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Speaker Series at Laughing Waters Retreat – Groundhog-ology, Of Whistlepigs and World Politics

February 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Date: February 3, 2024

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Location: Laughing Waters Retreat Center

Presenter: Doug Elliott, naturalist and storyteller

It all starts in Elliott’s mountain-side cabin with a gift from an old groundhog hunter. From there we go on a rollicking and revealing journey, not only through the natural world, but also into folklore, history, mythology, philosophy and into the lives of people of different cultures, past and present. You’ll hear how groundhogs have been a source of food, clothing, medicine and music for generations of Appalachian folks. You’ll learn the mystical aspects of groundhogs — how they are woven into Native American and European mythology. You will find out the real story of Groundhog Day, you’ll get clues to the great riddle: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? You will learn how groundhogs can teach us about ourselves and even give us perspectives on society, and world politics, today!

Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, philosopher, and harmonica wizard who lives in Rutherford County, NC. He has performed at festivals, museums and schools from Canada to the Caribbean.  He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN and has conducted workshops and programs at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Smithsonian Institution. He has trained rangers for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from Down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades.  He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler’s Grove Festival in Union Grove, N.C.  He regularly writes articles for regional and national magazines.  He has authored five books and produced a number of award winning recordings of stories and songs.

The event will take place in the indoor retreat center on the property. Expect a short walk on uneven ground to reach the retreat center.

For more information about Laughing Waters Retreat Center visit laughingwatersnc.com.

The Laughing Waters Speaker Series programs are made possible thanks to our partnership with the the Retreat Center.

Contact Pam Torlina, [email protected], with questions or for more information.



February 3
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Laughing Waters Retreat Center
3963 Gerton Highway
Gerton, NC 28735 United States
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