My first time at a Forest Home parent child retreat came this fall, when I attended the Mother Daughter retreat with my 9 year old daughter, Lilly. While we had never been at Forest Home for a weekend retreat, we had attended family camp for the past 2 summers.  So we considered ourselves Forest Home veterans. We love Forest Home deeply, and we knew we’d have a really wonderful time.  And so it was with great anticipation that we set out on our drive up the mountain.

What surprised us immediately was the quiet of camp. Used the the hustle and bustle of a full family camp, as well as arriving at camp as a family of 6, the peacefulness of a cabin for just us 2 girls was a nice change. We wandered camp hand in hand. We enjoyed the warmth from one of the fire rings as we watched the sun set and sang some of our favorite camp songs. We’d only been at camp for a few hours, but I could already tell that Forest Home Parent Child retreats offer sweet opportunities for making meaningful connections with our kids.

As the weekend went on, that realization became more and more clear. From singing side by side during the worship time in Hormel Hall, to late night talks over fries and a shake at the Clubhouse, and then a night hike over to Canyon Park to ride the giant swing, we had so much time for making memories and building heart connections. Its what every parent longs for in this busy, distracted world we live in—a space and place to carve out time together with our kids.

Because I home school, I spend a lot of time with my kids. We’re always together! But getting up on the mountain, away from our usual routines, and the 3 brothers, gave us new ways to connect and get to know each other. As much as I had longed to have this one on one time with my girl, I didn’t even know how much we needed it. Our weekend together at the Mother Daughter retreat was truly a gift. Now I’m ready to hit the Mother Son retreat with my boys!

If you’ve ever thought of getting up the mountain for a Forest Home Parent Child retreat, I really encourage you to do it. You’ll deeply appreciate the beauty of camp, the relaxation that comes when someone else cooks all your meals, the opportunity to be spiritually filled by great speakers, and best of all, making life lasting memories with your child. You won’t regret it. in fact, you’ll probably want to make it a yearly tradition.