AO Camp Meeting 2019

See the AOCM 2019 FAQ below for more information

Check-in Time
Wifi is Extremely Limited!
What To Bring; More What To Bring
Four Break-out Sessions (There is no full schedule to post.)
Transportation (See Forum thread)
Menu: (we don't have that information.)
BYOC - Bring your own cup or thermos!
Bunk Campers: - Don't forget to bring linens and a pillow!

Rides to and from the campground are being worked out among our campers in a thread on the forum here. There are no provisions for a shuttle; if you need transportation, please work out arrangements with some of our wonderful AO moms on the forum thread.

We have no control over the menu and the camp is not providing that information before we arrive. There will be a salad bar at every meal. That's literally all we know. There is one fridge available to campers and it is not very close to the Tabernacle or the Dining Hall, so if you need to bring something for a special need, lean toward unrefrigerated backup food, or bring a cooler. We don't know if ice will be available.

Following are the four informational emails that were sent:

Mar. 5, 2019
Dear AO Campers,

One month from today, we'll all be together in the woods for AO Camp Meeting in Dickson, Tennessee! Are you as excited as we are?

Camp Garner Creek will open their gates for us at 3PM on Thursday, April 4th. Can we get 400 women all checked in, registered, and in their seats in only 90 minutes?? We think we can, we think we can! The opening session of our Camp Meeting will begin at 4:30PM sharp, and you won't want to miss a minute (or the drawing for our first giveaway!).

We will be sending you some emails this month with more happy camper info like packing suggestions, driving directions, prayer requests for our gathering, and more. Be sure to add us to your contacts so you'll get all the news.

Have questions? The AO Camp Meeting FAQ is where to look first. (Please.) If the answer you seek isn't there, please reach out to us at AOcampmeeting@gmail or on the AO forum Camp Meeting thread.

Today's #AOCM2019 Tip: Woodland WiFi Is Wimpy!
We are told there's WiFi in the big red Tabernacle where we'll gather for our plenary and breakout sessions, but not so much on the rest of the campground. Cellular service is spotty at best. We are heading out to the woods, ladies!

Counting the days!

The AO Camp Meeting Team


Mar. 17, 2019
Dear AO Campers,

Our time together is drawing ever nearer! Are you making lists yet? We are! And we have some packing recommendations to help you.

1. Snacks to share! This is #1 because snacks are of utmost importance! (Can I get an "amen"?) If you are driving in and willing to bake a bit, our campers will be most blessed by your contributed goodies, both sweet and savory. Mini-muffins, cookies, brownies, blondies, quick breads, and whatever else you wish to share are welcome. The Nashville AO ladies are blessing us with platters a-plenty to set out on buffet tables in our meeting space. YUM!

(Napkin/finger foods only, please, packed in disposable containers. Please label anything that is gluten-free or contains nuts or peanut butter. Bring your goodies with you when you check in.)

2. The AO Fair! A popular feature at every AO gathering. Bring some of your children's typical work to show—nature drawings, notebooks, Book of Centuries, handicrafts, written narrations, etc. Please don't dig for picture-perfect examples! We're all real mamas here, and we all want to see real, everyday work.

3. The Clothespin Gallery -- Please bring a picture of your family! On paper from your printer is just fine. We'll have string and clothespins strung across a wall in our main meeting space. We can't wait to see all the AO kids' pics!

4. Pack to be a happy camper! Remember, friends, this is a campground. Plan to dress casually, especially on Friday for our afternoon nature walk (you'll want walking shoes!). Depending on the weather, an umbrella and light rain poncho could come in handy… or sunscreen! Mosquitoes are iffy in April, so maybe come prepared. A hoodie or sweater for evenings. A ballgown for Friday night. JUST KIDDING!

We absolutely recommend that you bring:
__ a refillable water bottle and a lidded travel mug for your coffee or tea. Disposable cups probably will not be provided.
__ a small flashlight
__ a notebook and favorite pen
__ a tote bag

And don't forget chargers, hair dryers and the like, as well as linens and pillow if you are staying in a bunkhouse and did not rent them already (the camp's linen sets are sold out; if you paid for a lodge room, you do not need to bring linens).

Today's #AOCM2019 Tip: Bring Bucks for Books!
Do you just know that you'll be tempted by a personally inscribed title at the speakers' book table? Or one of Sheila Atchley's prints of her gorgeous art? Bring some happy mama moolah just in case, because all sales must be cash-only.

Counting the days!

The AO Camp Meeting Team

ps. We'll send out driving directions and other camp info in a few days!


Mar. 24, 2019
Dear AO Campers,

Nobody plans ahead like a homeschool mom, so we think you'll be glad to get a sneak peek at our breakout talks! (We want to hear them all, and we know you will, too! So never fear--we will be recording e.ver.y.thing!)

We will have one breakout hour, with four of our Auxiliary team members presenting these helpful and inspiring breakout talks:

Teens are Born Persons, Too

. . . as difficult as it may be sometimes to remember that! As they grow toward adulthood, the ways we apply CM's first principle may change but the ideas remain the same. Join us as we discuss surviving and thriving through this time of immense change for our children and our relationships with them. -- presented by Lani Siciliano

Success in Imperfection

How do we know if we're doing all this right? What if we can't do it all or do it all correctly? Let's talk about imperfection. It's inevitable but it's also necessary! -- presented by Kathy Livingston

Learning with Delight: Preserving Wonder

Charlotte Mason believed children are born with a natural desire to want to know and learn, and she was adamant that we not hinder it. In this session, Naomi will discuss some of Charlotte Mason's methods that preserve and cultivate the beautiful “faculty” of wonder that children already possess. -- presented by Naomi Goegan

Masterly Inactivity: A Wise Passiveness

Bogged down by nagging? Wish there was another way to motivate your children? What if it's as simple as standing back and giving them more freedom? Come find out all about this mysterious thing Miss Mason called "masterly inactivity." -- presented by Brandy Vencel

A hard choice, right? But take heart: this is the only decision you'll have to make at AOCM! All other talks will be presented to our whole gathering.

Today's #AOCM2019 Tip: Prayer is the primary preparation.
Our Camp Meeting team has followed a detailed prayer calendar together for the past month. Together we've brought every aspect of this gathering and every single person involved before the Lord, asking for His blessings. Come knowing that we have prayed for you by name. Come sharing our confident hope. Come rejoice and be glad with us as He sets our feet in a large room--together!

Counting the days!

The AO Camp Meeting Team

Mar. 29, 2019
Dear AO Campers,

A week from today our time together at AO Camp Meeting will be ending! Can you believe it?

This is the fourth and final email you will receive from us in advance. If you haven’t received all four of our AOCM emails, do check your junk mail folders! Or simply refer to the AO Camp Meeting 2019 page by clicking the button below:

Our second AOCM email (click here to view) provided several packing recommendations. A couple more good ideas:

--You may enjoy having a small magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe and a small notebook during our guided nature walks

-- You won’t be sorry to have a spare pair of shoes if your first pair gets damp or muddy (and do toss in a large ziplock to pack them later!).

And a reminder:

If you are in a bunkhouse and have not rented a linen set, be sure to bring a pillow along with your other bed linens and towel.

Please follow the driving directions provided here to Camp Garner Creek. Be skeptical of GPS directions near the camp-- it will probably suggest a back entrance that would require you to drive through the creek! Never fear: we will have blue signs to guide you to the front entrance.

Essentially: when coming off of Exit 163, do not take the left onto Harris. Continue and take the next left onto Sam Hollow Road.

Be sure to leave the Camp Garner Creek address and telephone contact information with your family. Cell service is spotty at best and WiFi is limited at the camp, so this number can be used in case of emergency.

Check a weather app for Dickson to help you pack well -- weather is ever-changing in Tennessee right now!

Today’s #AOCM2019 Tip: Leave the following information with family at home in case they need to reach you via land line.

Camp Garner Creek
700 Sam Hollow Road
Dickson, TN 37055
(615) 446-3279 or (615) 457-4935

(973) 513-5702 - This number will (hopefully!) be an option for any emergency that arises during which you are unable to reach someone at the Camp numbers above. However, it is a cell phone and may be subject to the same issue the majority of us will experience at camp: i.e., cell phone coverage is very minimal.

See you there!

The AO Camp Meeting Team


A springtime retreat for AO Moms

in the woods of Tennessee

featuring presentations by

the AmblesideOnline Advisory 

and Auxiliary 

and Progeny


two very special guests!

Cindy Rollins


Sheila Atchley

April 4-6

Imagine the retreat you always wanted to go to. Fresh country air, tall trees, a rippling creek, walking shoes, rich talks about living ideas, timeless wisdom shared with love, folk songs and hymns ringing the air, friendships old and new, lively conversations about books and beauty, stories and laughter and wonder. Simple gifts, freely shared.

This is AO Camp Meeting. 

—Come listen to presentations by AmblesideOnline’s creators: Advisory members Karen Glass, Donna-Jean Breckenridge, Anne White, Wendi Capehart, Lynn Bruce, and Leslie Laurio. Sessions will include a broad range of talks deeply rooted in Charlotte Mason’s Principles and burnished by years of experience. 

—Soak up the wit & wisdom of Cindy Rollins, author of Mere Motherhood and The Morning Time Handbook, host of The Mason Jar podcast— and one of the original dozen AO moms! 

—Hear helpful and illuminating talks by AO Auxiliary members Brandy Vencel, Naomi Goegan, Kathy Livingston, Lani Siciliano, and Amy Tuttle on both the why and how of a Charlotte Mason education.

—Be blessed by morning devotional messages at the creekside and evening vesper talks by firelight by Sheila Atchley. A noted Tennessee multi-media artist, author, pastor’s wife, and gifted speaker with a passion for mentoring women, Sheila was also one of AO’s original dozen moms! 

—And back by popular request, the Progeny Panel—some of the Advisory’s brood of the very first AO students, now grown! 

—Afternoon nature walks, joyful singing, gentle immersions, and much more! We can’t wait to meet you there!


Registration details

Will #AOCM2019 sell out more quickly than past AO retreats? Early word is that it will! So we want to give our AO moms several days before registration opens to get your plans all ready to register. Please read this right away! It’s everything you need to know to help you get lodging preferences and roomie arrangements all figured out and ready to click when registration opens on November 1.

Where: Camp Garner Creek, a Christian camp nestled in the woods near Dickson, Tennessee, west of Nashville.

What to do next: Choose the AO Camp Meeting Package that suits you best! 


All AO Camp Meeting Packages include everything you need in one purchase: 

1. Lodging for two nights  

2. Six meals per person  

3. Full registration for the AO Camp Meeting


Most packages feature indoor camping in Camp Garner Creek’s seven rustic bunkhouse cabins conveniently located in the heart of the campground. There is also a limited number of hotel-style rooms available in one of the camp’s two lodges.


The bunkhouse cabins are just steps down the path from the Tabernacle and the Dining Hall. The cabins are divided into small, very simple sleeping rooms with twin bunk beds lining the walls, and each cabin has a shared bathroom and two showers. Have a strong preference for an upper or lower bunk? No problem—there will be more than enough bunks in each cabin. Just like summer camp, you will need to bring linens (towel, pillow, and either sheets & blanket or a sleeping bag). For those flying in with limited baggage allowance, the camp has 50 bunkhouse linen sets (pillow, pillowcase, sheets, blanket, towel and washcloth) available for rental for an additional $16 at registration. These may be reserved at registration only, on a first-come, first-served basis. These linen rental sets are strictly reserved for air travelers. Thank you for understanding.

The bunk rooms may be simple and spare, but the atmosphere will be festive and fun! If you are willing to trade some creature comforts for the camaraderie of indoor camping, choose the bunkhouse experience!


 $287 per person includes: Bunkhouse lodging for 2 nights, 6 meals, plus full registration for AO Camp Meeting.

Lodge rooms

All hotel-style lodge reservations will require one credit card transaction per room on the registration website. This means that for multiple roommates sharing a lodge room, one person must pay for all at registration checkout. (Apps such as Paypal, Square Cash, and Apple Pay can be used to quickly settle up with the person who will complete the registration purchase. Email addresses will need to be provided for all roomies. If you're the point person registering yourself and your roomies, and you don’t have your friends' emails handy, you'll still be able to register, but you'll need to email us their addresses within 24 hours for your registration to be complete. Each camper will want to be on our email list to receive AOCM2019 retreat news!) We recommend deciding in advance whether the point person should register all parties for a bunkhouse cabin in the event that lodge rooms are sold out.

There are a limited number of each of the following types of rooms:

Double Occupancy 2/2

(2 double beds, 2 women)

$660 for 2 

($330 per person)

Triple Occupancy 2/3 

(2 double beds shared among 3 women)

$945 for 3

($315 per person)

Triple Occupancy 3/3

(1 double bed + 2 twin beds)

(same as above)

Quadruple Occupancy 

(2 double beds shared among 4 women)

$1220 for 4

($305 per person)

Single Occupancy 

(Mother & infant ONLY*)


(*Note: Single Occupancy is offered solely for mothers with nursing/bonding infants who will be under 12 months of age as of 4/19 who need a private room. This is a very limited number of rooms, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Single Occupancy rooms are not an option for other retreat attendees. Thank you for understanding.)

See the AOCM 2019 FAQ below for more information

AO Camp Meeting packages are non-refundable. Packages are transferrable at face value (ie packages may not be re-sold at a profit) as long as AO is provided the necessary information for the new registration holder by email at


AO Camp Meeting FAQ

Q1. How far is Camp Garner Creek from Nashville? 

A. According to the camp website, 45 minutes. We encourage you to check a map/traffic app. The camp is about an hour’s drive from the Nashville airport.

Q2. When does the retreat begin and end? 

A. Check-in is at 3PM on Thursday, with the first plenary session beginning in the Tabernacle at 4:30PM. The retreat will conclude at 1PM on Saturday.

Q3. Can I commute? 

A. Commuter registrations cannot be offered until the event is close to sell-out, per our contract with the site. We think you’ll really want to stay onsite, anyway— the camp is quite remote, and we have terrific things planned from sun-up to well past sundown! If commuter registrations do become available later, they will be announced in this space.

Q4. Where will AO Camp Meeting registration be announced as open?

A. When registration opens on November 1, our AO Forum members will have early access to a live link to the registration portal from 6AM till noon (CST). At noon, open registration will be announced simultaneously on the AO Facebook groups and the @amblesideonline Instagram account, whereupon a live link to the registration portal will appear on this page.

Q5. What about WiFi out there in the woods?

A. It’s patchy at best. Your family can always reach you by calling the Camp Garner Creek office and leaving a message. A great opportunity to unplug for a couple of days!

Q6. Can I bring my puppy, my husband, my kids, my camper, my grandma? 

A. We’re sure they’re all lovely… but not this time. This special time away is just for you, mom! But do bring pics!

Q7. Can I request special meals? 

A.The Dining Hall at Camp Garner Creek serves balanced meals with a salad bar. They do not provide options for those with special dietary restrictions. Campers may pack personal snacks as desired (there may be a couple of refrigerators accessible to campers as well). Those with a serious medical condition that requires dietary caution are welcome to contact camp chef Marilyn directly at with the subject line "AO Camp Meeting.".

Q8. Can I pay for a room but not meals? 

A. Sorry, Camp Garner Creek does not offer this option.

Q9. What if I am an adventuresome sort at heart who loves the idea of bunkhouse atmosphere—but I also really need sleep to be human?  

A. All bunkhouse cabins will have lights-out quiet time of 11PM. (The days will be packed with goodness and we want you to feel great!) Will there still be a bit of whispering and giggling in the dark? With AO moms? Umm, yes! So if you really, really need your sleep, shoot us an email containing your full name with “early-to-bed cabin” in the subject field after you receive confirmation, at We may be able to designate a cabin for super beauty sleeper moms.

Q10. My entire CM Book Group is coming to #AOCM2019! Is it possible for all of us to bunk in the same bunkhouse cabin? How many people can stay in one cabin?

A. Fun! We will see what we can do! Once everyone in your group is registered and confirmed, send a list of names to with “group bunkers” in the Subject field. The cabins have a capacity of about 50 people each, but we’ll keep them a bit under capacity to give each cabin some breathing room. We expect to have 30-35 campers per cabin.

Q11. How might I find another AO mom to register for a lodge room with me?

A. Your best bet is the AO Forum. On the AO Facebook group, posts about personal arrangements for the retreat will disappear fast! So check the forum for AOCM2019 threads.

Q12. Can people come with me and crash in my lodge room if they are not registered to attend AO Camp Meeting? 

A. Everyone on the campgrounds must be registered and must attend AOCM activities.

Q13. Can I stay in a bunkhouse cabin with my nursling? 

A. The cabin rooms cannot accommodate babies. Best to tuck them in at the Lodge.

Q14. What if I’m flying with bag limits, but the bunkhouse linen sets are sold out? 

A. We believe our wonderful AO Forum community will find creative and helpful solutions for this. Perhaps someone will coordinate a Walmart run for $3 pillows and inexpensive blankets, which could be donated to a local charity after the event. Or perhaps some local moms can bring extras. (UPDATE: Linen sets for the bunkhouses ARE sold out.) 

Q15. I have a business. Can I bring things to sell as a vendor? Or maybe even just a few things to sell over lunch or in the bunkhouse?

A. No, sorry. Other than our AOCM Bookshop onsite, AO Camp Meeting is a commerce-free zone.

Q16. And finally, perhaps the most important question: Can I bring homemade treats to share with others in the bunkhouse or lodge?

A. Totally YES. And be sure to tell us where you’re staying!