In 1993, Dave Colbert had an idea. He felt that Oregon would be a great place to have a kitemakers retreat. With its long wet winters, what better place to spend a weekend indoors, making
kites. The next question was where to have it. After a search of many different venues, Dave decided that the Twin Rocks Friends Camp, in Rockaway Beach was an ideal location. Rockaway has always been a popular beach for kiteflying, and is centrally located. The camp is set on about 100 wooded acres, with hiking trails, a lake rec. hall, and other facilities.
Preparations were made to have the event in January 1994. Reservations were made, teachers were lined up and things were coming together. Unfortunately, a week before the retreat, only three people had pre registered. Dave was getting ready to cancel. When he spoke to a couple of the teachers, they stated they would teach anywhere. At the last minute, Dave decided to have the retreat at his home in Lincoln City, instead of canceling. Fortunately, he had a large house, because about 35 people came. People were working in the living room, dining room, work shop, and bedrooms. It was crowded, Noisy, fun and everyone even learned a thing or two. In my 30+ years of kiting, it is still one of the most memorable times I’ve ever had. (THANK YOU DAVE)
I believe that this set the mood of OKR as a small, cozy event, with friends, old and new, getting together to share ideas, plans, and camaraderie.
In 1995 the retreat took place at Friends Camp for the first time. There were more people, more space, but the same intimacy that there was at Dave’s home. Dave ran the retreat at the camp for two years, establishing it as what it is today. After the 1996 retreat, the event was taken over by a committee, appointed by AOK. Since taking over the committee has tried to keep the same feeling.( If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it)
Over the years, we have had teachers from: Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, England, Germany, and Tasmania. We try to bring in a mix of sewn and non-sewn projects, at all skill levels. So whether you are a new or experienced kitemaker, there is something for everyone.
For many people, one of the favorite parts of OKR is the raffle. Due to the generosity of the teachers, attendees, kite shops, manufactures, and others, there is always an incredible variety of items, including kites, windsocks, banners, books, clothing, kite pins, collectibles, and kitemaking supplies. The raffles take place after meals on Friday and Saturday. It is the one of the main sources of income for the retreat. It enables us to keep registration fees lower, and gives attendees a chance to win some incredible items.
Twin Rocks Friends Camp is an ideal location for an event like this. Lodging is in the main building and a group of cabins. Classrooms are in the main building, dining hall, and meeting house. Every thing is close by, including the beach, and many people never touch their cars once they get unloaded. The dining hall is just steps away from all classrooms, and offers some of the best food of any of the retreats. The Camp staff is friendly and helpful. So remember, as one recent attendee said, “Where else can you go to the beach, Get three nights lodging, and eight meals for the cost of registration, plus learn a thing or two.” So the committee hopes you come and enjoy a weekend of fun, camaraderie and learning.