2015 Retreat is ON!!!

Registration for the Fall Retreat is almost ready!

[update – it’s READY – click here to REGISTER]

We are so excited for our community to gather again November 5th – 9th!  This year we are making some changes to the schedule with the goals of:

  • RadRetreatMaximizing the support attendees receive during the Retreat
  • Helping new folks assimilate into the group more easily and
  • Enabling ALL of our Radiant Community to get the most out of the workshops, activities AND just being together!

As we finalize registration details, we wanted to go ahead and announce prices so everyone can plan their finances accordingly.   In order to make the Retreat happen, we’ve had to raise some of the prices a smidge.  But don’t worry!  There are still plenty of opportunities available to reduce the fees for your family.

Since it’s its inception in 2013, we have tried to keep the Radiant Retreat affordable for as many families as possible.  So the prices started out very low compared to other conferences. We want you to know that we have wrestled with the numbers to keep it as affordable as possible, but due to everything that is involved in putting on the Retreat, we feel that the prices this year are still very fair for everyone.  The organizers make a considerable investment of time, energy, expertise and money to plan and execute the Retreat, and the prices must support that.

We also want to highlight the fact that this event takes a considerable amount of COMMUNITIY EFFORT to make it happen because we don’t have a hotel staff taking care of us and the facilities like many other conferences.  We have to take care of it ALL – and that’s what’s so great about the Radiant Community – the way members step up to help where help is needed!

In 2013, when I was planning our stay at Cleburne State Park, the Rangers said that because our group would be over 50% kids, the park would be littered with trash by the end of the weekend and they were sure that “something would get torn up” because middle school aged kids were included.  I assured them that our group would not be typical in that manner and they just laughed.  Sure enough, the “Radiant Tribe” was very respectful of the grounds and facilities and we proved those Rangers wrong!

The Radiant Tribe IS remarkable and EVERYONE’S contributions make the Retreat GREAT!

So here are the prices so you can plug them into your budget.  If it turns out that you need “Tuition Assistance” you can apply for Radiant Staff jobs here in exchange for Registration Credits to reduce your fees.

{f1} 2015 Registration Prices

Early Bird (until June 30)Regular Price (until Oct 31)Late Registration – Space PermittingAt the Door
First 4 Household Members$50 each$60 each$70 each$80 each
Household Members #5 – 8 (including grandparents)$25 each$30 each$35 each$40 each
Kids 3 and under who will NOT attend Kid Village ChildcareFreeFreeFreeFree
Single Day Pass (per person) $25 each

 

LodgingNightly Price
Private Campsites – Screened Shelter, Tent, RV – (up to 8 people)$25-$35per SITE
Group Campsite – Tent Only$9per TENT
Bunkhouse – Heat & AC – Bathrooms Adjoining$10per PERSON

Click here to learn more about the different Lodging Options.
Click here for MORE lodging options for NON-CAMPERS.

Please contact the Radiant Team if you have questions about the Retreat, and keep an eye out for registration in the next few days so you can take advantage of the Early Bird prices!

Heaps of Love,
Christina and your Radiant Team
TDM-LicenseeBadge-Vertical4$50off Retreat withDM

Meal Reservations + Campsite Balance Due

sq logoFACILITESHere’s your friendly reminder that the balance on your campsite is due October 15 (if you haven’t already paid it.)

You can find your balance in the confirmation email you received upon registration.  Shortcut: copy and paste this text: RL&LRetreat Registration Confirmation in the search bar of your email program and you it should pop up!

Contact Christina if you’ve made changes and need your new balance calculated.


sq logo MEALS

 

Also remember to reserve your meals for Friday dinner, Saturday dinner and/or Sunday lunch by October 17.  Here’s the link to the reservation form.

 


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Thursday’s dinner is the Community Potluck/Chili Cook-Off.

Prize for the best chili is the book:
Reclaiming My Birth Rights
written by one of our Workshop Facilitators, Dr. Adrienne Carmak

 

 

 

 

 

RegisterNow sq logoRADIANTbucks Click here for menus and reservations.
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Potluck & Chili Cook-Off, Community Meals and Important Deadlines

sq logo MEALSAn attendee from last year’s retreat posted a good bit of advice about meals on the Facebook group.  Here’s what she said:

Last year, my family and I decided instead of paying for the community meals, we could eat cheaper if we fed ourselves. Boy, were we wrong.

Not in the sense that we spent more money on the food we brought, but we lost out on the value of sitting down to a common meal with the rest of the attendees.

When community mealtimes came, we separated from our friends, new and old to go off and eat from our ice chest.

This year, we’ve agreed that we’ll spend the extra on community meals. Being able to sit and break bread with like minded people is undervalued, but not by us this year.

We hope to see everyone there with us, we look forward to connecting with you.

~ Pepper Lee (aka Andrea Revels)

We want everyone to join the group for as many meals as possible, so check out the menus and sign up here today!  Deadline for reservations is Friday, Oct. 17th.

On Thursday night we are having a Community Potluck and Chili Cook-Off!  Cook a pot of your favorite Chili now, freeze it and bring it to the Retreat Thursday.  Or bring a side dish or dessert!  We will have plugs for crock pots and there’s a stove to heat up stock pots.  Click here for more details.

We will also have a Coffee Bar each morning and a Smoothie Bar during breakfast and lunch times each day.  Click here for details on purchasing Radiant Bucks for those.

Please email ChristinaWester@mac.com if you have questions!

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Young Adult Unschoolers Q&A, Mini-Fig Swap, Bikes, Swords & Mp3’s

sq logoRADIANTKIDSWe’re so excited to announce the Young Adult Unschoolers’ Panel.  We have 5 unique individuals who will answer your questions and share their experience growing up Unschooled!  (Well 4 were Unschooled and one was a “very relaxed Homeschooler using many Unschooling principles”)

Click here to read their Bios and see what other contributions they will be making at the Retreat!

We also want to make sure all the kids know about some things they might want to bring to the Retreat:

  • Lego Mini-Figs – we’re having a SWAP!   Bring your tired, old Mini-Figs and take home some fresh, new ones!
  • Bikes – It’s a great way to get around camp, plus it’s just super fun to ride with friends – on the roads or on the camp’s bike trails.  We will also have an organized Bike Race around the Cedar Grove Camping Loop!
  • Nerf Swords or Duct Tape Swords“Hunger Games” is a favorite camping activity among our Home Ed community and we will be organizing a couple of rounds Thursday & Friday.  After that it’s up to the kids to “round up” a game.  Click here for the rules.  There will also be an opportunity to make your own foam sword at the Arts & Crafts Table on Thursday and Friday.
  • Mp3’s for Dancing – Bring your favorites to play at the Halloween Dance Party.  The DJ with start things off, but requests will be difficult since we don’t have internet access.  We’ll be happy to play songs from your device though!  Our sound system can connect with most bluetooth devices as well as Apple and Android products.
RegisterNow sq logoRADIANTbucks Click here for menus and reservations.
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Adultism and Equal Rights! . . . for Children?

sq logo evolutionIt was at my first Unschooling conference that I began to examine and question the discrepancies in the socially acceptable ways we treat children versus the ways we treat adults.  After all, kids are not as “socially valuable” as adults right?  They lack experience and wisdom.  They can’t delay gratification or keep up with “important responsibilities” like bills and jobs.  They require supervision and cajoling or coercion or downright force to “do the right thing.”

I grew up being treated with a certain lack of respect and condescension that I just accepted as normal from NEARLY EVERY ADULT I encountered.  As I grew older I began to use the same tone, same attitude and show the same lack of respect for children that I encountered.  It was ingrained in me.  It was the norm to treat children this way (or worse).  And despite my bent for social activism and all of the philosophizing I had done around equal rights for women or different races, ethnicities or sexual orientations, I had never stopped to think that the largest group of people that are routinely discriminated against, subjugated and marginalized is children!

I sat in the introduction to Unschooling workshop at that first conference and heard examples of ways that we speak to and treat children that would be considered rude, disrespectful or even verbal assault if we spoke to adults that way.  A lightbulb went off and it has been an ever unfolding process of discovery, self examination and deprogramming to change my ways little by little to treat children AUTOMATICALLY with the same respect and consideration that I would give an adult.

It’s not always easy and sometimes I fall back into the old patterns of demanding, coercing and expecting developmentally inappropriate things from children . . . and then treating them disrespectfully when they don’t perform to my satisfaction.

Despite the fact that children have far less experience, self-control and ability to cope with the world, we expect them to have the same amounts of patience, impulse control and initiative as adults.  BUT we are not willing to give them the same respect and consideration that we would give other adults. We speak to them as if they’re stupid and belittle them. We order them around and expect immediate compliance.  We make plans without their input.  We make decisions about their lives and how they will spend their time without considering their needs, desires or opinions.

It’s inconvenient for adults to stop and ask a child about their preferences or how they might choose to do things in a certain situation. We think we know better because we are older.

And this doesn’t even BEGIN to touch the issue that it is perfectly LEGAL to hit, strike or smack one’s own child when the same behavior toward an adult would be considered assault and would justify charges being filed.

This is a problem that has deep roots and even wider repercussions.


This Fall a group of pioneering Unschoolers in Dallas have come together to create a Home Education Co-op that has confirmed my suspicions that we give kids WAY TOO LITTLE respect, consideration and trust.  The initiative, creativity, team work and problem-solving skills the kids in our group have displayed in creating and self-designing their activities and classes has been humbling, inspiring and surprising.  (Even for a dyed-in-the-wool Unschooler!)

Within my own family, I have seen positive results when we take the time to sit down and share our individual goals, find common goals and develop a plan (with input from EVERYONE) to accomplish them.  When we allow all members of our family OR our Unschooling Community Co-op (regardless of age) to contribute, share ideas and formulate a plan of action, the momentum is unstoppable, the engagement of the members is joyous and the level of satisfaction is monumental!

  • Are you ready to examine some long held, collective beliefs about the automatic and socially acceptable degradation of our youngest humans known as ADULTISM?
  • Would you like some tools for releasing these habits and beliefs in your interactions with children?

We have two Retreat Workshops that should prove informative, provocative and challenge you to make some changes or AT LEAST begin to recognize the most socially acceptable form of inequality that exists in all of our lives!

When we begin to become more aware of the ways that we buy into Adultism and begin to change our interactions with the children in our lives, we expereince more peace and harmony within our families and larger communities.  This is truly a beginning step to creating a more peaceful world!


Join us Oct 23-27 in Cleburne, TX for these two workshops and many more at the Radiant Living and Learning Retreat!


“Because I Said So!” just ain’t gonna cut it anymore! ~ Lets talk about Adultism
NinaJones
with Nina Jones

As parents we all hope to form good relationships with our children. Along the way, many of us fall back into certain behaviors and ideas that we were raised with:  that adults should make ALL the decisions for a younger person without much input from the child.

The concept of “because I said so” is one of the ideas that we need to let go of if we are committed to forming truly respectful relationships with our children.
Adultism is defined as: behaviors and attitudes that are based on the assumptions that adults are superior to young people and are entitled to act upon young people without agreement.  This idea is reinforced throughout most modern societies and is a form of discrimination, prejudice, subjugation and marginalization that is experienced by ALL children.
Adultism impacts the development of our youth, in particular, their self-esteem and self-worth.  It trains them from day-one to accept the authority of another merely because of age.  In fact some say it grooms us to more readily accept other forms of discrimination and subjugation as adults.
 
Is Adultism an acceptable and sometimes necessary construct of society?  What would life look like if we pushed past the norm of Adultism to TRULY respectful and egalitarian relationships with our children?  How might children be empowered throughout their lives if they were treated like FULL human beings from the beginning?  

Lets talk about it!


Creating Peace and Harmony through the Family Meeting
DoreenFisher2
with Doreen Fisher
In an effort to find more harmony, reduce stress, and accomplish more of her family’s individual and collective goals, Doreen Fisher decided to implement a Family Meeting to create a little bit of structure in her family’s highly creative, free and unstructured lifestyle.

The result?  They became more grounded as individuals and as a family, found more peace in their home, and began to show up for each other in a way that resulted in measurable movement toward their individual and collective goals.

Join Unschoolers Doreen and Mila Fisher as they share their process for the Family Meeting and discuss the benefits of allowing all family members – of ALL ages – to participate in running family matters and discover their own interests and accountability in the process.

RegisterNow sq logoRADIANTbucks Click here for menus and reservations.
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Food at the Retreat

Below is the food info for this year’s RAD Retreat! 


Each family will be responsible for their own food at the Retreat, BUT we do have plans for some optional community dining!

We are having a Community Pot-Luck on Thursday night and there are options for you to purchase a few Catered Meals throughout the weekend as well as delicious smoothies and serious coffee available each day.


THURSDAY NIGHT POTLUCK and CHILI COOK-OFFpc5x4bocB
Dining Hall

  • Cook a pot of your famous chili at home, freeze it and bring it down to camp on Thursday
  • OR bring a side dish or dessert to share
  • Please bring a serving spoon and be sure to label it with your name!

We will have plugs for crock-pots if you want to bring your chili and plug it in earlier in the day.  There is also a stove to heat up a stock pot. We will gather at 6pm in the Dining Hall (It’s the building between the “Men’s Barracks” and “Women’s Barracks” on the map – pick up a map at the Ranger Station when you enter the park or view online here).


2014JuiceBarMenu COFFEE and SMOOTHIE BAR Dining Hall

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Breakfast & Lunchtime
Freshly ground, organic & fair trade coffee will be brewed with a french press each morning.
Delicious, fresh, whole food smoothies will be available during breakfast and lunch time.
We will also have some snacks like nuts, Kashi bars and fruit snacks for sale (no artificial stuff in the snacks.)
Purchase Radiant Bucks now to enjoy these goodies at the Retreat!


CATERED MEALS – RESERVATIONS REQUIRED Alex Walters catered for us last year and this year he will be doing dinner Friday and Saturday nights.
For Sunday lunch Lisa Ruiz (our amazing caterer from the first RAD Retreat) will be making delicious soups and we will have sandwich and salad fixings as well.  See the full menus below.


MENUS


Friday Dinner – $11 Adults, $6 Kids
Hamburgers
Cheeseburgers
Grilled Portabella (V)
Buns or Lettuce Wraps 
Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickles
Roasted Corn (V)
Grilled Asparagus (V)
Deviled Potato Salad (V)
Fruit


Saturday Dinner – $11 Adults, $6 Kids

Fajitas/Tortillas!
Grilled Chicken
Fajita Veggies – Zuccini, Squash, Bell Pepper, Tomato, Mushroom & Onion (V)
Flour or Corn Tortillas
Lettuce Wraps for wheat-free option
Charro Beans (V)
Spanish Rice (V)
Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese, Salsa & Sour Cream
Fruit


Sunday Lunch – $11 Adults, $6 Kids
Soups, Salad and Sandwiches!
Split Pea soup (Vegan)
Butternut Squash soup (Paleo/GF)
Loaded Baked Potato/Broccoli soup (GF)
Salad and Sandwich Fixin’s
include meat and veggie and gluten free options


We need a head count for meals by October 27th, so make your reservations now!


Fill out this form to order your meals.
Payment instructions will follow the order form.

What are Radiant Bucks?

Texas law prohibits exchanging money in Texas State Parks, so we will be using tickets (Radiant Bucks) like they do at the Fair or a school carnival for the items listed below.

ALL OTHER RETREAT ACTIVITIES
(except catered meals)
ARE INCLUDED IN YOUR REGISTRATION FEE.

You can purchase Radiant Bucks now and they will be waiting for you at the registration table when you arrive at the Retreat.
1 Radiant Buck = $1


Scroll down to the bottom of the page to order Radiant Bucks.
Here’s what they will buy:

Fresh Orange Juice and Smoothies
Dining Hall
5 Radiant Bucks

Click here for the MENU
& hours of availability

JuiceSmoothieBar


Organic & Fair Trade Coffee
Dining Hall
2-4 Radiant Bucks
Freshly ground each morning and brewed with a french press.
Organic Whole Milk, Half & Half and Almond Milk available

Click here for the MENU
& hours of availability

Coffee


Chair Massage
Dining Hall Porch
1 Radiant Buck per minute
ChairMassage


Face Painting
Dining Hall
2 – 6 Radiant Bucks
AnnaButterfly


Canoe Rides
Cedar Lake
2 Radiant Bucks per person
AnneCanoeRide


1 Radiant Buck = $1

Order tickets here:

Give yourself the gift of Community + Retreat Schedule

Hands-Holding-Seedling-TogetherGoing to Unschooling conferences always leaves me feeling renewed and refreshed in my resolve to parent and educate my kids in more respectful and gentle ways.  Great conversations and workshop sessions have given me new tools and a fresh perspective on things I was struggling with.   I’ve always loved the feeling of gathering with a like minded community, but after revisiting The Continuum Concept at the RE conference last year, it became clearer than ever how VITAL it is to REGULARLY gather with my tribe!  In our journeys toward more freedom and a more harmonious family life, it is SO important to seek the support of other individuals who have similar values, goals and struggles!

Often we feel isolated when we are living a life that is so different from the societal norm.  That isolation can actually be detrimental – not only eroding our resolve to honor the principles we try to live by, but it can also be harmful to our health and relationships if we don’t have the support we crave as humans!

With less than 3 months to go I am getting SO excited about this year’s Radiant Retreat and this opportunity to support each other.  Whether we are new to this way of life or we have been at it for a while, we ALL need this community and each other’s support!

As you Register and plan your travels to this year’s Retreat, I wanted to provide a basic outline of our Retreat Schedule to help with that process.  In the upcoming weeks we will be filling this in with the details for kids’ activities and workshops for parents, plus opportunities to just visit and connect with our Radiant Tribe throughout the weekend.

We hope you can join us for the fun, support and camaraderie that only a like minded community can offer!


Below is a BASIC SCHEDULE outline.


 

Thursday
Nov 5

10am-6pm
Registration/Information Desk Open
Set Up Campsites/Bunks
Kid’s Activities

12-4pm
Smoothie and Snack Bar

4-6pm
First Workshop Session of the Retreat: Meet and Greet Happy Hour

Since Kid Village doesn’t open until Friday, we’re going to do this session “Park Day” style while the kids play on the playground.  Bring your camping chair and a cold beverage (in an opaque container for adult beverages!) and say, “HI.”

Whether you’re new to this way of life or you’ve been doing it a while, join us to share your questions for the weekend and your fears, joys and triumphs with Unschooling and Partnership Parenting!

6-8pm
Chili Cookoff and Community Potluck Dinner

Bring a pot of your famous chili OR a side dish to share and get to know the Radiant Tribe.

8-10pm
Community Campfire and S’MORES!


Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Nov 6,7,8
(same basic schedule each day)

8am-2pm
Registration/Information Desk
Coffee, Smoothie and Snack Bar
Massages
Face Painting
Canoe Rides

9-11:30am
Kid Village Childcare
Kids’ Activities
Workshop Sessions

12-2pm
Lunch Break

2pm
Campsite Checkout for anyone leaving early
(you can remain in the Park until 10pm however)

2-6pm
Kid Village Childcare
Kids’ Activities
Workshop Sessions
Massages
Face Painting
Arts and Crafts
Canoe Rides

6-8pm
Dinner
(BYO or pre-purchase catered meal)

8-10pm
Evening Activity
Each night will be different: Community Campfires, Dance Party, Women’s Sacred Circle, SUDS (Secret Society of Unschooling Dads), Open Mic Night


Monday

Morning
Break Down Campsites
Clean Up

11am
Check out of Dining Hall and Bunkhouse
(can remain in the Park until 10pm)

Noon
Playground: BYO Lunch/Snacks and Feedback/Planning for next year!

2pm
Campsite Checkout
(can remain in the Park until 10pm)

Click here if you still need to Register.
Click here for  Staff Opportunities to reduce your registration costs.
Click here for general info on the Retreat.

Can’t wait to hang with the Radiant Tribe!  

Heaps of Love,
Christina and the Radiant Team
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Digging Deeper into Unschooling with Sue Patterson

sq logo WORKSHOPIf you have begun living a life of freedom in learning, but are having a hard time balancing the “Self-Directed” aspects of Unschooling with your parental instinct to offer guidance to your children, this session might be for you:

Balancing Parental Guidance and Self-Directed Learning

Unschoolers let their children choose when, how and what they learn, what role does parental guidance play? Sometimes parents feel that offering ideas and suggestions will prevent their child from unfolding naturally. It all depends on all the intentions, emotions, and stories wrapped up in those ideas and suggestions. Children need their parents’ experience and knowledge to grow and thrive – how we share it makes all the difference! Sue will share her experience in this area and help parents explore the boundaries of guidance vs. self-directed learning.

For those of you that are finding it hard to let go of curriculum or “schooly” materials for learning, you might like:

Curriculum as a Crutch

Buy this, and your kids will be smarter! Use this, you’ll be more organized! Get this series and you will unleash their inner genius!

Or something like that. Ahh… the lure of curriculum.

Marketing has targeted our community for some time now. Advertisers realize that while we are an independent lot, we still harbor a lot of fears. And isn’t that how marketing works best? Identify the fear or the lack, and then convince people that they need the product to fill their void. It’s as if they’re handing us crutches and telling us to lean on them – when in fact, we have no weakness, no lack of opportunity. The whole world awaits our children and these crutches they offer will simply hold them back.

Pre-planned materials often inhibit learning, keeping the child from all the benefits of discovery and exploration. It keeps parents from continuing to engage and facilitate new interesting opportunities out in the world. Don’t look wistfully at those crutches – embrace freedom!

Come talk with Sue and we can discuss awesome ways kids can learn from whatever interests them!

And for all the questions you don’t get answered during the Retreat, Sue and other parents of grown Unschoolers will make up the panel for:

Veteran Unschoolers’ Q & A

Bring your questions, concerns, fears and doubts to these parents who have the benefit of time and perspective.  Come hear about their journeys as they Unschooled their children who have now left the Unschooling Nest!

Sue has so many great topics prepared for this year’s Radiant Living & Learning Retreat!  Click here and here to read more about who she is and what she has in store for us!

 

Follow these links to learn more about the Retreat and to Register.

 

LOVE YOUR RADIANT LIFE!