Empowerment Retreat wrap up!
Our first Empowerment Retreat last month went off! The girls who joined us had a blast and now we’re dreaming of the next retreat! Here’s a little summary of our time away.
It’s been nearly a month since 9 absolutely stellar girls and my most excellent sidekick, Lo (aka craft queen, fun creatrix, food prep extraordinaire etc etc) joined me in a 3 night adventure to Mangawhai exploring all things empowerment! This is a little roundup about our time away.
Day 1 – Arrival!
A van full of excited girls packed to the hilt with food, dress ups, yoga mats and general STUFF headed north to Mangawhai for a 3pm arrival at the blissful Glass House, our home for the next 3 nights. A seriously epic view, let me tell you. Whilst the girls settled into their rooms and the final few arrived by car, Lo and I figured out all the places we could stuff the food (we were lucky enough to have our dinners catered by the lovely Kate and team at Hammer & Tongs – and they were SO GOOD).
After a little opening circle and getting to know each other, we headed outside to tie dye! This turned out to be a favourite activity, but it sure was hard waiting 24 hours before we could see the results…
Then with our first delicious dinner down, it was time for a game of Cards Against Humanity (family version, fear not!) before bed (which took a while due to some very excited humans, but we got there in the end).
Day 2 – Skater girls
Kicking off with an optional yoga class on the front lawn, a bunch of retreat recruits started their day feeling stretchy and blissful. Meanwhile, Lo was getting the first of the breakfast spreads ready for the hungry humans who emerged somewhat bleary from their sleep caves. A growing request for crumpets would see us later stop off at the local Four Square to ensure the next two breakfasts were a raging success!
Our first activity for the day was skateboarding with the amazing Teesh (beautiful longboard dancer and skate coach) from Wellness Riders, who made the trip up from Auckland to hang at the Mangawhai skatepark with us. A couple of the girls are seasoned riders, and so practiced and nailed new scary skills, dropping in on ramps and impressing the local talent. The rest of the crew practiced some serious empowerment skills too, as they navigated a very aggressive bunch of male riders who were not keen to give the girls any space. I was blown away by the tenacity of the girls, who in spite of being intimidated and even cut off by some of these eggheads, KEPT GOING and what’s more, THEY ALL NAILED IT, with some even riding down their first ramps!! Talk about proud. They were practicing empowerment right then and there!
We headed back for lunch, and spent the afternoon with a coaching session. We talked through issues we face as teen girls, how we can tackle some of them, and heard from each other what their advice would be. It was so good to hear the girls sharing their stories and backing one another.
After the exciting tie dye reveal it was time for dinner and an early bed, with surfing lessons on our minds for the morning!
Day 3 – Surfer girls
It was an early start today with our lesson kicking off at 9am! Unfortunately due to a seriously gravelly driveway plus wet ground, the van got stuck for about 20 minutes before we left, and so we were a bit late (sad face) and Lo valiantly got covered in mud during the van extraction (oops). The girls all listed surfing as one of the top experiences and just wanted MORE! The conditions were fantastic and all the girls got to their feet with the help of the brilliant Aotearoa Surf School coaches. Again, I was stoked to see the girls putting empowerment into practice, just keeping on going after a lot of rumbly bails in the surf! I was amazed that they were going for green waves straight away – no whitewater for this bunch! Woohoo!!
Hot chocolates and spa time helped us all defrost, and we settled into lunch and a coaching session on living with intelligent rebellion. One of the highlights for me was having the wonderfully inspiring Anna Schubert from Piha SLSC travel up for the afternoon and share her experiences of growing up, dealing with fear, and pretty much embodying intelligent rebellion right from her childhood on. The girls had some super insightful questions for her and we all really learnt a lot from her powerful stories.
We were pretty zonked from a big day, but still managed to smash out some vision boards in the afternoon and chow down on our final yummy dinner before movie night with popcorn and kombucha! Watching Blue Crush after a day in the surf and hearing from empowered women was a perfect ending to our adventure and we all finished the night on a high note.
Day 4 – Home time
An early morning yoga session was the only chill part of this day, as we spent the rest flying around the house and got ready to depart. Just before home time, I held a little closing circle and it was beautiful to hear the girls give each other big ups as we did a compliment train around the group. There were friendships that formed in this group, support given in challenging situations, laughs on the couch (and when we should’ve been asleep!) and best of all, each of these wonderful little humans experienced empowerment on this trip. Each of them backed themselves and tried something new. Each pushed through their comfort zones, whether it was dropping into a skate ramp, surfing for the first time, trying new foods, or simply showing up when you don’t know anyone else on the retreat.
I am so proud of the girls that joined us for this time away: girls, you are brave, fun, empowered little beings and I wish you a brilliant start to this year. Thank you for all you brought to our group, and all that you taught me, too. I hope to see you all again soon ♡
I’ve had a lot of questions about running another retreat. The answer is YES, absolutely! If you’re interested to go on the waitlist for our next one, get in touch here and I’ll make sure you hear all about it.
Lots of love and sparkles x
Goodie bags on arrival (with a view!) ♡
Tie dye fun! ♡
After our amazing skate session with Wellness Riders at the Mangawhai Activity Zone ♡
One of our little wāhine rocking it at Te Arai! ♡
Party wave! ♡
Anna came to visit and share her stories, wisdom and sprinkle us with inspiration ♡
Dress ups make everything more fun ♡
Yay for new friends made ♡
Bec is the human behind Rebel Starseeds. She loves being outside, avocados and anything to do with the ocean. She also likes to write a lot, especially about things to do with wellbeing for girls + women, in the hope that she can find help others empowerment and joy from within themselves with a little reconnection, rewilding and rebelling (where necessary!)
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