STORY #17: The Power of Retreat

What’s so special about retreats?

One Common Unity’s retreats are where some of the most transformative magic happens. It’s a significant component of our curriculum and something that makes our program stand apart. Students can really immerse themselves, allowing the values and tools we teach to become lifelong allies. We can plan for months to construct a powerful retreat curriculum, but little compares to the healing power of nature. Students arrive understandably nervous; however, once day three of the retreat rolls around, they ease in and usually fall in love with nature. We all notice an energetic shift in them, where deeper connection, healing, and community are accessed. 

Unfortunately, since the pandemic hit, it has been rough not having retreats. But we are hoping to begin offering summer retreats again in 2022! In the meantime, we’ve offered some COVID-safe options (day retreats and a day summer camp) to support students in a similar way.

– Madison McCoy, OCU Program Manager

Fly By Light Facilitators at a 2019 Middle School Retreat (Madison pictured on right)

2021 Summer Programming

This summer, we are offering DC youth exciting program opportunities! Through a Learn24 Summer Strong grant, we are hosting OCU’s inaugural Art and Social Justice Institute at Roosevelt Senior High School for 30 youth. The program provides an immersion into the Fly By Light curriculum with a focus on youth-led social justice campaigns, arts, and media.

Through a partnership with Mayor Marian Barry’s Summer Youth Employment program, One Common Unity is a DC Summer Youth Employment (SYEP) host site. Current Fly By Light students from our various school chapters have the unique opportunity to transition from after-school program participants into more robust leadership roles within the organization.  Youth will spend time planning and facilitating digital events focused on social justice & wellness events open to the community or be involved with the designing, creating, and editing of multimedia productions and publications.

Thank you to all the retreat image and video content contributors over the years, especially: Ellie Walton, Tyler Grigsby, Kristin Adair, Kenn Korb, Kimberley Williams, and Odinga.

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