The Woods Place of­fers quiet es­cape in mem­ory of founder

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— If you didn’t know it was there you could eas­ily miss The Woods Place.

At the end of Pa­trick Ward Drive, nes­tled in a grove of trees near North East is the con­fer­ence and re­treat cen­ter op­er­ated by The An­thony E. Wey­mouth Foun­da­tion Inc.

Bill Ma­chold is the man­ager of the 23-acre non­profit es­tate and Wey­mouth was his cousin.

“He built this place in 1996,” he said. “He wanted a re­treat cen­ter to do peerto-peer coun­sel­ing work­shops.”

Wey­mouth, known to his many friends as “Sandy,” died in 2014. A 1964 grad­u­ate of Har­vard Univer­sity, Wey­mouth trav­eled var­i­ous ca­reer paths but al­ways came back to his pas­sion for help­ing oth­ers, Ma­chold said.

“He gave voice to the is­sues,” he said. “Once a month, he’d have a group of friends come down and spend a week­end here.”

Aided by the peace­ful na­ture of the prop­erty, Wey­mouth would help friends talk out their prob­lems from the cur­rent to the deep-seated. Away from the main house is a small round build­ing, which Ma­chold said would be used for in­tense one-to-one ses­sions.

In his March 2014 obit­u­ary in the Ce­cil Whig, Wey-

NORTH EAST

mouth was de­scribed as a “vig­or­ous na­tional leader of the “feel­ings cathar­sis” pri­mal ther­apy move­ment.”

“It was Sandy’s en­dur­ing be­lief that an in­her­ent short­com­ing in our coun­try’s emo­tional makeup was the self-in­flicted re­straint in ex­pres­sion of one’s deeply seated feel­ings. An im­me­di­ate re­lief was to en­gage in a com­mu­nal or per­sonal pri­mal scream as a method to reach the wounds in­flicted upon us in the ear­li­est years of our lives, not only to bring re­lief, but op­ti­mism go­ing for­ward,” the trib­ute read.

In his own words, Wey­mouth said his goal was to re­verse the mod­ern culture of sup­press­ing one’s feel­ings.

“Here are the four things I want to spend the rest of my life pro­mot­ing: Emo­tional work, emo­tional work in­ter­ac­tion, emo­tional work group liv­ing, and emo­tional work culture.”

Now two years later, Ma­chold said The Woods Place is be­ing made avail­able to small groups such as businesses or other non­prof­its for meet­ings or re­treats. With a 2008 ad­di­tion to the struc­ture, Ma­chold said the ca­pac­ity of the 2,500-square-foot build­ing is 25 peo­ple. The base­ment is set for group gath­er­ings and bunkhouse-style sleep­ing. Up­stairs are sev­eral bed­rooms and baths plus a kitchen.

“Bring your own food and use the kitchen,” Ma­chold said. “This is per­fect for smaller groups.”

A pho­tog­ra­phy work­shop, for ex­am­ple, used the re­treat cen­ter for a dawn-to­dusk study of na­ture.

“It’s good for out­doors peo­ple, but also good for those who like in­doors too,” he said.

In spite of be­ing near Ce­cil County Drag­way, Ma­chold said in­door meet­ings would not be dis­rupted. The base­ment meet­ing room is nat­u­rally sound­proofed be­low ground, he added.

At a re­cent Ris­ing Sun Cham­ber of Com­merce meet­ing he in­vited the cham­ber mem­bers and the Ris­ing Sun Arts Al­liance to con­sider it for fu­ture events or meet­ings.

Ma­chold said the cost to non­prof­its to use the fa­cil­ity would be ne­go­ti­ated, adding the goal is to break even, not make money. Do- na­tions to the foun­da­tion are also ac­cepted.

“The in­ten­tion is to keep The Woods Place go­ing as long as it is used by the com­mu­nity,” Ma­chold said.

To get more in­for­ma­tion on The Woods Place, con­tact Ma­chold at 410-2873103.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

A view from the rear of The Woods Place near North East. Bill Ma­chold, man­ager of the non­profit con­fer­ence and re­treat cen­ter said the 23 acres is per­fect for a small group meet­ing.

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