Are you on our wait list?

Written by Kelli Sands, Project Sanctuary Family Coordinator.

At Project Sanctuary, we are honored to host military families at one family retreat and one couples retreat. With over 2,200 families on our wait list, you can imagine there is lots of demand to attend. However, we know that attending a family retreat requires a lot of arranging of scheduling on your end also. We want each and every family to have a wonderful experience, and there are a few things we have learned over the years that, if thought about in advance, can make a world of difference in helping you not only get to a retreat, but also have a memorable experience once you are there.

1. Turn in your application – First things first. Completing the online application with all the pertinent family information is critical and the first step in our getting to know you and working to provide you with the best service possible.

2. Find a retreat location that is closest to you or one you desire to attend. While the retreats are fully paid for, we do ask that attending families pay for their own travel to the retreats. We have only a very limited number of sponsorships for travel per year, but if you can manage your own travel, you can typically get into a retreat pretty quickly. With the number of applicants on our wait list, retreats fill up fast when dates are made available, so the best way to get into the retreat you desire is to be prepared well in advance by having all necessary paperwork completed in advance.

3. Choose a date that works best for your family. Keep in mind everyone’s work, school, and other schedules when applying. Make sure to have multiple dates picked with a priority. We understand that events come up that can alter plans, but it creates a lot of last-minute chaos and pain when cancellations happen for events that could have been avoided. Plus, some other deserving family has now possibly missed out on their desired retreat, and Project Sanctuary may not be able to recover the costs already incurred if another family cannot be slotted to attend in your absence.

4. Contact Kelli Sands at, letting her know your desired choice of retreat. Kelli works very diligently with you to find a retreat that is available and will work with your schedule, but being flexible is a key to success. Keep in mind that summer retreats when the kids are out of school are in the highest demand and may take some time to schedule. Being flexible and willing to attend retreats at alternate times of the year will help in getting you there more quickly.

5. Place your retreat date on your calendar, and make it a priority. Retreats are a lot of fun and great memorable experiences. They are also healing and often very impactful on all the families who attend. Our staff commits a great deal of effort into preparing for your family, and if you do the same, it will ensure a great time is accomplished. We are here to help as much as we are able. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

6. Communicate with Kelli once a month, confirming your retreat. By now, hopefully you have begun to get a sense of how much we care and want to see you. While your retreat date might be a bit into the future, it is important for us to have regular communication regarding your plans and intentions, especially if something changes that would prevent you from attending your scheduled retreat. We try really hard to make sure that all retreats are fully attended, and last-minute cancellations can be an opportunity to accelerate your attendance. Also, if something comes up that creates an urgent need (like an early or unplanned deployment), we will do our best to find a solution.

7. Finally, be prepared to have a great time, reconnecting with each other!