Winter Institute 2023

Event format: In person

Date & time:

  • Friday, February 17, 2023, 3:00 pm - Monday, February 20, 2023, 12:00 pm EST

Type of event: Retreat

Sponsor: Central East Region of the UUA

Mountain stream in winter, snow upon ice.

Winter Institute (WI) is a long held tradition of gathering over President’s Day week-end for a mid-winter retreat at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio. This retreat was the brainchild of a group of Summer Institute (SI) attendees who wisely determined that a year between SI gatherings is just TOO LONG to wait to gather with extended Beloved UU Community!

Last year, those who gathered for the first post-pandemic UUA in-person program, found it to be deeply satisfying. We appreciated with a renewed awareness how sacred it is to be in community, raising our voices in song, sharing meals together, and enjoying a togetherness that took on a new level of poignancy for having missed it. We know that many were still cautious last year, and not feeling safe to emerge quite yet. The WI Planning committee is delighted to invite you, once again, to join us in-person for Winter Institute at Salt Fork, and hope that even more of you are ready to venture out with us!

Over the years, this relaxing weekend has been an intimate gathering for UUs of all ages. There are frosty outdoor activities like sledding, hiking and cross country skiing. For those who choose to stay in their slippers all weekend, there is a beautiful lodge with its many cozy corners and fireplaces. The pool and hot tub are truly a wintertime treat. There are fellow UUs always ready to play board games or to join in the community jigsaw puzzle. We have wonderful community worship services in the morning and evenings. Check in Friday after 3:00 pm.

The Salt Fork State Park is the flagship lodge of the Ohio State Park System, located near Cambridge, Ohio. It is 2 hours from Columbus, Cleveland or Pittsburgh. The park has a beautiful lodge with an indoor pool, game room with pool tables, ping pong tables and video games, lounge and hiking trails. The lodge is handicap accessible. Directions will be sent with registration confirmation and can be obtained on the Salt Fork website.

A Post Pandemic Winter Institute

The UUA and the Central Eastern Region continue to follow COVID-related protocols for in-person events. These protocols will continue to evolve and are subject to change as evidence-based guidelines and best practices are communicated. For the safety of all:

  • All attendees must be vaccinated against COVID if they are of an age able to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination status (We encourage folks to be up to date with all recommended vaccinations for infectious diseases!)
  • We will observe the practice of wearing masks indoors in public spaces when in proximity to others for all gatherings (we’ll let you take them off to eat!)

For purposes of our masking policy, we are considering the hospitality suite a private space, and therefore masks are optional in that space. At this time, we will not be providing a meal on Friday night. There will be snacks available for evening socializing. Feel free to arrive early and enjoy a meal in the restaurant. We will have masks available, as well as rapid COVID tests should anyone need them. The WI Planning committee is working in coordination with the UUA and CER staff to stay current with any new guidelines or protocols and will be communicating with folks who register, as well as sharing updates on our Facebook page as appropriate. Join us as we continue to adapt and evolve a WI post-pandemic style!


Lodge at Salt Fork State Park, OH

Registration is a two-part process.

First make your hotel reservations at Salt Fork at 740-435-9000. Please tell them you would like to book a room under the UU Winter Institute 2023 block. Rates are Deluxe King- $159 a night, Standard Double Queen- $123 a night, Standard Double Queen Bunk Beds $139 a night, Standard King- $123 a night. Reservations at this rate are only available by calling Salt Fork and identifying yourself as part of our group. If you choose to take advantage of other discount offers on-line, be sure you are actually paying less, AND it would be best to use the same name for that registration as you use to register for WI so we can get “credit” and meet our room quota. These rooms and prices are only guaranteed until Jan. 11th, so don’t wait!

Second part is to register for Winter Institute. The registration fee covers meals (Breakfast and Dinner on Saturday and Sunday, Breakfast Monday,) rental of spaces used for registration, worship and hospitality, and administrative costs associated with the registration process, venue negotiations and staff support.

Costs: Save if you register early!

  • Early Bird Rate through January 24: $160 per person 11 and up, $80 for children 4-10
  • Regular rate January 25 - February 12: $185 per person 11 and up, $88 for children 4-10
  • 3 and under are free

Register Now
Registration deadline is February 12.

We hope you can make this a new (or continuing) midwinter tradition and join fellow UUs gathering in community.

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