Frequently Asked Questions
Any active duty service member or veteran families of all branches of the military and all eras who would benefit from a therapeutic retreat or services is welcome. All types of families, including single individuals and the LGBTQ+ community, are welcome.
We support the whole family! We believe that when one person serves, the whole family serves and take a human-centered, solution-based approach to helping military families heal and move forward in life.
Therapeutic Retreats: We host approximately 30 retreats annually across the country and are staffed and designed by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists and licensed counselors. While we have a lot of fun helping families connect, these are not “vacations” but working programs for the adults as well as educational programs specific for teens and youth.
Family Support Program: FSP offers services lead by licensed clinical staff for all military and veteran families and can include financial assistance, counseling referrals and connection to services offered by collaborating partners.
Steps to attend a retreat:
Register – Application – Work with PS to choose your retreat – Family Agreement – Refundable Commitment Fee – Confirmation – Pack your bags!
Retreats are open to active duty service members and veterans of all branches of the military and all eras. All types of families, including single individuals and the LGBTQ+ community, are welcome at our retreats. Space is limited to just immediate family.
Project Sanctuary current hosts approximately 28-30 retreats a year in seven states across the U.S.
One family retreat and one couples retreat, but those need to be at least a year apart.
- Activities, including equipment like helmets (doesn’t include adaptive equipment)
- Family portraits taken by a professional photographer
Souvenirs or personal items are not included.
Each family gets their own cabin, lodge room, or duplex. Lodging includes:
- Linens and blankets
- Running water and heat
All classes and workshops are mandatory with the exception of the Field Guide to PTS. Each full day of the retreat has one class per day. Topics include a relationship reconnection workshop, First Command’s “Money Matters, Family Matters” workshop, and a “Field Guide to PTS and Military Families” class hosted by licensed professional counselors from Project Sanctuary. Classes are interactive and fast-paced; there will be no death by PowerPoint!
All recreation activities are optional and offer something for everyone. This includes those with disabilities, however ADA-accessibility can vary by venue. Recreation activities vary by season and location. Each full day of the retreat involves at least one recreation activity. Some activities you may enjoy include:
- Outdoor: Hiking, fishing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, snowmobiling, ice skating, snowshoeing, zip lines, ropes courses
- Indoor: Swimming, bowling, foam pits/gymnastics rooms
While we take the education and therapeutic aspects of retreats seriously, we also want you to have fun! Our goal for the week is for you to bond with your family, make lasting memories, and feel empowered with the tools to thrive as a family unit
Our Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) have built age-appropriate curriculums for teens and youth that mirror adult classes. While you’re in class, kids will be doing therapeutic activities like art expression, learning about teamwork, and emotion identification. Just as importantly, they’ll be having fun, too.
If children are too young to participate in recreation activities (for example, snowmobiling), our fantastic volunteers will help out during those times.
Immediate family (those you live with; define as you feel is appropriate). If you are single, you can bring one support person (family member, battle buddy, etc.)
Couples are welcome at “couples only” and “family retreats”. Singles are welcome to any “family” retreat and you can bring ONE support person.
You are agreeing to attend for the full dates of the retreat, and agree to attend the 2 hour classes each day.
Apply online via our website at: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
Transportation to and from the retreat is not provided. because of the remote locations of most of our retreats, Uber and Lyft are NOT recommended.
If there is a financial need, you will work with family support to find resources to help get you to the retreat closest to you.
- A $100 Commitment Fee via check is required before your family’s retreat reservation can be officially booked. Each reservation is a valuable spot for a family and no-shows or cancellations less than two weeks from your retreat date will result in the loss of your deposit. If you attend, your uncashed, original check will be returned to you at the retreat.
- Once you get to your retreat location, your food, lodging, activities and all follow up services are paid for.
Task trained service dogs are always welcome. We are not able to host emotional support animals.
Once your retreat dates and location are confirmed, you will receive location-specific instructions with all the information you need.
What happens at a Project Sanctuary retreat stays at a Project Sanctuary retreat. We have noa chain-of-command reporting and receive no federal funding.
Licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) are all bound by law to keep client information and interactions confidential. All volunteers are made aware of our confidentiality policy and receive a background check before attending a retreat.
- Family Support can assist with emergency financial needs on a case-by-case basis.
- Family Support staff works with families to determine what the current critical needs are and assist the family in identifying the local resources that can help with those needs.
- Family Support communicates with families prior to attending a retreat to answer questions, provide support, and help connect families with additional resources/information that might be needed before traveling to a retreat.
Project Sanctuary is funded 100% by charitable contributions. The majority of our donors are individuals from across the country who have a passion to honor our service members and their families. Additional funding come from companies, foundations and event proceeds hosted by third parties.
Donors can choose to make a gift online at https://projectsanctuary.us/donate/
Additionally, donors may mail a check to:
PO Box 1563
Granby, CO 80446
Facebook / Virtual Birthday Fundraising
Ask your friends and family to honor you by making a donation to Project Sanctuary. Visit
https://www.facebook.com/fund/ProjectSanctuary/ to get started. No Facebook, no problem! Contact Tracy Cullinan at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Corporate Matching Gift: Double Your Donation
Many companies encourage their employees to make charitable contributions by matching their philanthropic support. To find out if your company matches gifts talk to your human resource officer or click this link to search for your company. https://doublethedonation.com/ProjectSanctuary
Estate Plans, Wills, Trust & Life Insurance
You can donate through your estate planning by naming Project Sanctuary in your will for a specific amount or a percentage share in your estate. Another option is to name Project Sanctuary as the beneficiary of your estate after payment of bequests to all others. You may also name Project Sanctuary as a beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance plan. You can learn more about these options and more at https://projectsanctuary.us/legacy-giving/
We suggest talking with your financial advisor to see what the best option for you will be as you consider leaving a legacy that will support at-risk military families for years to come.
Yes, we periodically have needs for items specifically related to our therapeutic retreats and accept in-kind gifts around these needs.
Project Sanctuary has achieved the highest rating from Charity Navigator (four stars) and Guidestar (Platinum) five years in a row due to our fiscally responsible practices.
More than 80% of funds go to directly support our programs.
If you are interested in making a gift via wire transfer or have any questions on any of the above giving options, please contact our Chief Development Officer, Carrie Bair-Norwood at email@example.com
Anyone with a heart to serve our military families and can pass a background check. No military experience or affiliation required. Must be 18+ if coming alone.
Complete the application online at: https://projectsanctuary.us/forms/
No, you can split it up. We do ask that you stay with us at least two consecutive nights for housekeeping purposes and to maintain continuity with our families.
- Sign up for information about our Ambassador program to keep up–to–date on ways to support PS.
- Share our content, tell your friends, be willing to speak on behalf of PS at events in your area.
- If you want to volunteer a special talent….just ask!
Safety is a top priority for our staff and families. We follow strict CDC guidelines by state including but not limited to: Smaller retreat size, masks, grouping families and distancing, no buffet-style dining options, monitoring individual temperatures and continuous hand washing.
- Yes. Older children (10 and above) are great helpers. However, certain retreat locations do not allow children of any age due to lodging arrangements. Please inquire when your retreat location is determined.
- During the current Covid climate, we are unable to take children under five years of age because of the difficulty with social distancing at that age. The health and safety of our families, staff and volunteers are our priority.
Absolutely! Please fill out our service dog registration form. Please note: Emotional Support Animals are NOT considered service animals and not allowed.
We provide all meals and lodging during the retreat. Depending on the location of the retreat, you will stay in hotel–style housing close to where the staff stays.