Krystal Trammell’s family is totally RAD!
So I asked them to share their experience with the RAD Retreat in 2013 and 2014.
Use the SHARE buttons to invite your friends you join us this November!
Since the beginning the Radiant Retreat’s appeal has been that it’s low-key and less stressful than a hotel in a big city!
I like that there are many sleeping options, from primitive camping in a tent to hauling in your own RV, or even renting a screened shelter or bunkhouse space. It’s great for people who are new-ish to camping (me!) because you can still shower in hot water and have plug-ins both in the bathrooms and at your private campsite. You can get away with bringing less equipment and will still be able to shower and brush your teeth quite easily (Glamour + Camping = Glamping!)
We brought fairy lights to illuminate our tent site, so that our kids could find their way back to where we were – and nowhere is too far from the bathrooms or shared kitchen area. If you must have fresh cream in your freshly brewed coffee from the snack bar, they’ve got you covered! It’s so fun to sit around a campfire and partake of the community meals, or wander into the kitchen area for a smoothie in the late morning, watching the kids creating clever crafts, getting their faces painted, or making foam swords.
There’s always something going on, and it’s so nice to see kids of all ages just finding things to do together in a natural space, outdoors. Additionally, many of the discussion sessions were really useful to share in, even for more seasoned unschoolers, because you can really gain a broader perspective from other unschoolers with different priorities, challenges, or circumstances. The Kid Village is especially fun, because even the very little kids can gently ease into the pace of things, and it’s sometimes a really great place for the adults to hang out, too! Great, in-depth conversations ensue as we watch our toddlers scribble with markers, ride on rocking horses, or build bedsheet forts!
Why did you decide to join us again this year?
Because we love it! It’s our favorite yearly family trip – where we can connect deeply with like-minded souls, and we know that our kids can roam freely and feel safe in the gorgeous outdoors because friends are everywhere you turn. Especially as a family of (mostly) introverts, this doesn’t feel overwhelming to us. It’s the perfect amount of social connection without pressure or a rush to get somewhere else. We love the calm pace of the Radiant Retreat, because it’s not fun to feel stressed trying to squeeze in all the sessions you can, running from one thing to the next, and never really see the stars or enjoy the campfire or breathe in the crisp fall air. There’s a slower, more easygoing pace to this Retreat/Conference, which really allows for more dynamic, fluid moments to unfold between everyone who’s there.
What are you looking forward to the most this year?
This year, I want to make SURE I get a canoe ride! My kids absolutely adored that the last two times, and I want a turn too. It’s also a great time to get a massage from some talented hands, and explore the many hiking and biking trails. I definitely want to participate in the dance party and drum circle – anything that’s happening around a bonfire! I’m also offering a session this year on Honoring Our Kids’ Choices, and I love to share and discuss the unschooling lifestyle – so that will be excellent too! Also, the chili cookoff on Thursday night is NOT to be missed!
I asked my kids and here’s what they said:
Ian (16) is looking forward to foam sword making and battles.
Lili (13) is excited to be the official RAD photographer and hooping with her own hoop creation.
Claire (8) loved playing in the lake most of all last time, and now she’s super excited because she’s learned how to swim! She’s also obsessed w fairies and nature spirit lore, and will love the fairy house building. She’s looking forward to tie-dying, giant bubbles, bike riding and fire building too (so pretty much everything, lol!)
Nik (4) wants to go on canoe rides, build fires, and foam weapons building and battles. Ollie (3) wants to see giant bubbles and fires.
What would you tell a new-comer who is considering the Retreat for the first time?
I think that the Radiant Retreat is a wonderful, life-changing opportunity for a family to experience together, whether they’re unsure of unschooling, or have been doing it for years. I considered myself an unschooler for almost ten years before I finally attended any sort of gathering or conference, and once I did, our entire family underwent some great leaps and bounds! It was a major “upleveling” experience for all of us! Unschooling is of course not just about academics or even learning, but rather, it’s a full-immersion lifestyle for every family member, including parents!
Coming to the Radiant Retreat can be a memorable and profound experience for adults and children alike, and the social connections made at Unschooling conferences are often deep, lasting bonds.
Thanks Krystal for sharing your experience!
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