There are still some focused entries I want to write about NHC (at least two), but in the meantime, some shorter bits:
I saw a T-shirt there that said "good grammar costs nothing". That sentiment appeals to me on its own, but I've been noticing something else since I came home: I am finally inclined to not add "imahot" and "imoteinu" in all the places that the Reform siddur has added those words. The traditional prayers refer to (e.g.) "avoteinu", literally "our fathers", but I understand it more generally -- especially if you then go on to name some who are women. Hebrew doesn't have gender-neutral words -- so if in English I accept that "he" can be neuter, how much the moreso should I accept this in Hebrew? I've been told by people who know more about Hebrew than I do that these additions are structurally unsound from a grammatical perspective, but (despite it setting off my PC alarms) I've gone along with it. Now, after trying on the original phrasing for a while, I think I'm prepared to say that I don't make those additions except when leading in a community that expects them. (Just to be clear: I do insert the names Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah in the avot prayer. But I don't think we need to say "avoteinu v'imoteinu" everywhere as well.)
It occurred to me (too late to do anything about it) that the NHC institute would be a good environment in which to "try on" observances that I'm not sure I'm ready for. If I experiment "back home" with something like tzitzit, for instance, then there will be people (at least one even if I wear them in) who will notice right away, so there's a level of apparent commitment there. If I then decide that no, I'm not going to do this, I have to "unwind" that. On the other hand, if I try it for a week among people I'll mostly never see anywhere else, no harm done if it doesn't stick. I should remember this.
Note to self: NHC dress code is casual, including on Shabbat. You can dress up for Shabbat, but you don't need to. The two things I regret allocating limited carry-on-luggage space to are dressier clothers and a Hebrew-English Tanakh. I needed the latter for classes, but mine is hefty and maybe I could have arranged to borrow from a local?
A collection of posts about NHC institute is here.