Gretna January Update

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Gretna Woodcarvers Retreat is fast approaching.  Less than a month away.  There is still time for you register.  Be Sure to list your second choice for your class, as several are approaching the maximum people for the class.  If you have already registered, get your knives sharpened and tools gathered.  Dulcimer builders that are now players bring your dulcimer along.  Expecting another fun year at Gretna with the woodcarvers.
Buy, sell or swap table.  This table (really tables) gets a lot of attention.  You got anything related to carving that you want to sell or trade?
George Bledsoe will have wood at Gretna again on Saturday and Sunday.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Gretna December Update

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A couple changes since the first classes information handed out.
1.  We added Rich Wagner with his Incised Carving Class.
2.  Traci Bates has been asked  if she is doing pine needles again this year.  She will bring some supplies along if someone wants to do a basket or ornament, etc.
3   Registration has been coming in earlier than normal.  Consequently some of the classes are filling up to their maximum.
Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving with your families.  Be sure to add Gretna Retreat to your Christmas list.
Looking forward to seeing all of you again soon.

Additional class added for Grenta 2018 – Rich Wagner: Incised Carving

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*Rich Wagner: INCISED CARVING Class will be on 2/9 and 2/10 Class $30.00: All material for the project will be provided (5×7 basswood boards, instructions and many patterns to choose from.) You will need a chip carving knife or a very thin blade carving knife. You can get by with an X-ACTO knife. They will do a good job for this type of carving, but I prefer a chip carving knife. Don’t buy an X-ACTO knife if you don’t have one. I have 6 of them for you to use. Contact Rich at 402-218-7270 or chipcarver5@gmail.com if you have any questions.

2018 Classes and Registration Form now Available!

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The 2018 classes are now listed. Please look through the list to find a class that interests you!

Fill out the 2018 registration form. Send it in early to get in the class you want.

2018 Gretna is only six months away!

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Here is a sneak preview of some of the instructors that will be available!



Stay tuned for project subjects and more information!

Gretna Retreat 2017 Recap

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Gretna Retreat 2017 Recap

Great news!  Another year has gone off without a hitch at the Gretna Retreat held at the Gretna 4 H Camp!  A Big “Thank You” goes to John and Mary who have been instrumental in keeping this tradition going, and to everyone who made the show a success.

One highlight of the weekend was the beautiful weather, no snow, no ice, and temperatures did not drop to the teens or lower this year!   With that kind of weather, it reminded me that spring is coming.   This year as with years in the past, we had carvers form several states join us. We had a gathering of woodcarvers of all levels of expertise, for learning, carving, camaraderie and relaxation.  Carvers at all levels of experience can find classes to meet their needs at our Gretna Retreat.

As I worked on my project and visited with friends that I only get to see once a year at Gretna, it came to mind that if you have not been able to attend one of our retreats, you are really missing out on a wonderful weekend.  We even had our very own concerts performed each evening by our class of dulcimer makers this year.  That is right, one of the classed taught this year was how to make a dulcimer, the class even included lessons on how to play!  Another big draw this year was evening domino games.   Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves this weekend, and to top it off, the classes are not expensive.  The food tastes great and there is always plenty of it.  Carvers bring an assortment of snacks for everyone to share, so there is always something for every taste out there (for those of us who need a little something between meals)!  The cabins that are available to stay in, for those traveling a distance or who like us, like to stay where the action is are the typical bunk style cabins.  I must say however, they are very comfortable.  You just need to bring your sleeping bag, towels and your own toiletries.  I took some pictures to show you what goes on at Gretna, hope you enjoy them.

My parting words are, “If you have never been able to make it to the Gretna Retreat, make next year the year!”  It is an awesome time with interesting people and amazing instructors, a perfect “get-a-way” in the middle of winter in Nebraska!


2017 Gretna Wood Carvers Retreat Pictures

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Gretna 2017 Retreat Thank You!!

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Thank you to all who attended the Gretna Woodcarvers Retreat this year and all the instructors  –  still praising God there was no ice to contend with.  We were blessed with 12 new students this year who have not been there since I’ve been coming (7 years).  So our numbers should be up next year.
Next year’s dates are FEBRUARY 8, 9, 10, 11 2018 for the classes.  Wednesday night (7th) will also be available for the travelers who wish to come in the day before.
Watch the web site for (www.gretnawoodcarversretreat.com)  for further notices.

2017 Gretna Retreat this week!

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This retreat will sure be different.  Currently they are forecasting temperatures in the 50’s for Gretna on Fri & Sat. Praising God for this good news.  Shouldn’t be any ice this year in our area.  Whooppee.
Going though some things a couple weeks ago I found a picture of the group of carvers in 2006 at Gretna.  I’m hoping we can get Bryan (our webmaster) to take one for us this year.
For you musicians –  we will have a jam session on Friday night.  Ken Jierle and Bryan Moody bring your guitars.  You can teach us a thing or two also.  Anyone else play guitar or a dulcimer?  Our dulcimer music is all in the Key of D.  You’re smarter than our Prairie Dulcimer Players group are and can convert to our key. We might get to listen to some of you playing some other songs that you want us to hear.  I know Gregg entertained us a lot 2 years ago.  And Charlie Kemp had his uke then.  This year he made a dulcimer in John’s class at Doane Experience in July.  This week he is doing another one, only a 6 stringer this time.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!


Posted by on 4:03 pm in Featured | Comments Off on 2017 GRETNA WOODCARVERS RETREAT JAN 26th Update

Will be seeing you in 2 weeks at Gretna Woodcarvers Retreat.  We have several new comers this year whom I’ve not met since I’ve been coming now – 7 years.  It is always fun to meet new carvers  to add to your “Woodcarving Family”
  • There is always a BUY, SELL, SWAP, TRADE table for wood, carving items, tools, etc.  You are welcome to bring things you have for this.  Be sure to mark with your name and prices.
  • CAMPERS – Don’t forget a flashlight, your bedding and towels beside your clothes. Definitely pack warm clothing.  Ice cleats or trackers if you have them.  Sidewalks are salted often, but bring them if you have them.
  • CLASSES:  Thursday start when instructors are set up and come.  Rest of the time classes start at 9.   
  • There is still room and time to sign up for any of the classes except for the dulcimer class.  It is full.
  • Visitors are welcome so invite your friends to come check out the retreat.
George Bledsoe, our wood vendor will be there on Saturday and Sunday for your wood purchases. To special order ahead of time, contact George at 712-310-4154 orbledsoeg@hotmail.com.
If you have any questions contact John or I at the following:
John Robbins 308-236-3307              Mary Robbins at 308-627-4435
jrobb3@hotmail.com                         merobbins1942@yahoo.com
Don’t forget to check out our website at: www.gretnawoodcarversretreat.com