The Homecoming Retreat Team

Lael Couper Jepson

Lael is the official host of Homecoming. She believes in the power of getting away from it all, and knows just what a radical act that can be to make it happen for ourselves as women. So she created Homecoming – a retreat that draws women from all over who “don’t typically go to retreats” –  and designed the space for women to surprise themselves, to leave all the shoulds behind for the weekend, and plug back into themselves. At the heart of Homecoming is a deep belief in the resourcefulness of women, and a hearty respect for how easy it can be to tune out that part of us that knows “the way” as we live in the noise of our lives. Homecoming is her answer to that noise. Lael will be leading three sessions at the retreat, A Larger Story, Your Wild Woman: Lost But Not Forgotten, and the closing, Making It Matter.

Amy Badger

In addition to being the owner of Bodies by Badger, Amy is a force of nature and will readily admit she loves, loves, loves what she does in the world. As a personal trainer, group exercise instructor and coach to many, she is known for making exercise fun, personal, and interesting. Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious as is her personal commitment to fitness. Having completed nearly a dozen marathons, one full Ironman, several half Ironmans, many sprint-distance triathlons, and training for Zumba, Spinning, Bootcamp and Pilates, Amy is quite literally a woman on the move. Her gift is inspiring others to do just that – move. She’ll be joining us at Homecoming to demonstrate how the way we move our bodies directly relates to how sexy we feel in them. Amy will be leading the Bring Your Sexy Back circle as well as the Break It Down session on Saturday.

Anita Dore

A native of Maine now living in Luxembourg, Anita will once again be joining Homecoming as our resident artist, photographing the retreat as well as leading the Creating From Instinct circle on Saturday. She is also the designer of the marketing materials for Homecoming. As a seasoned visual artist, Anita has an extensive design background in both textile and graphics as well as photography and painting. She is known for her signature use of color and composition. Whether she is working on a commissioned painting, a logo, a catalog page or developing a color palette for a product line, Anita is bold, full of life, and in color.

Jessica Esch

Having attended the past two retreats, Jess is no stranger to Homecoming. Many would make the case that she is, in fact, the face of Homecoming. As a pop artist and visual storyteller living in Portland, Jess is the creative force behind the LUbrary of the United Way, helping our communities make sense of complex issues facing our state, government and world. She’s also known for Say It Best, which is home to her widely acclaimed blog, sketchnotes, paintings, illustrations and multi-media pieces. Jess wholeheartedly believes the choices we make change the world (look for her trademark “This is How I Change the World” t-shirt at Homecoming) and her passion in that belief is palpable and utterly contagious. She’ll bring both her passion and her practices to Homecoming this year, as the leader of the Cutting Through The Noise circle on Saturday. She’ll also be one of the first faces you’ll see at the retreat, welcoming women as they arrive.

Calli Guion

As a singer, performer, artist and teacher, Calli is known for bringing her passion and creativity fully to the work she does in the world. As a longtime friend of Homecoming’s lead cook, Annie Poule, Calli is looking forward to getting back into the kitchen this fall, and reflecting on the twenty-five years they have cooked together all over New England, having first met in the kitchens of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. When not in the kitchen, Calli may be found teaching Kripalu yoga, singing bedside for Hospice and being a docent at the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Jeanne Handy

Jeanne is an interior designer, but is best known to the women of Homecoming as Jamileh, the owner of Maine Belly Dance, having performed and taught different forms of movement for over twenty years. Jeanne’s passion was born out of a deep commitment to honor her heritage and to help other women celebrate their bodies and all the power they hold in every phase of life: excitement of youth, the pride of motherhood, and the wisdom of age. Her gift is gently taking us back to our roots as women, reminding us that every move we make with our bodies is an opportunity to take pride in the great power that is the softness and sensuality of women. This is Jeanne’s third time as a Homecoming leader, and she will be leading a morning Belly Dance experience, Waking Up To Our Bodies, as well as the Moving Back to Center circle on Saturday.

Katy Park

As a certified doula, yoga instructor, writer and social worker, Katy has been a Homecoming retreat leader since 2008. She is passionate about witnessing the “unfolding” moments in life and reflects on her learnings on Mama Emerging. Katy credits her appreciation for “dynamic rootedness” to her recent ability to settle into life at this stage of her life and is now learning to live out from that rootedness in a more flexible and open way. Currently, Katy is nearing completion of her training as a shaman and is eager to launch a new branch of her business that offers private healing sessions. Katy will be the “first face” of Homecoming, welcoming women to the retreat upon arrival and helping them get their bearings and will also be leading a Saturday circle entitled Dropping Into Your Soil.

Annie Poole

As a creative artist, everything Annie does starts with the love of something. Painting is her first love, and so she tends to approach all of her creative activities from that perspective. Her projects flow organically, from feeling a passion and an urge to create, to exploring and clarifying her vision, to serving others and seeing it all come to fruition. Annie is no stranger to retreats, having cooked for larger groups at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts,  as well as for many other artist retreats, primarily on the islands of Maine. Homecoming will be Annie’s latest canvas. She is excited to bring together her love of cooking, her urge to create, and her passion for serving women at Homecoming as the lead cook in our kitchen. Building off Homecoming’s strong tradition of food being at the center of this retreat, Annie has assembled a team (Calli and Estelle) and a menu that will serve up lots of goodness for us all.

Estelle Poole

Estelle is a singer and songwriter based in Maine and performs at various local venues. She is also an artist, working in paint and other mixed media. She spends her summers as a cook at the Haystack School of Mountain Crafts, where she is able to combine her passions for creating food and art in a community of artists. This fall, she’ll be joining our retreat community with her mom, Annie, and her family friend she’s known since she was born, Calli, cooking up some amazing food for the women of Homecoming.

Katie West

Katie is the founder of the Levity Institute, a coaching, training, research and social change building organization dedicated to heightening the awareness and experience of global lightness, joy and buoyancy in our individual and collective daily lives. As a certified coach and laughter yoga teacher/trainer, Katie also maintains her own practice and is the force behind the Levity Project, a social movement which engages in public acts of play, laughter and levity to create a global change in how we view each day. This is Katie’s second time as a retreat leader, and she’s cooked up something new just for the occasion. She will be bringing her trademark wit and easy-going style to Homecoming this year at her Saturday circle, Awakening the Buoyancy Within, and will also be partnering with Lael to craft our playlist and rock out the dance floor as we Shake What Your Mama Gave You Saturday night.

Karen Wyman

Karen will be returning to Homecoming for the third time as a Homecoming leader. She will be bringing her gifts to our community as a storyteller, supporting us in entering and closing down the Homecoming experience with intention and clarity. Two of her passions are women and words, and she has combined these two passions in her professional life, as the owner of Soft Landings, her Portland-based business that is dedicated to supporting women navigating change and cultivating courage . Whether it is honoring her intuitive insights or creating frameworks of understanding with her words, Karen is committed to strengthening and empower women. It is her deepest hope that all women will recognize their sacred selves, find their true voices, and create this world in a way that honors all.