The awesomeness that was Retreat Yourself Adventure 2012

August 30, 2012

I can’t believe it’s been a week since we got back from our first official Retreat Yourself Adventure 2012!

Here is some of what went down:

The adventure started on August 15 with a seven-hour drive from St. John’s to Deer Lake for me and Geoff, including picking up two of our retreaters on the way.

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The opening circle that night was powerful. A small group with big hearts opened up and the tone was set.

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We all had nicknames for the duration of our trip (and they will stick), so on Thursday after “Icebreaker” got us moving and screaming (see first video), we headed out to Marble Tour Ziplining in Corner Brook. This was AWESOME. Each day of our adventure had a theme and the theme of the day was “fear” and everyone faced theirs like champions. The ability to let go, trust, and self-confidence were all things people decided to bring with them on that day.

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Thanks to the amazing people at Gros Morne Adventures we braved the Atlantic Ocean and kayaked for a full day on Friday. We faced winds, sun, and rain, and sang through it all. The theme that day was “change.” As we know, young adult cancer survivors go through so many changes and they have to adapt and find the good in there. Friday was all about that all the way to our chat that night.

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Saturday was a big day. We took on Gros Morne! Some hiked 8 km to the base of the mountain and back, and some decided to climb the mountain to the top. It was intense, but a wonderful and enlightening experience for all.

Our theme for the day was “believe” and we encouraged people to believe in themselves, in others, and in where you are at the moment. Like Geoff said, we are so grateful for this group to have had the courage to push their limits or to stay within. It takes a lot of strength to do both and we witnessed just that!

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Sunday was our boat tour around Western Brook Pond with BonTour. Even though it poured, our group sang, laughed, and held conversations as if the rain was not hitting us in the face–like on each day of the Adventure. Thank you for that!

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We closed our weekend with a closing circle as powerful as the opening with lots of gratitude and take away.

Of course, we made sure everyone left as an honorary Newfoundlander thanks to “Pops”!

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The group was special, adapted to all the changes and made this first event a success. They supported each other and listened. They landed a hand when someone needed one. The conversations were profound even after a long day. This event will forever be engraved in my heart.

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A heartfelt thank you to all who made this possible:

First, thank you to Corinne Humby, Nurse Navigator in St. John’s, NL. She came on board with very little details and brought so much to the group. Her enthusiasm, openness and kindness made us feel like we had done this with her forever.

Thank you Fisherman’s Landing Inn for the warm welcome, the help with the luggage and your smile each day. Your venue is amazing.

Thank you Ocean View Hotel for cooking us amazing meals. Thank you to all the ladies who served us each day with a smile. How you care for everyone we bring to you always makes us want to go back. (We all miss the fish cakes in the morning.)

Thank you Gros Morne Adventures for your help in organizing the adventures, for your patience, understanding and support. Sue, you made this possible! Kathleen and Katherine, you were wonderful and we had so much fun with you.

Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors who made this event possible.

Finally, Icebreaker, Napster, The Professor, Snatch, Berry, Coach, Hollywood, Obi-Wan, Superstar Sunshine Bear, Miss-E, Big Tree Bumblebee, The Manager, Pops–this one is for you from Mom: THANK YOU!

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