A few weeks ago I was guiding a walk on the lush trails at Mill Brook Preserve not far from home-base here in Maine. Among my company were a photographer, a home organizer, and a therapist. We reveled at the soft gurgles of the stream that, days prior, had shimmered with the wiggles of alewives making their way from the sea to Highland Lake.
The therapist and I talked about the upcoming canoeing and backpacking retreats that I’ll be guiding. I described to her the slow and intentional pace of a Renewal in the Wilderness trip. I told her how we make space for solitude and reflection as well as community and inspiration. I told her how our trips are surely adventures, but more saturated in serenity than they are soaked with adrenaline. She sighed and said how beautiful it would be to join a Renewal trip, especially as a relief and ballast in her line of work as a therapist. She just wasn’t sure that she could afford the trip.
Then I got to say my favorite thing that I get to say: "We’ve got you covered!"
I was thrilled to share with her, and I’m thrilled all around, that thanks to a generous grant from the Quimby Family Foundation we have developed a fund to provide scholarships for folks participating in Renewal in the Wilderness retreats here in Maine.
*Pause to let the applause subside.*
These funds are dedicated to strengthening our local communities of care by supporting the professionals who make them up - health care and social service providers, first responders, educators, faith leaders, the whole ecology of care in our community.
In particular: If you are a care providing professional and would like to join one of our open Community Trips, don’t let your cash flow keep you from signing up. If you live in Maine, you can request one of our QFF scholarships. If you don’t live in Maine, but need support let us know because I’ll be damned if we don’t figure out a way to get you the renewal you deserve.
We’re also subsidizing our Employee Wellness retreats in some of the half-wild parks and preserves around Portland. If you work at a nonprofit caring-providing organization and want to offer some front country renewal to your staff or colleagues, then please touch base with us to discuss!
A great big wild and roaming THANK YOU to the Quimby Family Foundation for supporting our work in helping the helpers. There are plenty of obstacles to overcome on our path to finding sustainable rhythms of compassion in our world. It feels good to hop over this one.