you like - take as many breaks as you wish. We provide chairs and shade and water and even some interesting books to look at should you decide you need a break. It’s your workshop and we don’t hand out grades... So relax. This is supposed to be fun, remember?
Where should I stay?
There are a couple small cabins (straw bale and otherwise) at Blue Rock Station that can be rented during the workshop. Also, camping is available on site free of charge. There is also a solar shower available. We have a couple extra tents available if you are traveling light and cannot bring your own. Contact Annie at 740-674-4300 to sort out your accommodations. Especially during the longer workshops, we find most folks end up staying at Blue Rock Station as the entire event becomes quite social (with campfires and discussions well into the evening).
There are several off-site options as well, ranging from rough camping all the way up to first class Bed & Breakfast accommodations (and of course many travel hotels within a half hour). We recommend that you check out the lodging options in the Blue Rock Region. There is a wonderful state park (Blue Rock State Park) with cabins and camping only minutes away. Give us a call. We will be happy to help you find the ideal place to stay.
We try to be fairly detailed in our descriptions of the activities we will address during the workshops. But as noted before, things change. We may modify the workshop content without notice due to factors such as: the weather, class size, availability of materials, participant wishes, participant fitness, or other intangibles that inform us to believe that changing the agenda will provide a better and more enjoyable learning experience.
Things change, and we realize this. But there are costs involved in managing people for upcoming workshops - so where is the balance? Our policy is that, if a payment is canceled more than 30 days prior to the event, 100% of the payment will be refunded (less any credit card processing fees that might apply). If a refund is requested between 30 - 7 days prior to the event, a 75% refund will be issued (less any credit card processing fees that might apply). Less than a week out - no refund will be issued. However, all payments (those not refunded) can be applied to a future event.
If during the workshop something occurs (a family emergency, illness, change of heart, whatever), we will work with you to get you into another future workshop. No refund, however, will be issued. If more than 90% of the workshop has been completed prior to the emergency, illness, etc - we will consider that our end of the bargain has been completed and that is that. Hope all that makes sense.
When participating at any event at Blue Rock Station, you assume liability for yourself and those you have registered. Please read the Waiver of Liability carefully. This is in effect whenever you attend a workshop or tour at Blue Rock Station.
What else is there to do in the area?
We have compiled a list of local activities and attractions. But the Muskingum River valley has much to offer and if you have an extra day or two - makes a great little vacation destination (or places for your family members to explore while you attend the workshop). The Wilds, Longaberger Baskets, the Roseville Pottery area, the John & Annie Glenn Museum and much more are all located nearby.