Brave Girl Camp is a magical, amazing, all-inclusive 4 day art + life retreat, with perfectly planned days of meaningful fun and connection, designed to help you move forward joyfully into the rest of your life.
We have been holding Brave Girl Camps since 2009 and have had the privilege of having women join us from all over the US and Canada as well as from other countries all over the world. It truly is a phenomenal experience that you will never forget!
Come join us for art making and soul healing at the beautiful and secluded Brave River Ranch, nestled right along the Boise River in the tiny little country town of Star, Idaho. Let us cook for you and pamper you while you make meaningful art projects in the lavishly stocked, funky art barn and while you experience the life changing curriculum of Brave Girls Club…making lifelong friends and having the time of your life!
Registration for 2015 and 2016 camps is NOW OPEN
March 17-21, 2015
May 5-9, 2015
June 9-13, 2015
September 15-19, 2015
October 13-17, 2015
March 15-19, 2016
May 3-7, 2016
June 7-11, 2016
September 13-17, 2016
October 4-8, 2016
All-Inclusive Tuition – $1799 (installment plans are available)
Includes 4 nights’ lodging at the Hilton Garden Inn, all meals, snacks, and beverages, daily art/life classes personally designed and taught by Melody Ross, nightly firesides, transportation to the Ranch from Eagle, Idaho (and back), live music, and countless surprises and keepsakes. Bring an extra tote or duffle for everything you’ll be taking home with you. Brave Girl Camp is truly a once in a lifetime experience. (Note: tuition does not include airfare or other transportation to or from Boise.)
What is Brave Girl Camp?
- a beautiful Idaho experience that we want to share, as 4th Generation Idaho Girls
- a place to rest from every-day life
- a place to be lovingly pampered
- a very artsy place, filled with unforgettable surprises
- a place to eat exquisite, handcrafted foods for every meal and snack (made with oh sooo much love)
- a place to be a part of our big, crazy family, fun-loving family (including Grandma and Grandpa and whoever else drops by during the week)
- a place to make and see and share beautiful things
- a place of belonging
- a place for girls of every age (we’ve had campers from 18 to 84)
- a place to be safe
- a place to play
- a place to laugh
- a place to rest
- a place to think
- a place to dig deep
- a place to grow
- a place to breathe
- a place to heal
- a place to make decisions
- a place to learn what it means to be brave (and it means something different to everyone)
- a place to make meaningful and lasting friendships
- a place to learn some of the thousands of ways to really live with bravery
- a place to be very well taken care of, pampered in every way
- a place you will crave until the next time you come back
A few other ways to describe it:
- a completely unforgettable experience
- a dream come true (for us and for you!)
- worth any price or sacrifice to get there
- a completely life changing experience if you choose to let it be one!
What’s included with the tuition?
- 4 nights lodging in the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn in Eagle, Idaho, including full service breakfasts
- Transportation on the Brave Bus between the hotel and Melody’s riverside home
- Luscious healthy homemade gourmet lunches, snacks, and dinners each day, served at beautifully set tables
- Assorted soft drinks, juices, hot beverages, and water available all day
- Artsy, meaningful, soul-restoring classes, developed and taught by Melody Ross, in the amazing turquoise Art Barn
- Artfully packaged class kits in hand-made keepsake cloth envelopes
- Red Carpet sessions with new friends
- A Brave Girl Camp journal/sketchbook (for thoughts and ideas)
- A roomy and wonderful Brave Girl Camp tote-bag with hand-made touches
- Access to literally hundreds of art supplies and tools, plus instruction on how to use them
- A basket to borrow to hold projects in progress while at Brave Girl Camp
- Many other treats and surprises! Too many things to list here
- The time of your life if you choose to make it so
What will we be doing?
At Brave Girl Camp, our schedule will include lots of time together, beautiful lessons by Melody around the Red Carpet, luscious meals together around artfully set tables, instruction in art techniques and mediums, “art & life” projects created around huge tables in the colorful/magical turquoise Art Barn, evening firesides, live music, and lots of downtime and surprises.
With an experienced staff of over 12 women, your every need will be considered and attended to. If you need a special menu, just let us know and we’ll make sure that your meals are delicious and lovely so that you can experience pampering just like anyone else. We strive to make every detail memorable and special…nothing is overlooked.
Almost all of the art supplies you will need are included in the cost of the retreat so that you can ‘travel light’ and just enjoy yourself. Our job is to pamper you in a way that you have never been before!
Brave Girl Camp is the vacation from life that you have been waiting for and the experience of a lifetime. Our goal is to make sure that you have the time of your life while making lifelong friendships, and especially that you go back to your life a stronger, more joyful woman, feeling on-track and ready to be exactly who you are and to do exactly what is in your heart.
Brave Girl Camp is held at the most perfect place we could find…Melody’s home on the banks of the beautiful Boise River…a place we’ve named Brave River Ranch. We have spent over a year making it beautiful and magical, a place where you will feel how important you are to us and a place where you can feel comfortable and peaceful. We love Idaho and want to share all of the reasons why, and the Ranch is the perfect place to do that.
The décor is artsy mountain rustic. The gathering room in the Ranch House is warm and roomy with plenty of windows to take in the breath-taking views from every room. The wood-burning fireplace is cozy and the living room is wrapped in a huge comfy sofa with a
red carpet in the middle…just waiting for our Red Carpet sessions that are such a memorable and important part of each camp. This is a place where we hope you will feel right at home.
Brave Girl Camp includes 4 nights’ lodging at the lovely Hilton Garden Inn in Eagle, Idaho, a short 10 minute bus ride from the Ranch. You’ll share a room with one of the other Campers; you’ll have your own comfortable queen bed. (Private rooms are available…just contact us after you register and we’ll help make those arrangements.) You’ll have time to enjoy the decks overlooking the peaceful river or the spacious, comfortable lobby with lots of areas for relaxing and conversation. Each morning you’ll have a delicious breakfast at the Hotel before boarding the Brave Bus, bound for the Ranch! You can learn all about this beautiful hotel here.
The Brave Bus
This is the wonderful old bus that will take you from the Hotel to spend the days at the River Ranch! You’ll be invited to leave your permanent mark on the inside of the bus….we’ll show you when you get here! (Note: The Brave Bus will not stay plain for long…she’ll be dolled up in true Brave Girl style soon!)
The Treasure Valley enjoys four distinct seasons with snow in the winter and hot, sunny days in the summer. We’ll let you know exactly what to expect for your retreat date.
What to Bring
We’ll contact you personally well ahead of time and let you know exactly what to bring. It won’t be much besides clothes (layers for unpredictable weather), a few art supplies, and your tooth brush!
The lovely Boise River is just steps from the Ranch (and the Hotel although they are six miles apart)…depending on the weather we’ll take daily walks along the wide, meandering river path…guaranteed to create some of the warmest memories you will take home from your camp experience. Bring a camera! You’ll want to remember every minute.
Click here to view an online photo album of selected photos from our past 3 years of camps. These photos are in no particular order…just lots of fun photos to give you a better idea of what we do and what to expect.
Below are blog excerpts from some of the incredible women from our Brave Girl Camps — diverse in age, background, experiences, talents, personalities, families, life stories, goals, dreams, struggles, challenges, stages of life. We’ll never forget each of the beautiful, soulful, creative, amazing women who have come to Camp.
From Jeanne …
To say we were being spoiled would be an understatement!Our morning walks were so beautiful and a quiet time with some of the girls. Besides being such a great way to start the day….it was gorgeous. My heart and mind came home so full of ideas, joy, creations, promises, truths. I keep thinking about the amazing women I met. Their stories. Their pain and their bravery. I really miss them.
One of the most powerful writing exercises for me during the camp was the day we made our promises book. I don’t think I have EVER written promises to myself. It is the only exercise that made me cry. Not because it was hard….because it was precious. I felt like I was making promises to myself as a little girl….and that I would fight for her…I would support her…I would believe in her dreams. I then went on to write promises to each of my three children, my husband and then our marriage. Sometimes you just need a little quiet to hear the truths, make the promises and remember that you were born to fly.
From Teresa …
On the first day, I met up with the other BRAVE GIRLS and we got on a shuttle bus to the cabin, I was a little nervous. What had I gotten myself into????? I would have NO computeraccess, NO cell phone coverage and communication with my family or work for 4 days. (did I mention I have huge work deadlines?) The ride up to the cabin was wonderful. I could FEEL something big was going to happen. I felt an instant connection to the BRAVE GIRLS…Melody met us just before we got to the cabin and we agreed to “be there” and leave our concerns, guilt, fears, etc. RIGHT there…
(we threw bird seed in the AIR- yes, worrying is for the birds- right?) A short time later…we arrived to beautiful girls who hugged and welcomed us. I felt like I was a sister and that I was returning HOME. BEAUTIFUL lights and Green Lanterns were hung… It felt peaceful and inviting. We listened to beautiful playlists of music as we created. This entire event was needed for me to REFLECT on MY life…Can you imagine – WRITING to yourself? it was like an AH HA. moment. I fought back tears. I was thinking and reflecting on my past- joys, sorrow, pain, lessons learned… and I focused on the positive, and I have a tin full of cards/letters to myself that I keep rereading to myself.
We took lots of breaks for FOOD and snacks. Kathy showered us with the most amazing food. I felt like I was at a CELEBRITY retreat. I know Kathy and the girls put their HEART into the menu and presentation. THANK YOU SO MUCH- I felt so pampered and special.
We are BRAVE women…we connected, we laughed, we cried, we created, and went on little sleep. We are better wives, mothers, friends by all that we learned. I will NEVER be the same. It was deep and intense and honestly…the ART was merely a vehicle of pure love self expression to each of our souls. I KNEW I was supposed to be at the event to make friends and to see LOVE in action within the women there. I met so many women that FILLED my heart with love and that I consider FOREVER FRIENDS.
From Becky …
How do you put into words a life changing, out of this world experience?
I guess I knew Brave Girl Camp was going to be pretty special when we stopped at the base of the road that led to the cabin and Melody had us toss bird seed to the ground and leave all of our worries behind. She said we were to let go of our bills, every day details, worries about our families and all that would entangle our minds for the next 4 days. It worked too. I didn’t worry about anything for the rest of the week! When we walked in we were surrounded with the smell of home cooked food (the best ever), and personal touches that made us feel overwhelmingly loved. They had our pictures spread all throughout the cabin. Isn’t that just the best idea? Nothing makes you more at home than seeing your children’s faces or your little Fergie staring up at you. It was wonderful. Everything had our name on it. They personalized everything and lavished us with supply kits. They thought through every little detail to make us feel special. They memorized our profiles and thought of us as they sewed and labored and prepared. When we got there they all greeted us and gave us hugs. I’m telling you it was a love fest!! And I have to think really hard to a remember a time where I felt more at home and honored. It was magical!
It was just beautiful to walk in to that dreamy world. What would come next would be days of soul searching, creating, exploring and ultimately rediscovering who we were and what we wanted out of life.
From Lissa …
Upon arrival we walked into a beautifully lit cabin with twinkly lights and yummy smelling candles. (you know how that’s my thing…) There were pictures of our families, even photos of our pets hanging around the room to cause us to IMMEDIATELY feel at home! It felt like one big, HAPPY family!
Melody and Kathy along with the rest of their family just make you feel like you’re at home. I read on a blog today that real friends are the kind of friends who you feel comfortable enough with to invite them over for dinner and serve left-overs. That’s the kind of friends I made at Brave Girl Camp.
What an HONOR to be able to attend. I met the most wonderful women! I met FIGHTERS!!! I met women who left not only determined to fly but determined to SOAR! I met women who INSPIRE me! No detail was spared! Nothing was too much! I remember Becky saying over and over “I feel so blessed… I feel so blessed…”
Beautiful, amazing, lovely, funny, joyful Melody is instructing us on our projects. She was so ready to open up her heart to each one of us! You have never experienced such generosity! We were surrounded by beauty! inside…and then outside…The beauty of God’s amazing creation.
Thank you for all of your hard work! I wish I could put into words how much you mean to me! Thank you for making every meal, snack, dessert “the best food you have ever tasted!
From Kallie …
It was life-changing….all of it. I learned (again) that women need each other…we just do. We have a gift for nurturing and inspiring and comforting and we ought to share that not only with our husbands and our children but with each other. I learned that everyone struggles, and that it doesn’t matter what our individual problems are, and if they’re big or small to us, our struggles are the same. But the biggest lesson I learned is the lesson of CHOICE. That crap happens…life isn’t perfect and if we’re lucky it never will be, but no matter what happens, we have a choice about what to do with it.
There was a project about making promises to yourself. How incredible to make promises to yourself on things you don’t want to fudge on. Here are some of my promises – I promise to take care of my body…to get to my right weight and stay there both for myself and for my family and loved ones. I promise to be true to the musician inside of me and to take the steps needed to develop my talents even further. I promise to use those talents to bless others. I promise to be more forward, open and honest with myself and others about what I really want. I promise to start breaking down the walls around my heart that prevent me from making deep and lasting friendships.
This is an amazing, inspiring revolution – come be part of it…come be a BRAVE GIRL!!!
This was the scene of our arrival to Brave Girls’ Camp. Participants from all over were driven from the airport to our lodge…Snow, beautiful snow. All around us was snow.
This is the scene within the lodge when we entered. A beautiful table welcoming us with a most delicious meal se
rved to us by an incredible staff.
Melody shared stories of overcoming challenges throughout her journey, and offered some creative prompts centered on the concepts of protecting that which is most important to us and in so doing, finding strength to always move forward, and always have hope.
The most exciting technique I learned from Melody was how to use her new line of chip art tools by GCD Studios to create a letter press effect by inking her metal stamp and then hammering the stamp into mat board with a mallet. TRUE innovation.
(On the second day…) Melody offered a new set of prompts about how in life, there will be challenges. There will be naysayers. There will be heartache. And the thing about life is that we all know heartache. But that regardless of all that, we can choose to move forward anyway.
Anyway. What a great word. Yes indeed … I do know heartache. But I will keep building anyway.
In between the projects and prompts, the best things were created. Like
Roars of laughter …
New friendships …
Fun and joyful times …
Insights from books …
And the resolve — regardless of what life throws at us — to be good, supportive, and brave.
From Camille -
And oh… the supplies. Everything you could imagine and hope for. Huge containers of found items of all shape and styles. Paints and glitter, MOD PODGE. Lots of Mod. We love MOD. Mod is our friend and constant
And we really bond. Fabulous beautiful brave girls create fabulous beautiful art….and bond into fabulous loving friendships…
Hello dear friends. I want to start by sharing a favorite quote of mine and something that really rang true of Brave Girl Camp.
“My Friend, if I could give you one thing, I would give you the ability to see yourself as others see you . . . then you would realize what a truly special person you are.” ~ Barbara A. Billings
Such a great quote
and reminder that we are all special, unique and cherished individuals. I had mentioned that I was eager to share about some of the things I created at Brave Girl Camp. While Brave Girls were being pampered by Melody and Kathy’s family . . . there was time to create. Melody would prompt exercises and themes for creating. Some did mini books, some canvas’, some aprons.
But whatever crafty thing folks were creating there was meaning behind it prompted by Melody’s message, words and phrases. The wonderful thing . . . there was freedom to create with your own style . . Everyone’s was different . . . unique . . . a message special only to them. It was awesome and so meaningful.
It was about life infused in art . . . expressing yourself. It was about sisters I made for life. About living and loving the best you know how. It was about leaving lighter in some respects and gaining freedom. It was a creative and musical experience. It was about detail and servanthood. About facing the tough stuff and being brave. It was about tools being used to create, express, heal and grow. Yes, tools like Fiskars help heal! It was about building and rebuilding lives through art and lovingly serving. I was so grateful that I could take a part in this experience. It is absolutely unforgettable and I am so very blessed.
How can one not feel the love, love, love from this kind of detail, knowing that our hostesses put their hearts into every single step taken to ensure our knowledge of wondrous things about to happen.
And wondrous things did happen under the twinkle lights and lanterns. Life-changing experiences are just that and the best ones are the least expected. They can knock your socks off, take your breathe away, dispel the gloom and open up those doors one thought forgotten and closed.
One lesson for the day was truth and lies. I chose to make a book of affirmations of what I know in my heart to be true; miracles, blessings, the becoming of who we are meant to be and all the help along the way if we let it.
I hope everyday (the projects I created) will remind me that I’m great at what I do, even if it is different from someone else. I’m not someone else; I’m me and I’ll be brave in my own little way, every day. And that is the best lesson – ever.
This art gives me a simple peace whenever I look at it. By the third day at camp, I truly did have hope which leads to peace and joy. Peace in knowing that I have what I need right now and joy in knowing that is enough. We al
l hope for more and that is okay too, but I’m learning to have peace and joy in the moment.
We were up in the beautiful mountains of Idaho, away from the “world” away from home, family, TV, internet, and yes…Cell phones…I was worried at first…
But as the experience unfolded so beautifully I knew I needed the break…Taking the time away when I have so much going on was a gift to myself…
From the moment we met up I knew this was going to be great! We were met by Marq at the bus stop and he greeted us with beautiful handmade bags filled with treats, a journal, a beautiful map and a secret bag that said “don’t open yet.” We rode together toward camp with some mixed feelings…I was excited and nervous at the same time…
Each meal was to die for…The detail was in every little thing…We ate like queens…
We learned some new tools for ourselves, some new ways of looking at our lives, we shared stories, some very painful, raw, and true…We cleaned house…Then we created to remind us…
We shared ideas, learned new techniques, played with paint, mist, mallets and and used the chip art to pound words that meant something to us…
We listened…We slept very little…Too much “work” to be done…We made friendships that will last a lifetime…
All of your meals will be lovingly prepared and served on our collection of beautiful vintage tableware & flea market finds. Kathy will be joined in the kitchen by Malary (Melody’s daughter) and our permanent staff, some of the best cooks you’ll ever meet. You are welcome to hang out in the kitchen at any time throughout the retreat for a snack or a cooking lesson or just to sit and relax and keep the cooks company! We hope you make yourself at home while you are with us!
Welcome Dinner Party:
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad
Lemon Mousse with Lemon Blossom Cookies
Kathy’s Kicked-Up Chicken Salad on Wheat Nut Bread
Pasta Salad with Garden Vegetables
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
Assorted Iced Beverages
Homemade Fruit Popsicles
Grilled Flat-Iron Steak Caprise Salad
Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Turkey Croissant Sandwiches w/ Strawberries and Poppy Seed Dressing
Cheese & Crackers
Glazed Honey Carrots
Fresh Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic
Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars
Homemade Orange Poppy Seed Cookies
Vegetables and ‘You Won’t Believe It’s Low Fat’ Dip
Assorted Iced Beverages
Luke’s Smoked BBQ’d Tri Tip Steak
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes
Green Salad with Balsamic Dressing
Hilarie’s Homemade Dinner Rolls
Extreme Bite-Sized Dessert Buffet
*Note: This menu may WILL change as we find ever-more-delicious recipes and fresh ingredients to share!
Frequently Asked Questions
A. Yes! Melody has specifically designed these projects to be for ALL SKILL LEVELS. If you are an accomplished artist, you will learn skills and techniques that will challenge and inspire you. We’ll provide an incredible variety of tools and materials to spark your own creativity and ideas, and you’ll be able to put the skills you already have to work on these amazing projects. If you’re more of a beginner, don’t worry….you will learn easy-to-apply techniques that will translate into beautiful projects that you will be proud of and that will be powerful life-tools. There is always someone in the Art Barn to answer all your questions and give you one-on-one instruction if needed. So even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, BE BRAVE – Brave Girl Camp is absolutely for you!
Q. What airport should I fly into?
A. Boise, Idaho. (BOI)
Q. What time should I book my flights?
A. Your flight will need to arrive on Tuesday by 2:00 pm. You’ll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Eagle, ID, which is about 30 minutes from the Boise airport. There is shuttle service available, provided by the Hilton. You will need to call the Hilton when you arrive to schedule a shuttle pick up, or if you are getting in at the last minute, you may need to take a cab in order to make it. The Brave Bus will pick you up at the Hilton at 4:00 pm on Tuesday and take you to the Brave River Ranch. Camp ends at the Ranch late on Friday night, so you will be able to schedule your return flight at any time on Saturday. Checkout is noon, so take your time if you can and plan a relaxing morning at the Hotel with your new friends.
Q. Can I room with my friend who is also coming?
A. We have found that by far, the best experiences happen when friends do not room together. If you do come with a friend, we hope that you will be okay with being in separate rooms. We promise that you will have tons of time to enjoy Camp together. (The exception is our May 2012 Camp — if you are coming with your mother or daughter or sister, we will encourage you to room together)
Q. What kind of weather should I expect?
Q. What should I bring with me?
A. We like to keep the list very short so you can travel light! Remember to dress COMFORTABLY. We do have a tradition of taking a photo at our closing party on Friday night…please bring a white shirt/blouse and colorful jewelry for that photo.
Here is a list of basic tools and supplies you’ll need to bring with you:
- Crafting scissors
- Fabric scissors
- Mod Podge (matte and gloss)
- Paper adhesives you like
- Several various sized paintbrushes, including a fine small detail brush
- 5-6 or more copies of photos of yourself that mean something to you
- Any art supplies you already own and love to use (exacto knife, paper trimmer, cropodile, etc. – optional)
- Any paper or fabric scraps from your stash to share (optional)
- Ear Plugs (just keeping it real and friendly)
Q. What about computers and cell phones?
A. We are 100% unplugged at Brave Girl Camp. We ask that you leave your laptops and iPads and such at home (gasp!) and turn OFF cell phones for the duration of camp. This is a very important part of what makes camp so special. Don’t worry — your loved ones will have an emergency contact number so that you can be reached if needed. You deserve this to be the best experience possible and unplugging is a critical part of that. (When was the last time you were in a room with a group of people where no one was texting or checking their messages?) You’ll be able to really focus on yourself and the incredible experiences you are having. Trust us – it’ll be okay.
Q. What about women who are couples?
A. Because of the dynamics of this camp and as it is not a couples retreat, we do not invite women who are couples to attend together. They are certainly invited to attend separate camps, however. Because none of the other women have their partners in attendance, the interaction is far different than in a couples retreat session. We invite women in intimate partnerships to attend separate sessions.
Q. Is tuition refundable?
A. There is an enormous amount of expense and advance preparation that goes into preparing for each individual guest. While the initial $300 deposit is not refundable, up to a certain point tuitions are transferable to another person. So if something comes up that prevents you from coming, you are free to sell your spot to another person. Please contact email@example.com for details on how to do that. You will see the entire refund policy as part of the registration process. Please be sure to read it carefully before you complete your registration.
Email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer them.
Your camp experience will be completely unique to you. What we have heard from all of our Campers is that Brave Girl Camp is an experience like nothing else. No matter what they expected, Brave Girl Camp exceeded their expectations. Our promise is that we will do everything we possibly can to make your experience something that you will never forget, something that will set your feet on brave new paths, something that will help you to live more joyfully and purposefully going forward. We hope you will come join us!
melody and kathy
And one more little video with live footage from a recent camp…
March 18-22, 2014 (Sold Out)
May 6-10, 2014 (Sold Out)
June 10-14, 2014 (Sold Out)
September 9-13, 2014 (1 opening)
October 7-11, 2014 (Sold Out)
March 17-21, 2015
May 5-9, 2015
June 9-13, 2015
September 15-19, 2015
October 13-17, 2015
All-Inclusive Tuition – $1799
Includes 4 nights’ lodging at the Hilton Garden Inn, all meals, snacks, and beverages, daily art/life classes personally designed and taught by Melody Ross, nightly firesides, transportation to the lodge from Eagle, Idaho (and back), live music, and countless surprises and keepsakes. Bring an extra tote or duffle for everything you’ll be taking home with you. Brave Girl Camp is truly a once in a lifetime experience. (Note: tuition does not include airfare or other transportation to or from Boise.)
Monthly payment plans are available.