Project Sanctuary hosts therapeutic retreats in five states across the country that are staffed and designed by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, licensed counselors and social workers. Retreats are open to active-duty service members, veterans, Guard and Reserve families from all branches of the military and all eras. All families, including the LGBTQ+ community are welcome at our retreats.
Families/couples that are looking for a therapeutic environment to help them reconnect, navigate communication challenges, help all members of the family (including children) learn and understand Post Traumatic Stress and how to work together in challenging times restore family cohesion will benefit from our therapeutic retreats.
Space is limited to just immediate family, or the one person/partner that supports you on your healing journey. Because of the nature of our programs, those that are single or would want to attend alone are not a great fit. If you are a single active-duty or veteran looking for a therapeutic retreat, Project Sanctuary Family Support team is happy to help connect you with one of our partner organizations that focus on these specific goals.
What to Expect
Our retreats and classes are designed for families / couples to come together and gain tools and resources in three key areas: Relationship Reconnection, Strengthening Family Finances and Post Traumatic Growth. At Family Retreats, parents experience workshops in these specific areas led by trained professionals and children experience fun age-appropriate activities around similar topics to ensure the family can come together and build stronger relationships. Throughout the week families will participate in fun indoor and outdoor recreational activities together, making memories guaranteed to last a lifetime. Families will complete their retreat by having professional family photographs taken (no additional fee).
Couples are welcome at our Couples Only retreats where we dig deeper into strengthening the marriage/relationship to increase communication, build trust and reconnect with each other. There are no children at the couples-only retreats, creating an environment for the couple to focus on what is needed in their relationship.
After each retreat experience, participants will be asked to complete a survey that helps the Project Sanctuary team continue to improve, provide ongoing support after your retreat experience and help other families.
Tasked trained service dogs are always welcome. We are not able to host emotional support animals.
Steps to Attending a Retreat:
Register: click “Register” button below
Complete Application: This will be automatically emailed to you upon completing your registration (Please check your junk/spam)
Select Retreat: During the application process, a staff member from family support will contact you to determine eligibility, retreat dates, location, and availability.
Complete Family Agreement: After retreat date/location is selected, you will receive an email with the Family Agreement to provide additional information about your family to help Project Sanctuary best meet your needs.
Provide Refundable Commitment Fee: This reserves your spot at the retreat you selected after completing the Family Agreement
Confirmation: You will receive an email confirming all details of your retreat
Secure Transportation: Families need to plan their own transportation to and from the selected retreat. Information will be sent ahead of time to help with this process.
Pack Your Bags: Prepare your family to have an amazing experience that will truly reignite your family connection
- Activities, including equipment like helmets (doesn’t include adaptive equipment)
- Family portraits taken by a professional photographer
Souvenirs or personal items are not included.
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.
Task trained service dogs are always welcome. We are not able to host emotional support animals.
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. Each full day of the retreat has one class per day. Topics include a “Relationship Reset” workshop, First Command’s “Money Matters, Family Matters” workshop and the “Field Guide to Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) 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 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.
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 one licensed professional counselor. 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