Join us for our first Virtual Youth Leadership Retreat! We are excited to continue the tradition of creating a shared space for young women who are change-makers in their communities to come together, network, and grow their leadership skills. This year’s virtual Retreat will mimic our in-person Retreat, including lots of opportunities for bonding, fun, learning, teaching, and growing. Retreat participants from last year are coming back as mentors and will connect participants in virtual “cabins” beforehand.
This year’s theme is Kindness in Action: Civically Engaged, Virtually Connected, Intentionally Kind. Around the world, we are watching as teens push movements forward like climate-change and racial equity. How can you effectively amplify your voice and the stories of others? How can you be civically engaged to make a difference on critical issues? How can you model kind leadership? This year’s Retreat will focus on these important questions.
The Riley’s Way Youth Leadership Retreat is a mix of teen-led presentations, skill-building workshops, networking opportunities, and keynote speakers. Participants will be connected to other teen leaders through activities and mentoring groups during the span of the Retreat.
The Riley’s Way Youth Leadership Retreat is for you if you:
– Are between the age of 13-19
– Identify as a girl
– Are passionate about making a positive change in your community
– Want to meet, network, learn from, and share your knowledge and experiences with other like-minded teens from across the country
Workshop descriptions and other information will be updated throughout the month, so be sure to check back regularly!
From October 18th – October 23rd, participants will be invited to participate in optional, evening activities, ranging from movie watching parties, to self-care activities, to dance classes. We hope these will help create meaningful connections.
What to expect:
During the two-day virtual Retreat, you will:
– Meet and learn from teen leaders from across the country through interactive activities and teen-led workshops (you can even propose your own!)
– Hear from experts in the fields of civics and social justice
– Participate in social activities to de-stress throughout the week
– Expand your network
Riley’s Way first annual Youth Leadership Retreat was held September 20 – 22, 2019 at Timber Lake Camp in Shandaken, NY. We brought together close to 100 inspiring young women and their mentors from around the country to create meaningful connections with their like-minded peers. During the weekend, the teens participated in skill-building workshops, including communication techniques, relationship building, and action planning and camp activities, such as hiking, arts and crafts, dance class, and a ropes course. The biggest impact was made during the teen-led workshops, where the participants were able to hear about, and be inspired by, the work of their fellow change makers.
“Before the Retreat, I saw kindness as a positive trait to have in leadership (and in life in general), although ruthlessness and assertiveness were often valued in the spaces I work in… In a little under 48 hours, I realized that kindness isn’t just a positive trait to have. Kindness is a crucial trait to have if you intend on creating effective and sustainable change, and it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with taking initiative, working hard, or making yourself heard. The girls and staff at the Retreat showed me that. They showed me how to listen to, learn from, and lift up others through kindness.” – Ashley, 2019 participant
“The Retreat weekend was an empowering experience, not just for me, but for everyone… We shared our experiences from school, our travels to get to the Retreat, and so much more… I got to learn about what other girls are doing and make connections about what we do in our communities, a Riley’s Way value. The atmosphere quickly turned to a community where everyone was working together and spreading kindness.” – Julia, 2019 participant
“The Riley’s Way Youth Leadership Retreat was one of the most positive experiences I have had. It allowed me to meet young “changemakers” who truly want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” – Marjorie, 2019 participant