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Tuesday April 7, 2015 Edition
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Camp For The Heart And Mind: ReTribe

A summer experience that will be remembered long after camp is done, ReTribe focuses on self-concept and being connected to others and the land.
photo by Photo Provided
A summer experience that will be remembered long after camp is done, ReTribe focuses on self-concept and being connected to others and the land.

photo by Photo Provided

Tuesday April 7, 2015

By Cookie Steponaitis

Part of the American experience for children is the thrill and anticipation of summer and going off to camp. Many adults still have memories of the experiences and friendships formed at summer camps around the nation. Vermont is in a unique position because in addition to the immense beauty of a Green Mountain summer there are a plethora of camps created for experiences for children and adults alike that are unique and formatted to create an experience unlike any other. And joining the ranks of those diverse offerings in the last decade are the programs involved with ReTribe.
    ReTribe was created to foster a healthy culture and help people move through a challenging time and world designing programs for those who cannot afford them. Offering local, organic and whole foods on retreats, ReTribe’s camps are partly educational organizations and more than traditional recreation and connections with the natural world. The staff not only works together but many also live together during the year. Program creators John Hunt and Julia Martin assist people in learning, playing and healing. John Hunt, a former Addison resident, started running day camps in Shelburne as a young adult and attended Night Eagle Wilderness Adventures as a child which capitalized on wilderness skills, Native American practices and more. Co-founder Julia Martin went to Wayfinder Experiences as a child and loved not only Life Action components of the camps but programs involving Inward Bound Mindfulness which includes meditation and relaxation techniques. The blending of these ideas with those of fellow founder Jane Martin, who is Julia’s mother and a practicing psychotherapist, resulted in Retribe’s birth.
    ReTribe offers many different types of camps for ages seven to adult. One of the camps is called Coyote Clan which started in 2009 and the programs will run for the 2015 summer from July 20th-July 24th and again from September to December. Attending this camp offers the participants an opportunity to go on a magical adventure, create awesome forts, carve, sing and fight with foam swords. Another specialty camp called Lord of the Rings occurs during the summer months and brings to life Tolkien experiences grounded in the practice of improvisational theater, a crazy live action adventure and fighting dark powers, with foam swords and magic.
    ReTribe experiences offered around the state include Right of Passage which provides safe spaces for young girls to ask questions about their changing bodies and learn what it means to grow up. They participate in activities where bonds are formed that often last a lifetime. ReTribe will come to any community to lead programs designed to help children and adults deeply reflect about who they are as people and develop sets of skills to help them as they grow. ReTribe helps youth to become empowered and feel a part of caring for each other and the earth. While it might seem as play and laughter, the interactions form a grounding for community and fosters the mission of the group which is to help youth become powerful, self-realized adults who together will foster a, “New Culture build on radical acceptance and connection to self, others and earth.”
    People who interested can go to the website at and contact staff with questions about what programs would best suit your child, family or community. Summer is almost upon us and even if those months do not suit plans, ReTribe goes the year round and is available throughout the state

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