10 teens from all over Australia and New Zealand, school holidays and a beach house in sunny Queensland, Australia. Seriously, can it get any better than that?! For the third year running we have held our week-long Personal Development course for teens aged 13-17 in a beach house (instead of a community hall) and it really is the best. Think hanging on the couch with your new found friends while chatting about friendships, periods, values, bullying, etc; making and eating yummy nourishing foods; doing yoga on the beach with whales frolicking in the distance and even spending a day playing with hair and make up finished with a professional photo shoot.
At the start of the week all 10 girls were strangers. There were lots of nerves and hesitation on the first morning (as always) but by lunch time there were already friendships being developed. By the graduation at the end of the week we had 10 girls that had created lifelong memories together.
We had a team of awesome supporters throughout the week, including:
- 3 trained youth mentors supporting the girls throughout the week
- 4 guest teachers
- And 2 wonderful photographers one of which is also a trained youth mentor
They were all there to share their wealth of knowledge and support the 10 students who joined us. The beach house provided a safe space for them to open up about topics that some had never discussed before with the love and support of, not only the team, but also each other. We were so proud of the girls for giving things a go and giving it their all. It was a HUGE week and it’s one we’ll all remember for years to come.
- We learned that we might have different values and strengths to the person next to us and this is totally OK!
- Making and eating nourishing foods that taste delish.
- Building cubby houses at lunch times, this was a little safe haven where they could all go and chill when they needed some time out but most of the time there were more giggles coming from the cubby than quiet times.
- Learning how to find our own power within to face challenges and scary situations.
- We learned about different Personality types and this is why maybe sometimes we don’t see eye to eye with everyone in our house but we now can empathise with the understanding that it’s who we are and who they are.
- We did a goal mapping session where we were able to dream big and put the action steps together to make our dreams become a reality.
- We learned a bunch of life skills and ways to express ourselves authentically with the world.
- We learned about natural skincare and haircare.
- The photoshoot every year is a highlight and why wouldn’t it be… getting all dressed up with a group of teens, swapping outfits, and exploring different ways we can express ourselves. Fun! This year it was all about the ’90’s boy band look’ for a few of the girls and we even had a complete Aerial ‘steam punk’ outfit (from The Little Mermaid), complete with luscious red wig! We recieved a beautiful email from one of the teens after she had recieved her photos saying “I really enjoyed getting to know myself and seeing my true self in the photos.”
We couldn’t have done it without our supporters and sponsors, who generously gave their time, products or a discount to our girls, including:
- Coconut Groove (fueled us all week with coconut water!)
- The Darling Tree (we played with the gorgeous Darling Tats every morning!)
- Everescents (we always love learning about organic hair care with you guys and love your products!)
- Kylie’s Professional Make Up (our favourite make up which the girls used for the photoshoot)
- Twenty8 Skincare (our absolute favourite skincare)
- Botanist Aromatherapy Self-Love oils
- DUSK by Adele Ultra Light Cream Moisteriser
- Madame Flavour (the yummiest teas!)
- TOM personal care products (our favourite pads and tampons)
- Easy pH litmus paper (a fun way to test your alkaline/acid balance – get them at the local pharmacy!)
- Leah, Sharing Our Unique Lives (Leah supported us for the entire week, as she always does – we couldn’t do this without her)
- Pip, Teen Fit with Pip (Talk about fun and energetic, Pip is one of our trained mentors and is running a Group membership for teens)
- Emma Newby, Some Wild Darling (Ohh what a gentle, beautiful, FUN photographer and mentor Emma is)
- Chloe, Chloe Horder Digital Media Production (creating the most epic memories while making all the teens feel comfortable in front of the camera)
- Ashley Jubinville, Kitchen Coach (Talk about knowing how to get the girls to eat more greens. Ashley has an amazing way to talk about wholefoods to get everyone in the house wanting to get on board. She shared some amazing recipes that everyone loved)
- Kat Harding Yoga (took the girls through a beautiful yoga session followed by some relaxation)
- Zoe Sparks, Shine Business Women (making the teens dreams a step closer with her goal mapping workshop)
- New Earth Cafe for delicious treats (what delicious food we had throughout the week)
And of course we wouldn’t have a program filled with gorgeous teens without the parents, grandparents, step parents, foster carers, Aunties and other important adults in the lives of these teens. People who flew from other cities, states and countries – thank you. Parents who drove an hour each morning and afternoon to drop off and pick up their daughter – thank you. Families who could see the value in a course like this. These teens are incredibly lucky to have families like you, investing in programs like this, supporting them to shine their brightest. Thank you.
Amanda + Leah xx
If you’d like to get in early and express your interest for our 2020 teen retreat, you can do so here.
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