Our team had a wonderful experience with Renewal in the Wilderness. The guides worked closely with us in order to understand our specific context and needs as providers within the mental health system, and they then incorporated this information into a very personalized and meaningful outing. We not only had a chance to spend valuable time together outside of the office, but we were provided with structured and supportive opportunities to reflect and rejuvenate. Our time in the woods with Renewal in the Wilderness was infinitely more beneficial than many of the textbook trainings we have participated in regarding burnout and resiliency. We highly recommend Renewal in the Wilderness to any healthcare providers looking to reconnect to purpose and revitalize within the demands of an ever-changing, often-exhausting field of work. We’re very grateful for the opportunity!
Ripples from your presentation are still going. We keep hearing from partners how impactful your messages were, and I have a story of my own. I had a busy weekend that was kicked off with a Friday decision to apply for a federal grant that’s due in a few weeks (don’t know if you’ve been through this process, but they’re notoriously complex and a heavy lift). After a busy Saturday, I managed to take a short paddle in my kayak on the Presumpscot. I was thinking about the events of the day and the work in the weeks ahead while paddling against wind and current, but then I made it to a quiet space that allowed for some floating and looking around, and your words and messages came flooding back. It was a lovely moment of connecting ideas with experiences, having new concepts (“reconnecting with our own wild nature”) come to life. Nature has always been a reset for me, but I’ve never had such an intentional conceptual framework. I know this connection/epiphany will make future commitments to “get outside and play” much easier to keep! Thank you again for introducing your words and perspective to us...they’ve made a real impact.
I am not just learning how to connect with the beautiful parks of Maine, but also connect with a very deep part of my self. You are helping me to dive in some abandoned oceans of my being.
Renewal in the Wilderness offers the opportunity in sharing time, space, and spectacular locations with individuals who are committed to exploring both themselves and their places in this world. Setting up experiences that have all of these elements is no small feat, yet through the quality and thoroughness of the leadership present on Renewal trips one can see how much care is taken to ensure the very best trips possible. I myself have been on numerous RITW trips; Each and every time I explore a different part of what it means to be present daily, uplifted in sharing humanity with those around me, and am given distinct space to recharge my batteries and prepare for the days ahead. I am a firefighter in a municipal department, often times it is difficult for me to organically make myself stop, slowdown, and set aside the various responsibilities and thoughts I am constantly running with. RITW is a proven outlet for me to experience much need rest and renewal. I cannot recommend Renewal highly enough.
Renewal in the Wilderness is an experience I wish that every bleeding heart in the state of Maine could have the pleasure of participating in. There’s something cathartic about achieving an achy back; for once, not from holding the weight of the world, but rather from carrying your life on your back for a few days in the woods of the Whites. I cannot reiterate how rejuvenating such a simple sensation can feel. As for Aram, I have truly never met a more intuitive, considerate guide. His insightful assessment of the groups capabilities and needs was awing, and his ability to connect and ensure surpassed my expectations. Spending a weekend in the woods can be a daunting thing, and Aram makes embracing nature so accessible.
Imagine entering a space that invites reflection, conversation, calming, disruption to the ordinary and routine. A space void of guilt, shame, competition, striving. But one filled with grace, kindness, protection and mercy. Imagine entering that space with permission to walk and live and seek with a pace that is untimed, uncrushed and free of the pressure of performance and keeping up. That is the space and pace Renewal in the Wilderness and Aram provided for our handful of weary pilgrims as we explored life in the yurt and trails of Hidden Valley Nature Center. It was a time of treasure, of conversations that nurture, of laughter, tears, great food and lots and lots of ALIVENESS.
As a health care professional who owns a small independent outpatient physical therapy practice, my employees and I are on the front line of care giving. We are in the trenches everyday battling for and alongside our patients as they face pain, depression, anxiety, loss of function and disability. We do this with a passion and commitment I am very proud of. However, both for myself and in my role as an employer, I recognize the need to come up for air sometimes. Renewal in the Wilderness was the conduit to breathe that fresh air. Renewal in the Wilderness helped to plan, organize and deliver times of rest, peace, solitude, reflection and togetherness for my team and I. The result was a renewal of togetherness as a team and energy to return to the trenches which increased staff satisfaction, engagement and productivity. As an employer, it solidified my belief that creating space and avenues for such experiences is of utmost importance. A massive thank you to Aram and Renewal in the Wilderness for their skill and knowledge in guiding us to the fresh air and moments of reflection.
I had such a wonderful time on this trip with Aram. He made sure we all felt safe both physically and emotionally on our journey. I loved the time and space for self reflection and journaling. I especially love the poems we got each morning. We all need connection to the earth more than ever and this is a powerful and beautiful way of experiencing supportive community while reintegrating ourselves with the natural world. Everyone should do a trip!
I have made a shift from seeing the wilderness as a hostile environment to one of blissful peace and stillness. It is this peace and stillness that is the core of the trip’s gift... When I want to feel that sense of centered, grounded, deep stillness, silence, and peace, I go back in my mind to that site on a bluff overlooking the lake where I spent my day of solitude.
Thank you for making guided group hikes possible! A few of the things I received on the hikes were the unique way that Renewal incorporates poetry, yoga, meditations, time for reflection, and tea being made for us into their hikes! These little things make for a great way to feel rejuvenated while hiking and connecting with nature. Aram specifically is a great hiking guide! He has a unique way of connecting with people to make them feel accepted, a part of the group, and in tune with nature.
This was the first outdoor camping trip for me! I initially did not think I would enjoy, but as we spent more time together, I began appreciating my surroundings.
Partnering with Renewal in the Wilderness for my Freshman Orientation course was wonderful. The walks we went on were thoughtfully planned, perfectly guided, and always deepened our understanding of the material we covered in class. Their ability to spark an interest in that which we often pass by (both in the world and in ourselves), in purposefully slowing down to consider our steps, to marvel at and venture into unknown places, was exactly what my class needed. My students repeatedly expressed how refreshed and reconnected they felt after our meetings. Walking with Renewal in the Wilderness is a joyful and profound experience for all.
Thank you so much for reminding me once again about the wonders of the wilderness and how much we need nature to inspire and inform us in the world.
I didn’t want it to end. I mean, I knew the physical part of the trip had to stop, but what I particularly didn’t want to end was the feeling of wholeness and connection. And so far it hasn’t, even ten months later.
Renewal in the Wilderness led me into a place without distractions. It allowed me to acknowledge my limits and needs. The trip reminded me of how little we need to be profoundly peaceful and complete.
I was very anxious about the trip because I had never done anything like this before. I am one who enjoys sleeping in a bed, taking a shower each day and enjoying the comforts of home. I was also afraid that the physical nature of the trip would be too hard on me… The trip was incredible. I was able to stretch myself physically, emotionally and spiritually in ways that I had never experienced in my life. The physical nature of the trip was hard, yes, but it was not unbearable and the toughness of it only helped to focus my mind.