Director Dympna Ferrante works closely with Executive Chef Jason Miller of 'Tween Waters Inn to create our delicious Mediterranean-style menu.
Every meal incorporates anti-inflammatory, immune-building foods. We enjoy all our meals in the resort's private dining room.
A typical day's menu includes:
Old fashioned oatmeal
Swiss mushroom omelet
Coffee (regular and decaf) and hot tea
Salad Bar with smoked salmon and grilled tofu with homemade dressings and vinaigrette
Chef's choice grain
Seasonal fruit for dessert
Iced herbal tea
Mid-Afternoon Tea Time:
Greek organic yogurt
Iced herbal tea, hot tea, coffee
Dessert: Roasted pear with chocolate and raspberry sauce.
Iced herbal tea, hot tea, decaffeinated coffee
Who says camp is just for kids? Not Boots Freeman of suburban Cleveland, Ohio, who dreamed of a week-long health and fitness camp for like-minded women more than 30 years ago. But forget the bunk beds and outhouse. Freeman envisioned a health-oriented retreat where women could put aside the demands of jobs, families and commitments and just be girls again. In 1978, Freeman reserved cabins at Hiram House Camp in Moreland Hills, Ohio, at the end of their summer season and launched her program.
Freeman kept dreaming. While walking the beach on Captiva Island, Florida, she sparked a new idea: move her annual camp to the undeveloped slip of paradise near Ft. Myers. With a new name and home, her dream evolved into the Captiva Fitness Caper at ‘Tween Waters Inn.
The Captiva Fitness Caper thrived under Freeman’s direction, offering 35 sessions over a 25-year period. Cleveland women spread the word about this special experience. Campers of all ages and backgrounds, including celebrities like Gloria Steinem, found a common sisterhood at the Caper.
Over the years, Freeman noted “the body can only move so many ways, but the program kept evolving with new trends and ideas.” Times and attitudes have since changed. Today's participants are much more knowledgeable about fitness and health. Now, the next generation, many of whom are daughters of the original campers, is discovering this “girl camp.” Boots Freeman acknowledged it was “a labor of love” to nurture and direct the Caper for so many years, but the time had come for a change in leadership.
She turned to her long-time yoga instructor and key staff leader, Dympna Ferrante of Cleveland, to succeed as director in 2005. Ferrante incorporates her personal philosophy of health and fitness into a revamped program. Its new name, Women’s Wellness Week, reflects her belief that “wellness is not only for the body, but also for the mind, emotional heart, and spirit.” Her professional staff agrees that fitness is a mix of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility conditioning. They deliver a program that includes aerobics, bone strengthening, muscle toning, Tai Chi, and yoga.
“The way we feed our body is changing, too” says Ferrante. “We are much more aware of the importance of eating high quality foods that are not processed and free of chemicals, hormones, preservatives and artificial ingredients which accelerate the aging process and create disease.”
Informing her participants on matters of health and fitness is a primary goal of Ferrante. Evening speakers bring the latest information to the Wellness Week. In 2007, Dr. Tanya Edwards, former Director of Integrative Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, was invited to speak on medical issues of interest to women. Until her passing in early 2014, she continued to return, each time presenting two unique and informative evening programs
Also, there is strong scientific evidence that sleep and rest are vitally important in restoring our whole being. Ferrante notes that “many more women are embracing the art of meditation to soothe the mind, calm the heart and reconnect the spirit.” The program includes a daily morning yoga class, and Tai Chi classes are offered every morning and at sunset on the beach. In 2011, a sunrise meditation class was introduced, incorporating instruction on meditation techniques and time for meditation on the beach as each day began.
The opportunity to connect and reconnect with other women is a primary key to the 30+ year success of this enterprise. Participants from around the United States, Canada and Ireland have discovered this unique, affordable retreat and return year after year to experience renewal.
This experience, this annual week of friendship and rejuvenation, celebrated its 30th anniversary in November, 2009. From its modest beginnings at Hiram House Camp to its beachfront resort home, this event has stood the test of time, teaching women about health, friendship, and continual renewal throughout life.
The story continues on with a new chapter just added. In March 2013, Women's Wellness Week merged with Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine. The program Boots created long ago lives on and this merger will carry Women's Wellness Week far into the future.