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Women's Wellness Retreat

Women's Wellness Week, November 8-15, 2015

'Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida

We are currently planning for 2015. Check back soon for more details.

Renew. Replenish. Rediscover.

Get ready to be empowered! Join experts from Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine at Women's Wellness Week. Our complete program that gives you physical, nutritional and informational tools you need to live healthier and happier.

We offer Women's Wellness Week at 'Tween Waters Inn on beautiful Captiva Island, Florida. Learn more about this setting at or call 800.223.5865.

Early morning

Welcome the dawn with sunrise meditation on the beach, followed by tai chi or yoga.


Rejuvenate with our Functional Fitness Program, regardless of your fitness level or skill. This program includes three components that the American Council on Exercise recommends for overall fitness.

  • Cardio conditioning - to increase your metabolism and strengthen your heart.
  • Muscle toning and core conditioning - to tone and strengthen your muscles, and maintain and build bone density.
  • Flexibility and balance training - through classical yoga movements and poses that stretch and relax your muscles, making you more limber and steady.
Additional Functional Fitness Program information
Program Details

Because fitness and skill vary from one individual to another, our Functional Fitness Program is offered at three levels. Participants are asked to complete a Fitness Assessment and Health History which are used to assign each person to her proper level. Our teaching method provides supervision and instruction specifically focused on individual concerns and conditions. The levels can be described as follows:

Level 1: Beginners to an exercise program and/or those with special concerns such as recent hip or knee replacement, recovery from injury, or regaining strength following illness.

Level 2: Intermediate-level participants who can execute non- or low-impact cardio moves for short periods of time, and perform muscle-toning exercises.

Level 3: Advanced-level participants who exercise on a regular basis, can execute low- or high-impact cardio moves for an extended period of time, and perform more challenging muscle-toning exercises.


Flexibility and Balance

Flexibility and balance are vitally important to a healthy lifestyle. Proper posture and alignment protect our muscles and skeleton from weakness which leads to injury. We advocate the disciplines of Yoga and Tai Chi as therapeutic forms of movement designed to stretch and tone the muscles and lubricate the joints. This is especially helpful if you experience aches and pains as a result of chronic muscle tension and stiffness in your joints, especially after a night's sleep.

Flow Yoga Class is a practice that flows with motion and pause into classic yoga poses to create balance, strength, calmness and the ultimate union of body and mind. The class is offered twice each day.

Tai Chi incorporates a series of low-impact, slow-motion movements performed while standing in a relaxed position. Benefits of this practice include increased leg strength, flexibility and balance as well as a sense of well-being. Tai Chi is offered twice each day: sunrise Tai Chi is held indoors, and sunset Tai Chi, conducted on the beach, concludes as we gather to watch the sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico. We recommend this "meditation in motion" to supplement your yoga practice.

Muscle Toning / Bone Strengthening Program

Our daily Fitness Program incorporates core stabilization (lower back, pelvis, hips and abdominal muscles) with upper and lower body muscle toning. This is achieved through various classes:

Muscle Toning / Core Conditioning Class supplemented with the use of resistance bands and body weight resistance, modified to meet the specific needs and capabilities of Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 participants.

Water Fitness Class for all participants in the beautiful 'Tween Waters Inn pool.

Cardio and Core Conditioning Class

The cardio/core conditioning workout is designed to increase metabolism, strengthen the heart and tone the core muscles. This is accomplished through each of the following daily classes:

Cardio and Core Conditioning Class modified for each of the 3 levels to meet varying abilities.

    Water Fitness Class for all participants in the beautiful 'Tween Waters Inn pool.


  • Attend presentations and demonstrations designed to enhance your personal growth.
  • Get life-changing information firsthand from Center for Integrative Medicine experts.
  • Participate in our Women's Health Discussion Group with Women's Wellness Week presenters.

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:

Breakfast Bar:
Old fashioned oatmeal
Swiss mushroom omelet
Gluten-free bread
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

Arugula salad
Chicken caprese
Dessert: Roasted pear with chocolate and raspberry sauce.
Iced herbal tea, hot tea, decaffeinated coffee

Each year, new and exciting opportunities for personal growth are created. Evening programs feature a variety of speakers, as well as cultural and entertaining activities. Some previous activities have included:

  • Tour of the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on nearby Sanibel Island
  • Art presentations from award-winning artists
  • Programs by a music therapist
  • Journal-writing classes and book discussions
  • Optional massages, facials and nail care
  • Sun set watching on the Gulf of Mexico, from the beach and aboard ship
  • Learning to paint
  • Playing tennis
  • Relaxing by the pool
  • Learning to write memoirs
  • Kayaking with the manatees and dolphins
  • Collecting shells on the beautiful Captiva Island beach
  • Sailing charters
  • Riding bikes to Captiva Village

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.