One critical part of the tSB Program is retreats. In 2017 we were fortunate to get to take our participants to Soundview Camp as a program kick-off, hosted an overnight lock-in at the 2100 Building for mid-year bonding, and ended our program at Windell’s Camp & Timberline in Mt. Hood, Oregon.

These retreats create the space for youth and mentors to bond, provide free time for each person to get comfortable, and allow all of us to remember what true, unbridled joy and fun feels like. Finally, they also give us the time to host our ‘heart circles’ where each participant has a chance to be vulnerable about the issues they are facing in life, without interruption and with full support from the rest of the group.

Our time at Mt. Hood to wrap up this year’s program was immeasurably wonderful. We spent a day snowboarding at Timberline Lodge, a truly mind-blowing experience. From Timberline, you can see at least four volcanic mountains and the resort itself is situated on a glacier. It’s an amazing opportunity for our participants to take the skills they’ve been learning all year and enjoy a day of incredible snowboarding. It’s truly inspiring to see everyone having so much fun, trying new things, riding together, and challenging themselves.

We stayed at Windell’s, one of the coolest camps around. The entire grounds are skateable, there’s a mess hall, a giant outdoor trampoline, a huge indoor skateboard park, and a ramp and two additional indoor trampolines that all lead into foam pits!

What’s truly remarkable about this retreat is the unstructured space that everyone has to connect with each other. We really see the magic of tSB here as everyone is included and they play together, teach each other new tricks and games, and truly enjoy their time. Since this retreat comes at the end of the year, the participants have had six solid months to get to know each other and their comfort with each other is obvious. We’re so grateful to our generous donors, corporate partners and the foundations we work with for helping make these amazing experiences possible for the youth, mentors, peer leaders and staff.