New Story REtreat
March 27-29, 2020

What It’s About • What to Expect • Schedule • Pricing

For thousands of years, people have gathered in community… Sometimes at large festivals, when tribes came together from miles around to share their goods, their wisdom, and their love… Sometimes small, when a village.png

You are invited to the New Story Retreat! 

A three-day experiment in living the New Story of compassionate Action, collective liberation and radical reconciliation together in community! 

From March 27-29, 2020, at a beautiful ranch along the Blanco River just outside Austin, we will be gathering a core community of those most excited about the New Story vision of liberation and reconciliation: between people and each other, with the earth, making a safer and more compassionate world - artists, activists, teachers, and innovators (including you!) - for a weekend of connection, shared exploration, and unique, life-giving experiences. 

We’ve limited spots to just 300 people and sent invitations to those we think would most want to be there. If you’re seeing this, that means we want you to be one of them!

The New Story Festival (returning to Austin next September) is a chance to go broad. But the New Story Retreat will let you go deep - it’s a chance to live into the New Story in an even more focused and communal way. 


What the Retreat is All About

  • How do we make peace in a world that seems so full of aggression?

  • What does a meaningful life look like when so much seems uncertain?

  • Is it possible to be happy when the pain of the world is so obvious?

  • How can we examine the resources we hold - the gifts, talents, power, and privilege - and use them in service to the common good?

  • For the areas where we hold less than others - how do we find support and refreshment on the journey toward a more just society, and a safer and more compassionate world?

  • What is our place in the ecosystem of a planet under pressure?

  • What does it mean to offer leadership without being coercive or dangerously oppositional?

  • What sort of stories, art, music, literature, movies, dance, and other magic will aid us on this journey?

  • How can we help each other? 

We can’t promise any final answers, but at the New Story Retreat we will explore these questions honestly, and together create space for the wisdom and energy of this New Story community to come to life!

What to Expect

The New Story Retreat promises a weekend where the music of the heart mingles with the challenges of the current moment…

The Blue Hole at John Knox Ranch, our New Story Retreat site!

The Blue Hole at John Knox Ranch, our New Story Retreat site!

Where people who need to meet each other get to hear one another’s deepest stories…

Where you can connect with kindred-spirits and fellow way-finders who will help you take the next step of your own journey - as an individual, in your communities, and as part of this New Story Movement.

(Oh, and the landscape and food will be wonderful too!)

There will be SPECIAL GUESTS including musicians, poets, wisdom figures, teachers, activists, and leaders from diverse backgrounds ranging from personal growth to community building to social and political transformation - guides who will help us discern our own unique places in the New Story as we journey together toward the common good.

(Stay tuned for further announcements about some of the exciting teachers, performers, and wisdom figures who will be joining us!)

There will be OPPORTUNITIES for quiet reflection or dancing your socks off, and everything in between.

There will be intimate, intergenerational COMMUNITY as we do life together around campfires, over meals, and through shared experiences.

 All in an ENVIRONMENT of natural beauty, spaciousness, and fun!


LOCATION: The New Story Retreat will be held at John Knox Ranch, a beautiful property along the Blanco River near Wimberley, roughly an hour south of Austin, Texas. Click here for the address, map, and to get driving directions.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Include tent and RV camping, shared modernized cabins (with bathrooms and A/C), as well as shared rustic cabins. There are also numerous AirBnB and motel options nearby for those who prefer more private accommodations. See below for details and prices.

MEALS: You have the option of preparing your own meals at your campsite or purchasing a meal plan to eat in the camp dining hall.

AMENITIES/ACTIVITIES: Swimming is available in the camp pool and the Blue Hole (an artesian spring on the property) when lifeguards are on duty, and in the Blanco River anytime. You may fish in Carpers Creek next to the Blue Hole. Camp property also includes numerous trails for hiking and mountain biking with multiple scenic overlook points and a fossilized coral reef along one of the trails. There is also a Meditation Garden and Labyrinth on site. 

The New Story Retreat is for ALL AGES and program options for children ages 4-12 will be provided. 


Just a broad outline of our time together, with more details to be confirmed later - there will be an abundance of creative and restful, inspirational and joyful options! 




3-7 PM: Arrive, Set-up Camp, Enjoy the Property, Eat Dinner

7-10 PM: Musical Performance & Keynote Speaker

10 PM-LATE: Dancing/Talking/Meditating/Whatever is Life-Giving



10-12 PM: Group Experience

12-2 PM: Lunch & Free Time

2-5 PM: Afternoon Workshops 

5-7 PM: Dinner & Free Time

7-10PM: Musical Performance & Keynote Speaker

10PM-LATE: Dancing/Talking/Meditating/Whatever is Life-Giving



10AM-12 PM: Workshops

12-2 PM: Picnic and Closing Group Experience

 2pm: Head Out



Because we want the New Story Retreat to be accessible to all, there are always TWO registration prices - Full Price ($279) and a Discount Price (currently $219 for those who have received our exclusive retreat invitation, but only through October 15, after which prices will raise and the invitation will be extended to a wider audience). Please choose a price-level based on the resources you have available, the benefit you feel you'll receive from this unique gathering, and your desire to support the work of the New Story.

In addition, full-time students may attend for $99, youth ages 5-17 are only $59, and children under 5 attend for free.

You can also save 20% when registering for five or more tickets at a time. 


We will never turn anyone away based on need, so if the discount price is still beyond your budget, you can earn a free pass simply by volunteering to help behind-the-scenes during the retreat. Click here to apply!

One more thing: The New Story is about exuberant generosity, so we also ask anyone who is able to consider giving more to enable others to attend. When checking out, please consider adding an extra $10, $50, $100, or more to help off-set costs for those who have to pay less. Thank you!

ON-SITE AccommodationS

Options include tent camping, RV sites with and without full hookups, cabin bunks, and cabin options, both modernized and rustic. All prices are for the entire weekend. You can purchase your preferred housing simply by adding it to your order when registering for the Retreat on Eventbrite. For those who prefer more private accommodations, there are also numerous AirBnB and motel options within 10-20 minutes of the retreat site.

Meal Passes

You can bring your own food if camping, make use of local eating options, or purchase meal passes to eat at the John Knox Ranch dining hall. Meal passes can be added to your order when registering for the Retreat, but must be purchased no later than Friday, March 13.

  • Saturday Dinner: $11

  • Sunday Breakfast: $9

  • Sunday Lunch: $10

  • Friday Dinner: $11

  • Saturday Breakfast: $9

  • Saturday Lunch: $10

All Six Meals: $55 (save $5!)