Creative Retreat – Canceled

Creative Retreat

In the interest of the health and safety of our participants, we sadly announce that we have canceled the 2020 Creative Retreat. Due to space limitations at Bunker Hill for meetings & shared lodging, we realize it would be difficult to host a relaxing and creative weekend. Please consider booking a family cabin at Bunker Hill for your own getaway.

Get away from the busyness of life for a weekend this fall

Take time to slow down at our annual retreat for creative people along the scenic banks of the Jacks Fork River in the historic Ozark Waterways. There will be time to learn and time to create. Participants will stay in rustic cabins and enjoy family-style meals in the dining hall. Grab a friend and register early!

FAQ about the Creative Retreat

How can I get a scholarship? The scholarship deadline has been extended to June 1 this year. MSTA members may submit an essay of no more than 200 words to Sarah Kohnle,

What are accommodations like?

Think summer camp for adults. The rustic cabins are supplied with pillows, linens, towels and bar soap. Many of the cabins are near the scenic river and have covered porches where you can enjoy the outdoors. Every cabin is air-conditioned; some have fireplaces. The sandy beach is a great spot for a campfire.

What about food?

At Bunker Hill, you will enjoy time traveling with home-cooked classics like fried chicken or beef and noodles, all with sides and dessert, served family style. A salad bar is always available during lunch and dinner if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan meal. Huge pancakes or eggs are often on the breakfast table, as well as cereal, yogurt and fruit.

Can I bring my own food?

You are welcome to bring your own food if you have specific dietary requirements. Be sure to pack a cooler, as there are no refrigerators in the cabins. Bags of ice are available for purchase in the office.

How early can I arrive?

The gates open after 1 p.m., and you may check in anytime Friday afternoon. Please stop at the office to confirm your cabin assignment on the clipboard on the office door. You may enjoy many of the recreational opportunities on the grounds or sit by the river and simply relax. Dinner is on your own Friday night, but snacks and beverages will be provided during the informal meet and greet at 7 p.m. upstairs at Behrens Hall (labeled OFFICE on map).

What should I wear?

October weather at Bunker Hill is usually glorious — warm in the day with a slight nip in the air morning and night. Pack casual clothes and think in layers. Bring walking shoes or boots if you plan to hike around, and water shoes/sandals if you want to play in the river. Might be wise to toss in a rain jacket, too.

What else should I pack?

Personal toiletries,

Laptop/notebook & pens

Personal snacks

Bug spray

Camping chair

Beach towel


Booklight (if you like to read in bed)

A mind ready to learn

What about WIFI?

The beauty of Bunker Hill is that you can really unplug because cellphone service and wifi is very spotty. If you really need to check emails and messages, you might have to hike up a hill to get phone reception or jump in your car and head to town. Family can always reach you through the Bunker Hill office (417-934-2333) and leave a message.

It sounds rather remote. What if something happens?

Please be assured that there is a town less than 20 minutes away if you need to make a run for extra snacks or supplies, or if you have an emergency that requires medical assistance.

How do I get there?

If you are flying, your best bet is to fly into SGF (Springfield-Branson International Airport) and rent a car. Bunker Hill is about a 2-hour drive from Springfield, MO. It’s about 3 ½ hours from both St. Louis and Columbia, and 4 ½ hours from Kansas City. Check the main Bunker Hill website for more information. Participants will receive final instructions and a map in September. Since cell service could get spotty, it’s handy to have a map at your side.

Can I bring family?

Non-participating family members are welcome at the regular weekend rate listed on There is plenty for them to do around Bunker Hill while you soak up inspiration from our faculty. Be sure to indicate at registration if you wish to book a family cabin.

What about signing up my kids?

There is a minimum age of 18 for participants in the retreat. Many of our participants are educators and appreciate time away from students.

Here’s what past CR participants considered the most beneficial aspect:

“Focus provided on writing in a wonderful environment away from cell phones, computer Internet and distractions.”

“Focusing on writing without distractions.”

“I learned how to use my camera. Bill was very helpful and willing to answer all questions.”

“I felt I was introduced to new ideas to stimulate writing.”

“Camaraderie and rest.”

“It gave me a chance to laugh and unwind in nature.”

Contact Sarah Kohnle at for more details.