The Self-Sufficient Woman

Aug 3 - 5, 2018

When you were young, did you spend more time developing your social and scholastic skills than ripping apart and rebuilding household items? You’re not alone. Many accomplished women find that when it comes to home repairs, they lack some confidence. That’s what this event is about—developing a few of those areas where we could use a little instruction. We know we can do it! A little exposure and practice will set us up for success!

So, invest in yourself and join a welcoming group of other enterprising women to conquer fun challenges you probably never thought you'd tackle (and eat yummy food -- there's always yummy food). Several inspiring instructors will share skills and secrets for:  DIY home repair and maintenance, urban gardening, lock-picking, financial literacy, and bike mechanics. Our female DIY teachers are experts in a wide range of traditionally masculine topics and could probably teach the partner, husband, father in your life a thing or two  ; )

You will walk away with new skills and a revived confidence in yourself. Be prepared to be impressed by your hidden talents!

This is a Rocky's Retreats Signature Event.

Sign me up!

What women said:

"GREAT morning and afternoon locations! Instructors were fun and informative. Food and drinks were AWESOME! Rocky, you're amazing!"

"Excellent! Instructors had a tremendous amount of knowledge and were more than willing to share it. A lot of enthusiasm from all. Excellent organization and planning from Rocky."

"Great concept, great plan, and we stayed on schedule even with people having time to ask questions. I enjoyed all of the workshops, more than expected, and will be using my many new skills around my house."


Instructor Spotlight

Katie is a self-sufficient woman if there ever was one! She’s a self-taught DIY expert, with many years of experience troubleshooting mundane and bizarre repairs at rental properties. With an interest in the environment and our food system, she’s also developed skills as a badass beekeeper and prosperous urban farmer. To top it off, she loves empowering others to be self- sufficient! We’re extremely fortunate to have this dynamo as an instructor for The Self- Sufficient Woman weekend retreat.

Location: Almost all segments of the weekend will take place in the vibrant community of Hyattsville, MD, just outside of Washington DC.


Friday Aug 3, participants should arrive between 5:00pm -5:45pm for registration. We’ll wrap up around 8pm that evening and participants can choose to go out in the area or head back to their hotels/homes.

Saturday Aug 4, we begin at 9am and finish at 9pm. Again, participants can choose to stay out later if they wish.

Sunday Aug 5, we begin at 9am and finish at 5pm.

This is a single weekend-long retreat. Anyone commuting from the DC area should be prepared to participate in the entire event, in the time frames noted. You’ll want to stay for every minute!


  • We’ll have 2 sessions with talented do-it-yourself instructors.
  • One session learning some urban farming techniques we can apply.
  • One session with knowledgeable financial educators to manage our money better.
  • We’ll learn basic bike mechanics and how to change an inner tube when we get a flat. Feel free to bring your bike!
  • For fun, we’ll learn to pick locks (and restraints, yikes!) over happy hour!

I'm a Self-Sufficient Woman!

Instructor Spotlight

Nancy is a pioneer for women in construction—she was one of the first women to go through the DC carpentry union's apprenticeship program. Coming to Community Forklift, Nancy transformed the salvage warehouse into a nationally-recognized reuse organization. Even with her impressive titles of Executive Director and CEO/COO, Nancy continues to be hands-on in the warehouse and through education and outreach programs. It is a privilege to have this inspiring instructor as part of The Self-Sufficient Woman retreat!

Accommodation:  We have room blocks at the College Park Marriott on the University of Maryland’s campus and at The Hotel in College Park. The promotional rates are outstanding (but only available until July 6) and the codes will be sent to those who register. Accommodation is not included in the registration fee and participants can choose to stay where they wish.

Transportation:  The hotels have courtesy shuttles but this event will include special transportation from the hotels to the morning session to make sure everyone is on time. If you don’t stay at one of the hotels, you will need to provide your own transportation to the training site. For women who live locally, there will be free parking at the morning training site, so you can easily commute. There will also be transportation for everyone when we change locations for a scheduled training.

At one point on Saturday, we will take a short 5-minute walk to a different location.

What’s included:

  • Food (Friday dinner; Sat lunch and dinner; Sunday lunch; morning and afternoon snacks).
  • Happy hour refreshment
  • Shuttle, as explained in the transportation section
  • Instruction and materials
  • Goody bag!

Be prepared:

  • All attendees must be women, 21 years of age or older.
  • Women must be in good physical condition.
  • You will get dirty. Please wear appropriate clothing and comfortable, closed-toe shoes.
  • Bring your best can-do attitude and be ready for some fun!

Instructor Spotlight

Self-Sufficient Woman

Inspired at a young age by her mother (a self-taught carpenter) and her experience salvaging materials from the demolition of her childhood home, Ruthie is passionate about reuse, home repair, and green living. As Director of Outreach & Education at Community Forklift, she’s planned over 200 events to educate people in these areas.

Pricing and registration:  Registration is open until July 29, 2018. The early bird rate was available until June 3.  We use a third-party ticketing site (Wetravel) that will encrypt your information and keep it secure. You can avoid credit card fees by using the bank transfer option.

The event is limited to 20 women so don’t delay!

Waiting list: When the event is full, registration will close but you can join the waiting list. If someone cancels their registration, the first person on the list will be offered the spot. Signing up for the waiting list also helps us evaluate the interest in this event and know if we should plan another soon.

Local Partners for this event

Community Forklift is a nonprofit reuse center for home improvement supplies with the mission to lift up local communities by making repairs affordable, reducing waste, promoting reuse, and creating green jobs.

ECO City Farms is a nonprofit, urban teaching farm in Prince George’s County. We intensively cultivate vegetables, herbs, fruit and micro-greens. We actively promote and create food security and equity.
At Arrow Bicycle, Chris Militello & Chris Davidson strive to excite a passion for cycling in their customers, whether it's the thrill of racing, the joy of the family ride, or the accomplishment of a first ride without training wheels.

Community Ladders is a social enterprise that provides affordable, one-on-one financial planning and advisory services for all ages and incomes. We take a holistic approach to planning.

District Locksport  is a Washington DC based company that teaches ethical lock picking in a hands-on environment. Learn about locks and restraints, and how to exploit their flaws.

Green Owl Design is a creative Design firm specializing in boutique to mid-size commercial interiors and select residential spaces. Their boutique in Hyattsville incorporates artist and artisan creations.

I'm all over this!

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