Wildland Firefighter Wellness Retreat

Supporting mental and emotional health of wildland firefighters. 
Space limited to15 firefighters.

Next Session: February 12-18, 2022 Costa Rica

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As a wildland firefighter do you:

 

  • Struggle with knowing when to “turn it off” in the off season?

  • Struggle to find belonging outside of your identity as a firefighter?

  • Struggle with processing emotions and letting people in?

  • Have difficulty managing anxiety in your day to day life?

 

As firefighters we often feel that we have to perform perfectly in all areas of our life and do it all alone. We are trained to not show weakness, vulnerability or emotions. We are told we must maintain a high level of human performance in order to belong and always be okay for everyone else. These expectations work well for performing the job in acute situations yet are unsustainable in the long run.

We need to allow ourselves to be human. 

This 7-day retreat is for the firefighter who is looking to go inward, give themselves rest and rejuvenation and lend their skills to support the Costa Rican rainforest. Our program seeks to address how the demands of our job show up in our daily lives and provide practices that nourish mental, physical and emotional health.

Join us to learn tools for anxiety, nervous system recovery, chronic stress, and healthy coping strategies that help support the innate resiliency of wildland firefighters.


This retreat is facilitated by wildland firefighters for wildland firefighters.

 

What's included

  • 3 meals daily

  • Accommodations

  • Group counseling

  • Daily movement and meditation

  • Traditional sweat lodge

  • Mindful work practice

  • Somatic-based workshops

  • Rainforest immersion

$2,000 for 7 days, all inclusive. Full or partial scholarships available. Please apply below.

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PROGRAM LEADERS & CREATORS

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Evan Adsit

Evan has been fighting fire since 2003. He was a Midnight Sun Hot Shot before becoming a Smokejumper in 2009. He has been specially trained in crisis prevention and intervention. He facilitates group counsels for cancer patients, Wildland firefighters and EMT's. Evan left firefighting to pursue mental health and wellness initiatives for men after his own healing journey with cancer.

Evan's Story

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Anna Adsit

Anna is a licensed occupational therapist and trauma-informed somatic coach focused on nervous system regulation and emotional literacy. She weaves together clinical knowledge of the body, earth based teachings, mindfulness studies, and years of working with clients with complex traumas and special needs. Anna creates gentle and safe spaces for the unlearning of harmful beliefs as a pathway for people to express their genuine self. 

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Kael Donley

Kael has been a firefighter for over 15 years, working on nearly every type of resource. He enjoys finding ways to meditate within everyday moments, especially within the many forms of movement. The application of eastern philosophies in his life carried over into firefighting, which manifested as awareness and empathy of his peers and his own need to fight fire and connect with each other differently. 

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Russell Kennedy

Russell is the rainforest project manager at Eco Era. He has been fighting wildfires since 2001. He was an Idaho City Hot Shot until he became an Alaska Smokejumper in 2014. Russell is a Zen Buddhist practitioner devoted to reaching understanding through mediative practice. He also works as a private consultant for spiritual centers in high danger fire zones.

PROGRAM ELEMENTS

Work Practice

“The key to enlightenment is that everything is ‘chopping wood and carrying water’ and that if one does everything mindfully then it is all the same.” - Zen Proverb

Through mindfulness practice, we teach firefighters to connect to the physical work they do through the deeper levels of their heart and psyche. This embodied way of practice helps create a sense of lasting peace and fulfillment. 

Group Counsel

By creating a sacred space, leading council circles, and having discussions to promote the release and processing of repressed emotions, people in a period of un-wellness can take steps toward reclaiming their wellness.  By incorporating these discussions into a meaningful work practice, the gates open  to individuals hearts and allow vulnerability to emerge in an environment that is comfortable and relatable to them.  

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Meditation

Mediation is practiced in this program as a means to establish a sense of inner peace and calm. The practice of sitting still and focused helps slow down thoughts and let them pass as they come. A daily practice of meditation creates a foundation for the nervous system to begin to relax and let go of stress responses. A greater sense of well-being naturally arises accompanied by feelings of compassion for others and an ability to leave unhealthy coping mechanism behind.

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Ritual

The ritual practice of Temezcal, or sweat lodge, is an ancient method of releasing stagnant stress, fear, anger, and other negative emotions. Oftentimes people experience this ritual as a complete reset or rebirth.

 

Ritual practice helps create trust and support within groups through aligning behavior and creating shared experiences. Rituals create a sense of belonging and common identity.

Connection to Nature

This program takes place in a deep pocket of nature. Every activity is itegrated into a relationship with the natural world. We practice like this to create inner balance with nature that teaches us to receive support from this earth, and live in harmony with the seasons, rhythms, waters and forests, animals and plant life of our planet. Our bodies have the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. This internal healing is supported by our connection with nature.

Nervous System Recovery

Rest is vital for better mental health, increased concentration, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, and improved mood. The location of our space is deeply supportive to rest and rejuvenation. The sound of the forest, the river, and the peaceful, safe energy cultivated in this space allows people to fully let go, drop their guard and experience a true state of relaxation, unaccompanied by feelings of restlessness or boredom.

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PROGRAM LOCATION

Posada Natura, Costa Rica

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Connect with us with any questions about this program.
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