Educational & Spiritual Programming Guide
Contact Us: In f o
La For et Con f er en ce & Ret r eat Cen t er Mon. - Fri., 8:00 - 5:00, weekends by appointment. 6145 Shoup Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80908 email@example.com (719) 495-2743 To inquire about any of our scheduled activities or United Church of Christ "camperships" and financial assistance, contact our Director of Transformational Programs, Rev. Logan Bennett: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about events, visit laforet.org/events To inquire about booking your own event, give us a call or email email@example.com.
Contents: Mission & History..... 2 Accommodations & Meals..... 3-4 Events for Adults..... 5-7 Events for Children & Youth..... 8-10
Mission & History In f o
Providing Sanctuary for all to consider the transcendent issues of life... Open an d Af f ir m in g Declar at ion : The Board of Directors of La Foret affirm that all persons are created by God and are equal in worth and dignity. We recognize, celebrate and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming facility of the United Church of Christ, welcoming into full participation in the Body of Christ persons of every race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic origin, physical and mental ability, economic status and nationality. We joyously pledge ourselves to be an Open and Affirming facility, providing a safe welcome for a diverse people.
Fou n din g: La Foret was originally the summer estate of Mrs. Alice Bemis Taylor. After Mrs. Taylor ?s death in 1942, the Bemis Taylor Foundation deeded La Foret to the Colorado Congregational Church, now known as the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ. Cabins were constructed and the church used La Foret for their outdoor ministries. Over the years La Foret has developed into a full-service conference and retreat center. Today, it operates as a non-profit organization serving a wide variety of clientele. La Foret Conference and Retreat Center is open to all children, youth, families, individuals, and churches of the United Church of Christ, as well as those of other denominations, and educational and non-profit organizations who seek to share in the experience of discovery, growth and transformation.
Accommodations & Meals In f o
Lodging, Dining Hall, ADA Accessibility & More... Lodgin g: La Foret boasts a variety of lodging accommodations; each named after the flora found throughout our forest. All of our cabins have a common area, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Unlike the others, Kinnikinnick and Indian Paintbrush provide kitchen amenities as well and have the option of being booked as "self-contained." This means groups have the option of cooking their own meals or taking meals through La Foret?s dining services. Each cozy cabin has a wood-burning fireplace, a large common living area with hardwood floors, two bathrooms and at least four bedrooms with up to three bunk beds each. The cabins are centrally located on each side of the meadow. For questions about accessibility, please contact us. We have accommodations available that meet ADA standards. Additionally, we have yurts, which are traditional portable housing units that were used by the nomads of Mongolia. Our 6 yurts are updated versions made of wood and canvas, each furnished with six sets of bunk beds, providing sleeping space for 12. Yurt Village may hold up to 72 guests and is served by a central bathhouse with multiple toilet, shower, and sink facilities. There is also a separate handicap accessible bathroom; one yurt is set up for handicap accessibility. For info, contact us or go to laforet.org/accommodations
Din in g: Whether your stay is with a small youth group, corporate retreat, or holistic yoga seminar, La Foret will provide the perfect meal package to complement your experience. In f o
Diet ar y Pr ef er en ces: Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegetarian and Vegan are some examples of dietary preferences. Dietary preferences will be honored when possible and an alternative is not guaranteed at every meal. In addition to our hot meal we provide fruits, yogurts, oatmeal and cereal at every breakfast and a large salad bar with over 20 toppings at lunch and dinner. Diet ar y Aller gies: La Foret will cater to all serious, medically necessary food allergies by offering an alternative meal when necessary. Food will be cooked separately to avoid cross contamination when needed. All special dietary needs must be reported prior to the groups arrival. These include, but are not limited to: Nut allergies, Celiac disease, Lactose free, etc. Am en it ies: Some of our activities require advance notice, others are available year-round! Please inquire when booking. -
Meeting Spaces & Wi-Fi Heated Pool w/ lifeguard, Memorial Day - Labor Day Labyrinth Meditation Path Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, Horseshoes & More Scenic Hiking Trails Campfire Circles Hayrides Archery Ropes Course
Educational & Spiritual Events for Adults Sacr ed Con ver sat ion s t o En d Racism , Apr il 23-25, Ju ly 3-5, and Oct ober 23-25: La Foret is so excited to host the first SC2ER program in the western USA. Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER) is an established program of the UCC developed by Rev. Dr. Velda Love, Minister for Racial Justice. This program goes in greater depth than other racial justice trainings, including the UCC?s White Privilege curriculum. Through in depth study, group learning, and honest self-reflection, participants will be able to begin a life-long journey to understand and recognize deeply embedded bias, racism, and perceived cultural exceptionalism. This training has been crafted to challenge participants to work towards de-centering whiteness and dismantling systemic structures which perpetuate racism, through the process of restorative justice. Join us for this crucial work. SPECIFICS: Clergy will receive continuing education credits for this program. Participants are asked to commit to the full program, including all three retreats and the virtual meetings in between. Price is $825 for the whole program, and financial assistance may be available.
Com passion at e Com m u n icat ion t o Save t h e Wor ld, M ay 1-3: Living Room Conversations and Sacred Discourse are two extraordinary nonprofits working to heal the divisiveness that is plaguing our country and the world. In this, the second installment of the program that began at La Foret in spring 2019, Mary Gaylord of Living Room Conversations and Thomas McSteen of Sacred Discourse will lead us in a weekend of deep listening and healing. We will consider the unconscious practice of 'othering,' and how that affects our relationships and conversations with people who are different from us. Participants are encouraged to invite friends, family, or acquaintances of differing social and political beliefs. This retreat will provide a space that is respectful and inclusive of all views and identities. SPECIFICS: Cost is $290 for the full weekend including all meals and lodging. Lower prices for commuters and Saturday only, TBD.
Sch ool of Celt ic Con sciou sn ess, M ay 8-10: In 2016 John Philip Newell founded the School of Celtic Consciousness (SCC). He did so in the belief that Celtic wisdom is needed at this moment in time, urgently. It is a spiritual tradition in the Christian household that can nurture vision of mind, strength of soul, and compassion of action. La Foret is pleased to welcome the SCC to La Foret this year. Cost is TBD, but onsite and commuter options will be available. Please check laforet.org/events for the latest information.
OWL Facilit at or Tr ain in g (Two separate events): Adult curriculum training only M ay 14-16, ALL age groups trainings Nov 13-15. Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and Our Faith (OWL) facilitator training prepares people to implement one of the most highly regarded comprehensive sexuality programs in the country. This curriculum changes the lives of participants, facilitators, and communities. Come be a part of this radically inclusive and powerful movement! SPECIFICS: Three age group trainings will be offered at the same time in November: Elementary (for the K-1 + 4-6 grade levels), Secondary (for the 7-9 + 10-12 grade levels), and Adult (young adults, adults, and older adults). These three Nov. trainings will run concurrently, so it will only be possible to get trained in one level. Cost is $330 for those who stay on-site, or $170 for commuters. A few partial scholarships for UCC participants are available upon request. For more information, please contact Candace Woods, Sexuality Education Organizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cou n selor Tr ain in g Day, Ju n e 6: A day to bond, play, pray, and prepare for the best camp year ever! While this training is required for all summer camp counselors, we encourage anyone interested in chaperoning any youth event at La Foret to attend. The first hour in particular is a great opportunity to simply get to know more about the Rocky Mountain Conference?s outdoor ministry program. If you?ve ever considered chaperoning a youth event, drop in for the first hour and learn what we?re all about at camp La Foret! If you know someone who would be great with youth, please share this event with them. SPECIFICS: 1 PM to 6 PM with optional (free) lunch and dinner..
Con t em plat ive Cam p, Ju ly 12-18: At Contemplative Camp, each day begins with silence, includes lectio divina, a book discussion, the labyrinth, diverse contemplative practices, swimming, laughter, and the joy of living in spiritual community. This year will include a second tract for those seeking more extensive meditation from the "East," led by guest Buddhist practitioner, Dr. Ron Frost. The gift of silence, in practices from the East and West, reveal to us ways to draw deeply from the well. Newcomers and experienced practitioners are welcome. SPECIFICS: Cost is $590 for a shared room. A limited amount of single rooms are available for $650. For questions, please contact Rev. Dr. Sally Palmer at email@example.com or Dr. Ron Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org ........ Date To Be Determined: RM C Wom en?s Ret r eat : Please join us for the 4th-Annual RMC UCC Conference-wide Women?s Retreat! The theme and keynote speaker are yet to be determined. It is certain that friendship, fun, laughter, presence, and prayerful silence will be a part of this sacred time. An cien t Celt ic Spir it u alit y Ret r eat : Father Brendan E. Williams brought ancient Celtic spirituality to La Foret this past fall in a unique, heart-centered, earth-focused retreat. Father Brendan is an Episcopal priest, healer, spiritual teacher, author, scholar of Celtic traditions, storyteller, and poet-seer who brings a grounded spirituality to all his endeavors. This year ?s retreat theme and date are yet to be determined, but you won?t want to miss this Spirit-filled event.
Camps & Retreats for Children, Youth & Families You t h
Spr in g Ret r eat (Gr ades 6-12) M ar ch 13-15: ?The Spring Youth Retreat is a vital place for Junior- and Senior-High Youth to build an amazing community! Along with games, songs, and dancing, youth will also be able to discuss their faith, explore profound questions, develop their beliefs and values, and make new lifelong friendships. This year ?s Spring Retreat is sure to speak to your youth, as it is entirely youth planned! SPECIFICS: This retreat runs from 7PM Friday to 11AM Sunday. Price is $150 for early bird registration (Before February 1st) and $175 until registration closes February 28th.
Gr an d Cam p, Ju n e 26-28: Open to grandparents and grandchildren ages 5 to 11 years old, Grand Camp is designed to strengthen the special relationship between grandparents or grandparent surrogates and their grandchildren. It is a great opportunity for first time campers to experience camp with the added comfort of an adult they love. Fun and discovery will be around every corner as we explore nature, encounter God, and work on craft projects together. Worship, playtime, swimming, and campfires round out this camp. Don?t miss this amazing opportunity for intergenerational connection and bonding! SPECIFICS: This event is open to all kids ages 5 to 11 and their grands, regardless of denominational affiliation. $390 for first Grand/child pair in a family group, plus an additional $50 per additional child or $75 per additional adult.
Pion eer Cam p (Gr ades 2-4) Ju ly 5-11: At Pioneer Camp, young campers will play, swim, hike, sing, eat, make crafts, hear stories, and make new friends in the Black Forest at La Foret! Trained counselors and staff will keep campers safe and show them new ways to have
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fun outdoors. It?s gonna be great! Pioneer camp is designed with first-time and young campers in mind. SPECIFICS: Open to all kids entering grades 2-4. $490 early bird registration is from January 20th to May 10th. $530 registration closes June 22nd......................................
Explor er Cam p (Gr ades 4-6) Ju ly 5-11: Explorer Camp provides youth entering grades 4-6 with an opportunity to be part of an incredible community! Under guidance from trained counselors and staff, campers will explore the Bible, faith, nature, friendships, and their own beliefs... all while focusing on having as much fun as possible! The week's activities will include campfires, swimming, arts and crafts, outdoor games, free time, rope course, and worship. SPECIFICS: Open to all kids entering grades 4-6. $490 early bird registration is from January 20th to May 10th. $530 registration closes June 22nd.
Voyager Cam p (Gr ades 6-8) Ju ly 5-11: At Voyager Camp, youth are invited to come with an open mind, a fun spirit, and a friendly attitude. During the week, trained counselors and staff will set the stage and hold space for amazing friendships and growth to occur! We seek to create a memorable week filled with laughter, music, reflection, self-exploration, and don't forget the ropes course! It's the perfect environment for preteens to play, explore, and grow. Youth will form memories and friendships they'll hold dear for the rest of their lives! SPECIFICS: Open to all kids entering grades 6-8. $490 early bird registration is from January 20th to May 10th. $530 registration closes June 22nd.
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M ADD Cam p (Gr ades 9-12) Ju ly 12-18: Our theory at Music, Art, Dance, and Drama (MADD) Camp is that we can get in touch with God through the arts. However, all artistic skill-levels are present and welcome at MADD Camp. Along with engaging the youth in intellectual faith conversations, we attempt to get them ?out of their heads? and into experiencing the transcendent through creativity, nature, friendships, self-discovery, games, activities, and LOTS of fun. We find these moments to be the most powerful in helping young people to develop a lifelong faith. SPECIFICS: Open to all kids entering grades 9-12. $490 early bird registration is from January 20th to May 10th. $530 registration closes June 29th. . Rain bow Cam p (All ages) Au g 1: Rainbow Camp has all the fun of a traditional day camp- archery, swimming, crafts, and games galore. It?s a full day of fun in community, where everyone is recognized as a whole child of God, exactly as they are. Anyone can attend, regardless of denomination, and all ages are welcome. Rainbow Camp is for LGBTQ+ singles, couples and families. Straight allies are welcome, too! Fall Ret r eat (Gr ades 6-12) Oct 30-Nov 1: The Fall Youth Retreat, like the spring retreat, is an extraordinary opportunity for youth to unplug and live in meaningful community. Along with all the outstanding camp fun, fall retreat also offers the unique opportunity for churches to gather in their youth groups for some intentional bonding time. It?s an excellent way for youth leaders to start off their program year! SPECIFICS: This retreat runs from 7PM Friday to 11AM Sunday. Price is $150 for early bird registration (Before September 4th) and $175 until registration closes October 16th.
6145 Shoup Rd Colorado Springs, CO 80908, USA
Explor er Cam p (Gr ades 4-6) Ju ly 5-11: Explorer Camp provides youth entering grades 4-6 with an opportunity to be part of an incredible community! Under guidance from trained counselors and staff, campers will explore the Bible, faith, nature, friendships, and their own beliefs... all while focusing on having as much fun as possible! The week's activities will include campfires, swimming, arts and crafts, outdoor games, free time, rope course, and worship. SPECIFICS: Open to all kids entering grades 4-6. $490 early bird registration is from January 20th to May 10th. $530 registration closes June 22nd. Directed by Robbie Carlson and Sara Schneider .
Voyager Cam p (Gr ades 6-8) Ju ly 5-11: At Voyager Camp, youth are invited to come with an open mind, a fun spirit, and a friendly attitude. During the week, trained counselors and staff will set the stage and hold space for amazing friendships and growth to occur! We seek to create a memorable week filled with laughter, music, reflection, self-exploration, and don't forget the ropes course! It's the perfect environment for preteens to play, explore, and grow. Youth will form memories and friendships they'll hold dear for the rest of their lives! SPECIFICS: Open to all kids entering grades 6-8. $490 early bird registration is from January 20th to May 10th. $530 registration closes June 22nd. Directed by Abby Ballinger.
Sign u p on ou r " UCC CAM PS" page at laf or et .or g! Con t act Rev. Logan Ben n et t f or m or e in f or m at ion , logan @laf or et .or g or 719-495-2743