Registration is open for GE! September 27 - 29, 2019.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Venmo Now Available For the Auction!

The Great Escape Auction can now accept VENMO payments for your auction purchases, in addition to cash or checks.  We hope that this will make the process of paying for auction winnings quicker for all, so you can get to your after dinner activities on Saturday night more quickly.

If you are not a VENMO user, here's a quick explanation.   Venmo is an app(lication) for both Apple and Android phones which allows people to transfer money directly to other people's bank accounts.  So you can now transfer money from your bank to ours directly from your phone.  Note that it is similar to SQUARE, which many of you may have used for cookie sales.

For a more detailed explanation, here's what NerdWallet has to say about VENMO.

What is Venmo? Venmo is a peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer mobile app, similar to Square Cash, that has a social media twist: You can send or request money via emoji-studded text messages, which show up in a Facebook-style feed. Don’t worry, though — dollar amounts always remain private.

How Venmo works

Transfers and purchases. Venmo lets you send and request money to and from anyone who has a Venmo account. The app can help with the awkward chore of reimbursing family or friends for dinner or other outings, but it’s not made for buying or selling goods with strangers. Venmo can also be used for web purchases with certain merchants, usually on websites with a payment button similar to PayPal’s.
Mobile only. Venmo payments are made on its highly rated Android and iOS smartphone apps as well as via iMessage or with Siri voice command. You can sign in at Venmo’s website on a desktop or mobile device to view transactions, but not to pay or request money.
U.S. customers only. Venmo, which is operated by PayPal, requires both sender and recipient to be in the United States.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Thnking about the Auction.

As we look forward to Great Escape, I’m sure some of you are remembering the excitement and glee of last year’s live auction.  For those who are new to the Great Escape community, each year we hold a live auction to benefit Camp Wabasso and our other camps.  Our phenomenal auctioneer Kaye/Cookie auctions baskets of goodies donated by G.E. participants. 

We hope you will consider bringing a basket. To help kickstart your creative process, we’ve come up with a few general themes for you to make your own.

When we say basket… we don’t literally mean basket.  Useful tote bags, bowls, a laundry basket, or other clever containers can help make your basket one to bid on.  Recently I saw a fire pit filled with ‘smores ingredients win the ‘most desired’ auction item at a convention I attended.

When in doubt… wine and chocolate.  The Great Escape is home to many enthusiastic “winers,” so these items are always in demand.

Make a mother’s or grandmother’s fun day kit… we have moms and grandmas who are always looking for gifts and activities for kids.

Crafts are a big part of Great Escape, and hand crafted treasures are wildly popular.  Baskets with crafting goodies are also highly appreciated.  How about a ‘starter kit’ for a craft or art you are whiz at?  Get started knitting, crocheting, wood burning, painting in oils, acrylics, watercolors, who knows what will appeal?  You do!

Pick something you would want to bid on.  Your favorite books, (Harry Potter - just be sure not to read the spells out loud!)  hobbies, colors, movies, animals, and music are all great starting places.  Odds are your fellow Great Escapers will like them too!

Good luck!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Did You Finish Your Summer Reading?

The other day, my friend and I were talking about the summer reading we had to do in High School.  We had to read 6 books, 3 fiction and 3 non-fiction, from an extensive list.  We agreed we liked that much better than the current practice of making every student read the same book, chosen to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  No wonder kids hate reading!  I remember reading a book about Madame Curie (written by her daughter, a distinguished scientist herself,)  Cheaper by the Dozen and Katherine by Anya Seton!

If your kids are racing to the finish, why not join them and finish the Great Escape Book Club selection for 2019 at the same time.  I finished it a couple of weeks ago and it's excellent.  BTW it's not about politics! Counting down to GE!  Only 35 days left?  Is my math right?  I better get busy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Vacation? Keep GE Auction Baskets in Mind!

Last weekend I attended the Biennial Handbell Musicians of America Area 1 (NE) Conference.

An amazing group of musicians played for us.  Check out Forte at  They are from Colorado; be sure to check out their videos.  They are even more amazing in performance - they do a lot of comedy bits!

There was a basket auction, too, and I took some photos and notes.  Many baskets were themed to the New England States.  That's what made me think that if you are on vacay, you might want to pick up basket items.  I love to shop for souvenirs but the thought of cluttering up the house keeps my purse closed.  Putting the items in a Great Escape basket would benefit our camps and satisfy that shopping gene!

Everyone bid on this wonderful item - a portable firepit filled with s'mores ingredients.

There were baskets from all the New England States, labelled with what was in the basket.  And wrapped beautifully too!

There's still time to sign up - hurry before all the workshops you want to take are full!  Check out the Turkey cooking workshop in the "D" slot - amaze your troop by teaching them to cook a turkey in a trash can!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Last Call For Early Birds!

Remember, deadline for Early Bird Registration for the Great Escape is midnight June 30th!
Nine workshops are already full, and accommodations are going quickly.

Heated spaces are full (unless you have a medical problem requiring inside quarters - contact Lesley.)

 Did we mention this is a turkey dinner year?

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Make Something Beautiful At Great Escape

Sometimes the small photos on the WORKSHOPS page don't do the items justice!  Here are some larger photos to help you decide on your choices for REGISTRATION.  Many  are suitable for making with troops or family groups.

This burlap wreath uses a wire coat hanger instead of an expensive wreath form!  It can be decorated for any occasion.  It surely has that Fixer-Upper farmhouse feel. I can imagine it for Christmas with a green bow and some holly.  Or a red bow and some hearts for Valentine's day.

If you are like me, you can't stand to throw out all the beautiful holiday cards, birthday cards, congratulations, wedding and anniversary wishes you received.  When we moved, I had to dispose of literally thousands!  Be proactive - make some into these lovely decorations!  Or, bring some scrapbook paper and deplete that stash!

I'm so taken with this beautiful string art cactus!  Wouldn't this look great on a bathroom wall, or on a covered porch?  Wouldn't it be fun to do as part of an "Outdoor Art" badge?

Speaking of outdoor art, pine cones, with their 'leaves' arranged in a Fibonacci sequence, are a great example of STEAM.  Learn to make these beautiful pine cones and you'll want to teach everyone you know!  These neutral colors were chosen to be quasi-realistic, and to go on a themed tree,  but they can be glitzy or glam, depending on the papers chosen!

Friday, May 31, 2019

The Early Bird Gets the Workshop!

Less than three weeks since registration opened and we are over half full!  Four workshops are full.   

Our Early Bird rate ends July 1 but last year we were full before that!