Family Retreats & Workshops

Menstuff® lists here a description of various family retreats. Check out the local calendar by month which includes all international, national, and regional events. Get out of the box! See also programs for Youths.

Legend: Retreats are listed alphabetically by title. We have included the state code where they generally hold their events and sometimes the month, though these may not be current. If you find something that interests you, contact the organizations directly for their current schedule, fees and location information.



A Workshop for Families, Linda Bloom, W&M, Iowa City, IA. (6/3-4/00) 319.626.7246


Becoming a Father, a Class for Expectant Fathers. We live in a society and culture that does little to prepare us as men for the important experience of childbirth and the transition to parenthood. This two hour class is designed to help men understand how the process of childbirth and becoming a father may effect them. Come join us in this class as we discuss the emotional and social adjustments men experience in the process of becoming a father. At the conclusion of this class the expectant father should be more confident about the childbirth experience and feel reduced stress and anxiety about becoming a father. $25 (sliding scale), 510.644.0300 or Alta Bates Medical Center, Ashby Campus, Berkeley, CA (2/4/02, 7:30-10:30am) or John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek (2/9/02 9a-12m)

BetterMen Family Picnic. (7/10/05-11a-2p) BBQ Lunch!
We’ll have hamburgers, hot dogs and everything that goes with them. You can play games suitable for the entire family. Or, you can just hang out and relax. Oak Canyon Park is a beautiful site and a great place to have fun with our families and to make new friends. We’ve rented the pavilion to make sure we have some cool shade. If you have special dietary needs, bring what you’d like and we’ll throw it on the BBQ. $12 adults, $6 kids Four and under are FREEEEEEE (pay at the park) Oak Canyon Park, 5600 Hollytree Drive, Oak Park. About three miles north on Kanan from the 101 Freeway. Turn right on Hollytree (just past Oak Park High) and left into the park entrance. Drive about 1/4 mile to parking lot on left. 11a-2p (7/10/05)

Bill Moyers' NOW, Child Sexual Abuse in S. Africa and its relation to the AIDS epidemic. It will include a discussion of child sexual abuse elsewhere (i.e. everywhere) It will include Linda McCarriston reading and discussing her poem "A Castle in Lynn." 8pm, PBS. (2/22/02)


Camp it up 2000 Gay and lesbian family adventure. W&M Kalani Oceanside Eco-Resort. Pahoa, Big Island, HI. (12/23-29/00) Call Ellie Schindelman 510-525-7312

Cancer: What to do if your child has cancer, Guest host: Joan Fleitas. Live. She has been working on an international website designed to improve the quality of life for children and teens with complex medical problems since that time. Dr. Fleitas has a particular interest in childhood cancer, and has published the poignant and instructive narratives and poetry of both survivors and victims of malignant disease. (4/11/00, 9pm EST)

Career Day for Our Sons. (National) Held annually the Friday after Father's Day. Since only 40 percent of College Students are male, please invite local college representatives to speak to High School son's of employees to plan to go to college. Boys need Affirmative Action for equality in college attendance!!! Sponsored by National Coalition of Free Men. or Read about Daughters and Kids programs. (6/21/02)

Changing Face of Fatherhood: Myths, Realities and Possibilities. Join John Badalament, All Men Are Sons, Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen, Playful Parenting, Dr. Eli Newberger , The Men They Will Become, and Haji Shearer,L.S.W., director of Fathers' Programs at the Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts as they look at fatherhood, and discuss new ways of understanding this role. Brookline Public Library, Main Branch, 361 Washington Street, Brookline, Massachusetts. $5 7:00-9:00pm. Contact 617-730-2700 or or (10/13/04)

Child Development. Hear from the experts! Learn about current ideas in the field of child development: How your kids learn, developmental ages and milestones and how you can best support the growth and development of your child. This is a great chance to get some tips for LGBT parents. 1st Saturday of every month. Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender Queer Parent Discussion Groups. (4/1/00) W&M  Pacific Center, 2712 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA. Child care is provided. Wheelchair accessibility and ASL interpreters with advance notice. Please RSVP to Anna at or 415.789.8560

Children 2002: Making Children a National Priority. Child Welfare League of America national conference. Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C. (3/6-8/02)

College Savings and Family Playing, Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski. Finances can tear a families apart. But that doesn't have to happen. Solid financial planning is not only good for the bank-book, it can be the foundation of trusting, vital, and wholesome family relationships. The workshop is FREE. 7pm Fishkill Holiday Inn., 542 Route 9, Fiskill, NY 12524. For reservations and information call 1-800-433-0323 ext 218 (3/13/02)

Connecting with Children Using Nonviolent Communication, Cathy Goldman and Anna Swartz. A workshop for parents, grandparents, teachers or anyone who interacts with children of any age. Come learn and practice ways to integrate NVC into your parenting and teaching, hear the feelings and needs of children, strengthen the parent-child relationship, create an atmosphere of cooperation and respect. W&M Ravenna United Methodist Church, 5751 33rd Ave NE, Seattle. 10a-5p (6/10/00)


Dad's Connection: Dealing with Daddy Stress, Dr. John Mason. . All you stressed out dads mark your calendars. Stress expert, author and formerly stressed out dad will share some tips on how to handle the daily stresses of being a father. He will offer some useful strategies for managing the complex challenges of being a parent. (5/3/00-7pm) California Parenting Institute, Santa Rosa, 415.585.6108

Divorced Father's Journey, Serge Prengel. Separated and divorced fathers often feel pushed out of their children's lives. This workshop helps divorced dads get new perspective. Learn to rebuild yourself, deal with conflict and be a better parent under difficult circumstances. Serge Prengel is the author of "Still A Dad". 92nd St Y, New York City, New York City, 12:45 to 2:15 PM $25, 212-996-1100 or or (10/29/00)


Empowering Families to Develop Their Full Potential. 4th Annual South Western Fatherhood Conference, Arizona Fathers & Families Coalition. A conference for practioners, administrators, policy makers, community organizers and parents. Submit proposals by 7/15/02. Mesa, AZ (2/6-8/03)


Families and Fathers Conference 2005. Sponsored by The American Coalition for Fathers and Children, DADS of Michigan, the Family Rights Coalition of Michigan, Fathers For Equal Rights of America, the Citizens For Parental Rights and others. Detroit, MI (6/16-18/05)

Father/Daughter Weekend. This unique not-to-be-missed experience is for all fathers (and father figures) and their daughters (and similar relationships) ages 8 and up -- including (and especially) teen and adult daughters.

What You Can Expect !

Activities to deepen the father/daughter connection carefully designed for the different ages of the daughters

• An opportunity to heal wounded hearts and/or build upon healthy foundations

• Father Talk - a circle of dads exploring deeply and truthfully about what it means to be a father to a daughter

• Daughter Talk - circles of daughters talking confidentially about their relationship with their father

• A Saturday night fire ceremony celebrating the father/daughter relationship (older daughters and dads), but not before releasing the judgments and negative projections often associated with any parent/child relationship

• A special campfire gathering designed to allow spontaneous magic to happen

• Free time to play games, go for a walk, or just sit and talk together

• Memories that you will cherish forever

From a recent Facebook post: "To all my friends with daughters, step-daughters or daughter-like people in your lives - this is the single best thing I've ever done with [my daughter]. It's brought us closer and helped us build a solid foundation for the teen years ahead. It's the one weekend a year we hold sacred. I highly recommend it and invite you to join us this [year]."

Registration and Pricing Info: More info: Craig Azoff - Check us out on Facebook, too! Camp Sunrise, Tuxedo Park, New York (8/12-14/16)

Fathers & Familes Meeting, Warren Farrell. Fathers & Families is a Massachusetts non-profit organization advocating for the right of every child to have two parents. Called by some a "fathers' rights organization," Fathers & Families is made up of men and women who believe that fathers are an essential part of a child's life and that divorce or separation should not change this. Thayer School in Brocton in Thompson Hall. Boston, MA 7-9 pm or or 617.542.9300 (3/6/06)

Family Week. This year we are offering two Family Weeks, due to the popularity of our original Family Week. Family Week has been a great success at Omega because it offers families something very rare: a time to be together in an engaging way with enough variation to satisfy each family member. We invite families of any form to join us in the creation of an extended family. You don't have to have children to participate in this week, but be advised that the atmosphere, services, and schedule are all geared toward children and their families during this time. Program Structure: Workshops for adults and kids meet each morning (9 a.m.-noon) and Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon (2 p.m.-4 p.m.). Tuesday afternoon the faculty offer family activities and sampler workshops. In the evenings we gather for performances and campfire songs and stories. How to Register: Adults choose one workshop. Have children choose one Kids' Camp, or enroll them in the Omega children's program, for children ages 3-5 only. Please respect the age limit for each camp. Teens: Teens are welcome at Family Week and form an important part of the community. Please note that Omega has a 10 p.m. noise curfew and that all children and teens are expected to be with their families after 11 p.m. (Week One: 7/10-14/00, Week Two: 8/7-11/00) W&M. Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY 800.944.1001 or or

Fatherhood Conference, 3rd Annual. Trenton, NJ. Information at (3/10/04)

Fathers & Daughters: Developing a solid, healthy relationship with your daughter. 6-7:30p Parents Place, San Francisco, 415.359.2454 or (3/11/02)







Little Forest People, (For kids ages 6-10), Rangers Woody Watson, Michael Madden, and the Ranger Staff. This camp has been a favorite at Family Week for years. The woods surrounding Omega are filled with adventure, magical groves, fun, fantasy, myths, and little newts. The Rangers are looking for boy and girl junior rangers to help them build forts, climb fallen trees, swing from vine-like ropes, and cook up a hearty batch of bread-on-a-stick. Rangers have been known to carry out raids and play practical jokes on the grown-ups, then retreat to our forest haven to create woodland sculptures, drum, make music, and have forest rituals. Half of the program is spent in the woods; the other half is spent boating, swimming, catching painted turtles, and exploring the natural (and "supernatural") wonders of the Omega lake. The many program activities are sprinkled with respect for all living things: critters, creatures, things that grow, and fellow campers. The Ranger staff is a team with extensive experience running youth adventure programs that nurture and challenge children in a safe, natural environment. Led by Ranger Woody, a veteran youth educator of 30 years, who worked with Nature's Classroom in New England, the team includes: Ranger Michael, a psychologist and leader of wilderness retreats; Ranger Judy Burnett, experienced in Native American ritual; and assistant Rangers Gavin Watson and Ami Arnold, just back from West Africa, who engage campers in the world of drumming, music, and dance. New York, NY (4/7-11/00)


Military Fathers/Deployed Dads. NFI has developed a Military Fathers Program in cooperation with the Reserve Officers Association, the United States Navy, the United States Army and Parents Educating Parents, a fatherhood education provider in Virginia. The purpose of this program is to train military reserve units and their families to deal with father absence caused by deployment. The curriculum is designed to work with those serving in the reserves and their families during three distinct stages of service: as they prepare for deployment, while they are serving, and when they return home upon the completion of a mission. Wives and mothers will share ideas on how they can help their husbands find creative ways to stay in touch with the children while on deployment. The men will find it very encouraging to know that they are not alone in experiencing the strains that come from being separated from their families. For more information about NFI's Military Fathers Program, please email Virginia Beach, VA (3/2-3/02)


Nature Retreat - Family, Dayna Davis & Hugh Prichard. Nature, our wise and ancient teacher, is calling us to renew our appreciation for her stillness and beauty, and to see her once again with childlike wonder and respect. Come as a family to deepen your connections with each other and the earth. Our adventurous week will include nature awareness, games, guided forest and seashore walks, and wildcrafting. We'll also enjoy storytelling, circle dancing, art, collaborative music and theatre, and basketmaking. There will be several children-only sessions, giving parents the opportunity to take time alone or together. Ideal for children 5-12. W&M. (7/14-19/00) Hollyhock Retreat Center, Mason's Landing, BC. 800.933.6339 or or

New Frontiers in Fatherhood Summit. Explore new frontiers in fatherhood. The 5th National Summit on Fatherhood sponsored by The National Fatherhood Initiative. or 301.948.0599. San Antonio, TX (6/10-12/02)


Our Children, Our Legacy: Building on family strengths and developing community capacity in child welfare. An opportunity for all child welfare professionals to hear about the issues facing you today as you deal with the overrepresentation of African American children in the child welfare system. It cocuses on leadership development for upcoming and existing child welfare administrators, organizing faith-based initiatives, making the connection between juvenile justice and child welfare, and cultural competence. Washington, D.C. CEUs. Black Administrators in Child Welfare, 202.942.0312 or or or (3/3-5/02)


Parental Alienation Awareness Day Workshop. The workshops will consist of a structured lecture type presentation in the morning, followed by an interactive discussion, and question answer period in the afternoon. Attendees are encouraged submit their questions to us beforehand. Harvey C. Shapiro, an expert in the field of child abuse, mind control, and false memory, has generously donated his time & expertise to do two interactive workshops on alienation, memory, suggestibility, and the general re-unification process. Held at Miami International Airport Hotel Airport Terminal, 2nd Floor, Concourse E, N.W. 20th St. and LeJeune, Miami, FL. $85 $50 pre-registration, $100 $75 at the door. Space is limited and pre-registration recommended. Maximum of 25 seats per session. 9am-4pm E-Mail or (4/30/06)

Parenting: Mothers & Fathers. This is for you whether you are a biological parent, a step parent, a friend and ally of a child or planning to be one of the above. We'll take a look at the personal dimension of parenting and how it is impacted by social customs and expectations. A lot of what we will do is listen to each other, share questions, and find out what some of us have learned. We'll have fruit and juice for snacks. No city or area code given. W&M  $15-30 sliding scale.1314 NW Irving 512 9a-1p 281.2043. (6/3/00)

Parenting with Positive Discipline: Techniquese and Interventions, W. Robert (Bob) Brunson. This free one-day workshop will provide information and techniques for introducing positive discipline into parent education. Topics will include: Review of different parenting approaches of positive discipline concepts. Emphasizing sensitivity when working with children and adolescents. Applying positive discipline for effective intervention. Interactive activities to demonstrate techniques. This training will benefit therapists, family resource center staff, social workers, school counselors, and teachers. It will be most meaningful to people who work with parents to enhance their parenting skills. CEU credit available. Sonoma State University, Napa, CA 9a-4p Jan DeShazer,, 707.284.9542, (5/19/06)

The Path of Parenting: A spiritual approach, Barbara Sachs. Parenting is difficult. We are given no formal education to prepare us for this profound undertaking, yet we are expected to "know" what to do with this precious child entrusted to us. We want to raise our children to be happy W&M  Easlen, Big Sur, CA 831.667.3000 or (6/30-7/2/00)

Preparing Youth for the 21st Century, Worldwide Summit Conference. A conference that focuses on the skills critical to success in life! Learn ways to reduce teenage violence, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and dropouts. Over 30 workshops. 831.662.0642 Burlingame, CA (6/22-25/00)

Progressive Parenting: Helping Children and Their Parents Achieve Emotional Excellence, John Lee. Unity of Kalamazoo,Kalamazoo. 269.342.2402 or email, 7-9:30p, W&M (2/13/04)

ProParenting Training: How to set limits and gain cooperation from your child. Learn principles of limit setting which actually elicit cooperatoin and increase self-esteem, while keeping your precious moments with your child on track. 8:30am-1pm, Rising Star Montessori, Alameda, $60/person. Child care $15/child. Child and Family Forum, Albany, CA, 510.528.0200 (3/23/02)




Salute to Fathers, 2nd Annual. Join with other fathers of children all ages as we celebrate all the good work dads do for their kids. Share stories about fathering and participate in workshops on Discipline, Working with moms, Balancing work and family, and the Challenges of first-time fatherhood. Learn about the different ways fathers, both custodial and non-custodial, meet the challenges of parenting and why a father's involvement is vital to a child's success. Dads Connection, Carlifornia Parenting Institute, Santa Rosa, 707.585.6108 x 109 (6/21/00)

Summit on Fatherhood (5th National), San Antonio, TX, (6/10-12/02)

Supporting A Loved One With Cancer, Guest host: Sarah Auchincloss, MD. She trained in general surgery and in psychiatry addressing the psychiatric needs of cancer patients and their families. Live at (4/4/00 9p EST)


Take Your Daughter(s) to Work Day - April 25

Sponsored by MS magazine, and sponsored by 3 out of 10 corporations in the U.S. and more than 19 million participants in 1999, this is a day to take your daughter to work to experience what you do and to look at options for herself. We support this program and encourage you to participate. There are other options, not alternatives, but options. (4th Thu in April) Read about Sons and Kids programs.

This gender stuff gets so confusing sometimes. In the past, any exclusion of girls/women has raised great protests. And, boys/men have been and continue to be exclude in many ways. Health clubs for women only. Colleges for women only. Boys Scouts with girls. And, since 1993 a MS Magazine sponsored "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." The exclusion of boys "was meant to remove some distractions. It's a time when both we and our daughters can focus specifically on the girl's abilities and potential." As TODTW organizer Kalpana Crishnamurthy saygs, "TODTW is a day that deals with the unique issues girls face at adolescence, when girls' distress is most acute. Includeing boys doesn't serve boys' very different developmental needs - and it detracts from the focus on girls that TODTW was designed to achieve." And, while we understand why it is done, and do actually support the separation of the sexes, as we do in school, colleges and health clubs, we have a concern that if we continue to set-it up so that girls are basically taught that the only time the can be their own person, or be strong is in a women only environment. And, time will tell. So, we support Take Your Daughters to Work Day. And, dads, we encourage you to take your daughter(s) to work on this day. Three out of 10 American companies participated last year as did almost 19 million girls. There are other options, though not receiving anywhere near the corporate or educational system support. Read about Sons and Kids programs.

Take Your Kids to Work Week (International) Always the week after Father's Day, it's a time to share with your children what you do in the world and what keeps you away from home so much. Leaving the house each day with a brief case or tool box or lunch box isn't enough. (Any day this week Hopefully you do this with your kids more than once a year!) Read about Daughters and Sons.

Temagami Wilderness Canoe Trip: Parents & Children, Michael Madden and Judy Burnett. The Temagami Wilderness Area in Northern Ontario offers the finest canoeing in all of North America. Within the boundaries of this Provincial Forest Reserve are 4.5 million acres of crystal clear lakes and unspoiled rivers, plus 2,000 miles of maintained portage trails, making the entire area a canoeist's paradise. This 7-day exploration is an opportunity for parents and their children to not only increase their knowledge and experience in wilderness skills and community-building; they also have a chance to learn about themselves and each other. The spirit of this journey is to help parents and their children establish a closer relationship through practical cooperation; to navigate a canoe, everyone has to work together. The journey is led by Standing Stones, a center for creating ritual and rites of passage for men and women by empowering people to reach a more fulfilling relationship in their lives. Michael Madden is a renowned counselor in the men's movement. Judy Burnett is an experienced counselor and ordained minister who has been working with rites of passage and creating ritual for the past seven years. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of all ages are invited to participate in this unique opportunity to take stock of their lives together, unburdened by their own expectations or preconceptions of others, deep in one of the greatest expanses of wilderness left on earth. No canoe experience is necessary.NY (7/23-29/00) For more information about cancellations and refunds or to register for this trip, call Standing Stones, a center for the Healing Arts, at 610-891-0182. Please do not call Omega. 

Twin Oaks Community Conference. Ecovillages, communes, coops, CoHousing, and more. A weekend of workshops, community-building, and culture creation. We'll explore topics such as group decision-making, intentional relationships, and sustainable living Welcoming diverse folks who live cooperative lifestyles or would like to learn about them. Workshops on intentional relationships, group discision-making process, community economics, collective childraising, appropirate technology, sustainability, and create your own workshop plus music, dancing, stories and camping. $85 Sliding scale includes food and tenting. Twin Oaks, 138 Twin Oaks Rd, Louisa VA 23093. W&M 540.894.5126 or or (9/1-3/00) (8/17-19/07)

TwinsFoundation Forming (6/30/83). The country's primary research information center on the subject of twins. An international nonprofit membership organization, it was established by a group of prominent twins in New York City. It serves twins, their families, the meda, medical and social scientists and the general public through its publications, its National Twins Registry and its multimedia resource center. Twins Foundation, PO Box 6043, Providence, RI 02940-6043 or 401.729.1000 or or







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Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - Leo Tolstoy

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