An Inside Look at the Autumn Retreat

I have the honor (and it truly is an honor) of organizing and attending the Autumn Retreat each year. If you’re not familiar, the Autumn Retreat is a camp weekend for women and girls affected by Turner Syndrome and their families. Unfortunately, many of these women and girls never have the opportunity to meet another person affected by TS. Imagine never having the chance to meet another person who understands what you’re going through or been through. To help solve this problem, we created the Autumn Retreat.

The inaugural Autumn Retreat kicked off in 2018. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved. For us at TSF, it was a learning opportunity to better understand the needs of our community. After wrapping up the 2019 Autumn Retreat just last weekend, I can proudly say we listened, we learned, and we improved. This year’s Turner Syndrome Retreat featured two amazing speakers. First, we welcomed Mrs. New Jersey, Crissy Timpson. Crissy’s positivity is infectious, encouraging campers to follow their dreams. Together we crafted vision boards to help make those dreams a reality. Next, we heard from Dr. Alexis Capozzoli. As a pediatrician and woman living with Turner Syndrome, Dr. Capozzoli had the unique opportunity to offer her expertise, while also answering questions from experience. The Retreat’s speakers provided a space for campers to increase their knowledge of TS and gain more confidence in managing their care.

However, as I mentioned above, the Retreat is really about the chance to meet, connect, and grow. To facilitate this, we featured activities like canoeing, an outdoor challenge course, yoga, campfire & s’mores, and wine & cheese for the adults. From working together to paddle the canoe to cheering each other on on the challenge course, every single camper left this weekend with a new friend and plans to connect in the future. How incredible!

I couldn’t be happier with how the 2019 Autumn Retreat went (and I know I’m not alone in this!). Facilitating the Retreat gives me a firsthand view into the event. I watched girls who had never met someone with TS enter this weekend feeling uncertain and leave this weekend feeling like they aren’t alone in the world anymore. From shy hello’s to long hugs goodbye, the impact of this weekend is clear.

Thank you to YMCA of the Pines for hosting this event every year. To Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Genentech, and Manasquan Bank for making this event possible with your generous contributions. To Bobo’s, Goddess Garden Organics, and Simply Soothing for your in-kind donations. And to all the campers who join us at the Retreat and make the most of their time there – this is all for you! Thank you!!

We want YOU to join us at the Autumn Retreat in 2020. Know that you will gain something from attending this one-of-a-kind event. As one camper, 10 year-old Milly, said on the adventure course, “Take a leap of faith!” Click here to be the first to receive info on the 2020 Autumn Retreat when it’s released!

With your support, we can lower registration fees and offer more scholarships – allowing even more women and girls to experience the benefits of this weekend together. To sponsor this event or give the gift of camp, please email philanthropy@tsfusa.org today.

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