Programs for Young Adults

Young Adults Retreat

Providing skills to deal with grief, developing increased independence, self-expression and individual growth

For a child, losing a parent changes life forever. It shakes the foundation and sense of safety that every child relies on, and it changes the family structure. The Young Adult Retreat was designed to help young people gain knowledge and skills to understand and deal with grief and to build supports as they move forward into full independence.

The retreat provides sessions focused on grief and on building life skills. Specific topics included family dynamics, financial management, interpersonal communication, and team building. Attendees had an opportunity to meet other young people from across the country who have experienced the death of a firefighter parent. One of the most important elements of these events is simply bringing people together to share their stories with one another and to create networks of support.

“Sharing our stories and hearing how others deal with grief lets me know I’m not alone.”

“I have longed for the chance to connect with other survivors my own age. This weekend was exactly what I needed.”

“For the first time since my father died when I was very young, I was surrounded by people who I could relate to. The amount of support, compassion, and love I received from strangers who are now family is indescribable.”

“I felt safe enough to say aloud much of what I’ve thought for years.”


For information contact Jenny Woodall at

“I’ve battled depression and anxiety much of my life and losing my dad has only heightened my feelings of being lost and purposeless. Upon my return, multiple people commented that I was ‘like a different person,’ that I seemed happy and social and comfortable. I think that’s the most telling description I can come up with.”