Tuesday, March 10, 2009


After every retreat, we enjoy reading feedback from all participants. We are always happy to see the positive impact in the lives of those who join us, or to find ways to improve.

These reflections represent the most recent retreat experiences.

This retreat was a safe and temperate atmosphere to work on our relationship. Thank you both, and believe this may have saved our marriage. I LOVE everyone who attended. You are all wonderful human beings. Thank you, Ed.

The Couples Retreat created an atmoshpere of safety and openness for all who attended. We as couples were able to expose our raw emotions in order to heal those dark areas of our relationships that needed that space to heal. It personally helped change the direction our relationship that was looking over the edge of a cliff. We were able to turn and walk the other direction toward the light of healing. Thank you for creating this space! With much gratitude and love, Frances.

This retreat gave me a new appreciation for my husband. Just watching him step up and help other people made me realize how blessed I am in this relationship, Madonna.

This retreat was a safe, non-judgmental, fun, loving atmosphere. Delving deeper into ourselves, our relationship, our understandings and misunderstandings, our conceptions and misconceptions, brought us closer as a couple and reminded us of all the good we love about each other, Kirsten.

What a terrific experience. We so rarely take the time to focus exclusively on each other and the gift of our marriage. I treasure the friendships we've made here and the growth and reinforcement of our sacred vows, Tad.

I feel honored and privileged to know these couples trust us to be witnesses of their growth process. By the end, my own relationship feels much stronger as a result, Barry.

Another Perspective

Couples arrive to the retreat with a wide range of emotions. Some show up more committed than ever, while others feel a mix of anger, uncertainty, and fear for the future. Some simply wish to strengthen an already successful marriage, while others may stand at the edge of divorce. No two couples share the same experience.

During the first day of the retreat, most couples show a certain degree of hesitation as they test the waters of trust. Authentic sharing often requires courage, especially when couples express hurt, anger, or disappointment, but as the feeling of safety increases, the tendency to withdraw diminishes. Many couples experience a powerful emotional release as they examine the real issues, and as they re-connect with their commitment to one another. That level of honesty can be so tender and real.

By the last day of the retreat, the couples often show a complete change. Where they were once hesitant or fearful, they open their hearts to laughter and celebration. It is a beautiful and sacred experience to witness couples return to a place of commitment, joy, and love.

Couples Retreat - March 2009

For the couples who attended our first retreat we offered a follow-up retreat to reconnect as couples and as friends. This retreat was beautiful, with much gratitude to all who made it a sacred event.

Through honesty, willingness to share tender feelings, and trust for the process, we created a sense of safety for everyone present. We all laughed, cried, and we grew closer together as couples.

During one process, I had the opportunity to share the beauty of nature as Barry kept his eyes closed. Before the retreat, I had grown sick of the snow, but within the beauty of the retreat experience, I stood in awe of the way the snow danced across the river. I was reminded of the beauty that surrounds us every day in nature and in our relationships.

All who attended re-kindled their love and commitment to one another. As I witnessed the sacred expressions of love between the couples, I was deeply inspired and touched.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


madonnaw002, originally uploaded by sulustumoses.

Madonna Wiltse has attended every women's retreat since the retreats began in 2001. She is the mother of five children and a grandmother of one. Recently we asked her to write about her experience of the retreats:

No matter what we believe or what differences we have, most humans desire more humanity.

The world tells us success comes from education, power, money, and possessions, but our conscience tells us that kindness and humanity are the real treasures we seek. We admire strength, but we are so much more touched and moved by compassion.

To feel comfortable and safe within my own soul causes me to look beyond me to see you, so we can change the world for us.

The women's retreats are about us. They're about connection with humanity and success in the truest form.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Kimber Mannlein, LSW is a licensed social worker who obtained her degree from Boise State University. She has attended Summit Quest retreats faithfully for the last 9 years and is a mom to three beautiful daughters. Recently, Kimber spoke to us about what she gains from attending retreats:

Sometimes in life I feel connected to who I really am.

Each person tries to find a purpose to life or some sort of deeper meaning. For me, I turned to a power greater than myself and asked for help. The answer came through a process of deep self-work that awakened me to see the world through a different lens and to become more aware of the world around me. It awakened me to living in the present moment and to remembering who I really am.

Part of my work from this higher state brought me to women's retreats. Sometimes I resist going because I know have to look at myself and accept everyone as a mirror of my true state. Itʼs hard to do, but when I accept this work of loving unconditionally and being loved, of letting go of masks, of being raw in the essence of who I am, I become clear. I go through pain, joy, laughter, darkness, and whatever issues are up in my life and I become closer to what I am searching for.

Without fail it happens. I cannot explain exactly what transforms, but at the retreat I feel powerful and clear.