Retreat Registration Information

How to Register

1. Phone:
Call The Clearing at 920-854-4088. Have your Discover, MasterCard or Visa number, expiration date and CVC number available.

2. Mail*:
Complete the registration form and mail, along with payment, to The Clearing, P.O. Box 65, Ellison Bay, WI 54210.

3. Online:
Online registration will be available in mid-April.

*Please Note: Registrations that are received in the mail before the registration start date (see ‘When to Register’) will be processed after all of the other registrations from that day have been processed.

When to Register

Registration for Clearing Retreats starts on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. Central Time

Early registration will help ensure that you get the week and the room accommodation that you want. You may register for Clearing Retreats by mail, online or phone. Internet registrations will be available in mid-April.

Payment in full is required when registering.

Dorm & Two-Person Rooms

If you would like a dorm or a two-person room, you will need to register with a roommate. The Clearing will not randomly assign roommates for Retreats. If you are not sharing a room with anyone, please select the single-room option.

Guaranteed Single Rooms

There are a limited number of guaranteed single rooms available each week. They are available on a first-come-first-reserved basis. However, as a given retreat week approaches, we may be able to accommodate more guaranteed singles. This will vary from week to week. If you were not able to reserve one of the guaranteed single rooms when you first registered, we encourage you to have your name placed on the waiting list for a single room. We cannot guarantee that you will get a single, but we do use our waiting lists extensively.

Cancellation Policy

Anyone who cancels their retreat reservation will receive a full refund.


For those who wish to leave a gratuity (tip) for the kitchen staff and/or for the wait staff, there will envelopes for each left in the rooms.

Check-In & Check-Out

Check-in is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the retreat package chosen.

Check-out is no later than 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, depending on the retreat package chosen.

Health & Medical Information

All guests receive a health and safety form prior to their arrival at The Clearing. It requests basic health-related information, including allergies, diet restrictions that are based on a medical condition, prescription medications taken and emergency contact information. Although filling out and returning the form is optional, we ask that all guests comply with our request. The information on the form may/can be used by attending professional medical personnel in the event of an emergency. All of the information provided is kept in strict confidence by The Clearing staff, and all forms are destroyed at the end of each week.

Buildings & Grounds

The Clearing is a rustic, natural place. The buildings in which the sleeping rooms are located are made of log and stone. Several rooms, although modernized over the years, are in buildings that date to the late 1800s. The paths around buildings are flagstone. The paths away from buildings—in the woods, meadows and along the edge of the escarpment cliff—have either a sawdust or wood chip surface, or are bare soil. Rocks and tree roots are at the surface in some areas on these paths, so care should be taken when walking. Good walking shoes and a walking stick are helpful.


The Clearing has made many improvements with regard to making the buildings and grounds more accessible for those with physical disabilities. Nevertheless, some guests may have issues related to accessibility.

The distance between buildings, especially between classroom buildings and the central campus area where the sleeping rooms are located, means that a fair bit of walking might be required while at The Clearing, much of it on uneven terrain (flagstone paths and surfaces, trails through the woods, gravel parking lots, etc.). Guests must be physically able to manage the distance, the terrain and the stairs up to their sleeping room (some sleeping rooms have stairs and some don’t) unassisted in order to attend a retreat.

Please call The Clearing to discuss any concerns you have regarding accessibility.


The meal plan for Clearing Retreats begins with supper on the day of check-in, and ends with breakfast on the day of check-out. Breakfasts and suppers will be delivered to rooms by a member of the kitchen staff. Breakfast will be delivered at 8:00. Picnic box lunches will be placed in the refrigerator in the Root Cellar soon after breakfast. Guests can take their lunch with them if they are going to be out and about for the day, store it in their cooler in their room, or simply keep it in the Root Cellar until they eat. Supper will be delivered at 5:30. For breakfast and supper, there will be a first bell, the “call to meal bell,” 15 minutes before each meal is served. A second bell, at the above times, will announce that the meal is being delivered to the rooms.

Food Policy

The Clearing's kitchen staff does its best to accommodate individuals with dietary requirements, such as those dictated by food allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But the nature of preparing and serving and delivering so many meals makes it difficult for the kitchen staff to accommodate all food-related requests. The kitchen staff will work with guest to the extent possible to make sure our guests have a good meal experience.

What to Bring

For Clearing Retreats, guests are asked to bring the following items: pillow, pillow case, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer and clothes hangers. Also, since we only provide hot beverages (coffee and tea), guests are also asked to bring any other beverages, such as water, juice and soda. These items can be kept in a cooler in the guest’s room, or in the refrigerator in the Root Cellar. Other items that guests should consider bringing include mosquito repellent, disinfectant wipes, an alarm clock, a flashlight, a book light, a hair dryer, an extra blanket and, as mentioned above, a cooler for ice. (Ice is available to purchases at the Pioneer Store and the Last Stop gas station in town. The ice machine in the Root Cellar is not in operation.) And for hiking , sturdy walking shoes and a walking stick are helpful.


Camping is not allowed at The Clearing. This includes tents, pop-up campers and RVs.


The Clearing does not allow pets. This includes pets kept in cars.


Smoking is not allowed in or near any Clearing building. Smoking is only allowed in the campus parking lot and the employee parking lot.

Perfumes & Other Fragrances

Chemicals in scented products can trigger serious health reactions, including asthma, in some people. Please be aware of this while at The Clearing, and please be sensitive to the fact that fragrances, especially heavy fragrances, can cause illness in others. The Clearing has fragrance-free shampoo, body wash and hand soap on hand for those who request it.


Clearing guests often gather before supper in the central campus courtyard to have a glass of wine or beer. Drinking alcohol is allowed at The Clearing, but only in moderation and not in classrooms.

Cell Phone Use at The Clearing

Cell phones and other digital devices can be an intrusion in certain places. The Clearing is one of those places. When used excessively, indiscreetly or without regard for others, they can seriously diminish The Clearing’s retreat atmosphere. Those who frequently make or receive cell phone calls during their stay at The Clearing not only “remove” themselves from their retreat—the reason they are here—but also have a negative impact on others. Therefore, it is The Clearing’s policy that all guests and staff limit their cell phone calls to those that are truly necessary. In addition, when a cell phone call has to be made, it is The Clearing’s policy that all guests and staff make those calls from one of two places—the campus parking lot or the employee parking lot. Except for an emergency, cell phone calls are not to be made from inside any building, including lodging rooms, on hiking trails or from any of the outdoor sitting areas on campus. Except for emergency situations, cell phone ringers should be turned off at all times.

Internet Service

Internet service is available at three places at The Clearing—the Schoolhouse, the Workshop/Forge and the Jens Jensen Center. Since classroom buildings will be locked while Clearing Retreats are in session, guest have to sit outside to access the internet. In the event of inclement weather, guests can use the covered area on the north side of the Schoolhouse, the covered are on the west side of the Workshop or the covered area on the west side of the Forge.

Campus Visiting Hours

For many years, The Clearing has had a "closed campus" policy while guests are staying here. This means that the area west of the main road through The Clearing property—the area where the old buildings are located (the Lodge, Schoolhouse, Workshop and cabins)—is closed to visitors from Monday through Friday. This closed campus policy is in place and is enforced in order to ensure the privacy of those saying here for the week and to enhance the retreat aspect of The Clearing experience.

Jens Jensen Center Hours

Office: 8 – 4 Weekdays

Bookstore: 8 – 4 Weekdays

Admission Policy

The Clearing is open to everyone 18 and older.