**COVID-19: Strict protocols will be followed. Activities are schedule to take place outside as much as possible; face coverings will be required indoors. Seven Oaks staff are fully vaccinated. All participants will be required to show proof of vaccination. Cost includes a single room with a semi-shared bathroom. Questions? Contact Victoria at**

When is the retreat?

July 9-11, 2021 (late afternoon check-in until 2PM Sunday)

Where is the retreat?

The retreat will be held at the Sevenoaks Retreat Center in Madison, VA.  It is approximately 2 hours from Washington, DC and thirty minutes from Charlottesville, VA.  Known for its beautiful landscape, the soft mountains of the Blue Ridge provide an ideal back drop for self-reflection and self-care.

Who should come?

July 9-11. PK-8 arts educators (music, movement/dance, theater arts, creative writing, visual arts) AND friends (fellow specialists, other homeroom teachers).

Do you have any other ideas for groups of teachers who might enjoy meeting together? Contact us, we would love to know!

What is the format of the retreat?

The retreat will focus on teacher renewal. There will be opportunities for storytelling hours, reconnecting with our artistic practice, mindfulness, health and wellness coaching, journaling, connecting with nature, and guest speakers. Special topics could include: navigating administration relationships, examining diversity practice in the arts, assessment practices during data driven times, and career goal setting. The group will shape the experience through pre-retreat surveys and active participation. All meals will be provided and experienced thoughtfully.

There will be optional evening activities such as practicing yoga, music making with others or enjoying a bonfire.  During the year, the participants will have a chance to touch base again with their network of colleagues.  A certificate of professional development hours will be awarded at the end of the retreat session.

Why is it called Marigold?

Inspired by the article by Jennifer Gonzalez, the marigold is a protector plant, something that deters pests from growing near other plants. A fellow teacher introduced me to this article through social media.

As teachers, we are all protectors, protectors of children. I think it is why we are stressed, fatigued and struggle with self-care; we never give up and start each day with the belief that we can protect and help children. This image of protector speaks deeply to me, as a career advocate and caregiver, my life has always been about defending those who have no voice. Most teachers and children have felt this way at some point, silenced. A dear colleague once said, “You are a lion marigold!” I found out there is such a plant, one who is a strong version of a protector. I don’t think I have ever received a nicer compliment.

It is this image of protector, and surrounding oneself with those who repel pests that started my imagery brainstorm about a teacher renewal retreat. I was also inspired by the beautiful and sacred imagery of the marigold as a symbol of the “spirit guide” in Day of the Dead celebrations in Latin cultures.

How much does it cost?

The total cost of the retreat is $650.  This includes everything: meals, snacks, lodging (single room with semi-shared bathroom,) and tuition costs.