A year of new beginnings, a time for reflection & growth, a lot of fun for adults and kids, new wellness practices, new connections, and new life - these are things that come to mind when sitting with gratitude for 2018 coming to a close.
Summer Camp Updates
2018's summer camp, called Camp Beginnings, had a refined twist that did nothing but help all involved. Year one (2017) Hike and Heal hosted summer camp for four weeks at Glenwood Moravian Church for 4-14 year olds. Yes- all age groups at the same time with 30 kids per week, learning together. Surprisingly, it worked! But it wasn't easy and staff left feeling like we didn't tap into the potential of our amazing little ones as much as we could the older population. After a little reflection, we decided to create two different camps divided by age group the following year. In 2018, 4-7 year olds embarked on a week-long, 1/2 day Jedi Training adventure, learning how to master skills in mindfulness while exploring in nature. It was such a hit, that we're adding a second week in 2019. Our 8-15 year old crowd worked together for two weeks, learning about personal leadership through outdoor adventure, mindfulness, yoga, cooking, art and music. Even though everything we did worked wonderfully, the two week Mindful Beginnings camp will be taking a pause in 2019 so that Founder/Owner/Camp Director Moira can focus on her new adventure: parenthood. To celebrate that new beginning, we are offering a Family Camp for 8-15 year olds and their parents. It will be a 3 day, 2 night camping trip at Lake Kegonsa State Park where families get to play together AND allow time for individual self-care. Space will be limited to 20 people, so registering in January and February is highly recommended. The two-week Mindful Beginnings 8-15 year old camp offering will continue again in 2020 - maybe with the addition of Family Camp - who knows!
Retreats & Adult Programming Updates
The most exciting part of Hike and Heal Wellness in 2018 was adding more programming for adults! We kicked it off in spring when subscribers connected with Moira searching for retreat opportunities in the Madison area. Ask and you shall receive! We led a day-long mindfulness retreat at the Madison School Forest that was unforgettable. It was a warm spring day in early June that was full of tremendous growth outside. Ferns were unfurling, vibrant green was shooting up from all angles, and the soil was lucious, smelling fresh. We embarked on Hike and Heal's first guided mini-Forest Therapy Walk, followed by lunch, hatha yoga and sound healing. The sequence of programming just worked. People left feeling rejuvenated, balanced and grateful for a unique experience in the great outdoors. It affirmed our work and motivated us to continue creating day-long events.
We created a shorter version of the day-long retreat, entitled "Hike, Heal & Hum," leading these events for bachelorette parties and the public alike. We walked the Pheasant Prairie Branch Trail (before it was sadly destroyed by the flood), participated in yoga at Parisi Park and utilized our 20m yurt for sound healing.
We stayed busy in fall leading our more forest therapy walks, our first multi-day retreat specifically for women, and another mindfulness day retreat like the one we did in spring. The multi-day retreat was equally as unforgettable as our first day retreat. Weather wasn't ideal, but it made it extra fun. We enjoyed a luxurious cabin stay in Eagle River, WI while participants were treated with healthy home-cooked meals, yoga classes, a mindfulness workshop, kayaking instruction and a day tour of the Chain-of-Lakes, a mini-Forest Therapy Walk, 30-minute Reiki appointments and more. This was a one-of-a-kind event full of opportunities for self-care and personal growth.
In 2019, we aim to put a year-long calendar together with retreats in all seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. Due to the parenthood journey, summer might be the last to add in 2020 but anything is possible! If you don't see retreats scheduled in a season, you'll most definitely see sound healing events, yoga events or forest therapy events with often a combo of a few of those modalities. If you're ever looking for something specific, chances are, others are too. Please reach out with wants/needs/desires- we are here to help create a more compassionate community.
Cheers to a great year of child and adult fun, thank you to all of the Hike and Heal supporters out there for your enthusiasm and referrals and we look forward to growing with you in 2019! Our mission to inspire personal growth through nature connection and mindful play has been a blast to explore and we will continue that mission for years to come.
Hi, Moira here. When I'm not playing with my dogs, listening to music, enjoying nature or being with my friends/family, I'm probably writing. Read these blogs for wellness opportunities we offer at Hike & Heal, ones I know that are awesome or just some tidbits about living a healthier life.