Project Sanctuary hosts therapeutic retreats in eight states across the country that are staffed and designed by the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) and the licensed counselors and social workers on Project Sanctuary’s staff. 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.
CTRS design and staff every Project Sanctuary retreat. Recreation therapy harnesses the healing power and laid-back atmosphere of outdoor recreation to help families break down walls and learn skills like conflict resolution and communication.
Retreats include financial planning classes led by First Command Educational Foundation, relationship reconnection workshops, a field guide to living with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), and a complementary Teen Group and Youth Program to ensure the entire family learns and heals as a unit.
Each retreat is staffed by at least two licensed professional counselors. Families have the opportunity for family, couples, and individual counseling throughout their retreat experience if they would like to participate.
in feelings of life purpose
in feeling engaged in their community
in quality of family relationships
What to Expect
- 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.
A $100 commitment fee is required via check to secure your family’s’ retreat date. We will not hold your retreat spot until your commitment fee is received.
Your un-cashed check will be returned to you at the end of your retreat. If you cancel less than 14 days before your retreat date, or are a no-show for your scheduled retreat, you will be ineligible for another retreat for two years and your check will be cashed. Funds are allocated toward program costs.
What happens at a Project Sanctuary retreat stays at a Project Sanctuary retreat. We have no 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.