Parent Retreat

5th Semi-Annual Spring Calo Parent Retreat

Thursday May 10th – Friday May 11th   

Theme: Living In the Growth Zone


As most of you know we are closing in on our fifth semi-annual parent retreat Thursday May 10th – Friday May 11th.  As is the case with every retreat, there are lots of questions so this blog post is set to answer those and help you prepare to make this retreat a success. We receive consistent feedback that nearly all parents/guardians (hereafter referred to as parents) continue to enjoy our retreats a great deal.

The retreat is for all current and former Calo parents and students. The only exceptions are those students who may be unsafe to attend (see your Calo therapist). In order to attend we need you to please RSVP to your current or former Calo therapist by Friday April 13th. We need to provide final projections to the retreat hosts by this date so they can plan for spacing and food. Please note that all participating parents will be responsible for the supervision and welfare of their Calo student during the retreat time. This includes overnight (please discuss concerns with therapist prior to retreat).

Thursday Highlights

Parent Breakfast (8:00 AM) in Calo conference room

Parent Seminar

Travel to retreat location

Therapeutic Activities

Parent Support Groups

Campfire Activity

Friday Highlights

Therapeutic Activities

Family Time

Slide Show

Ending around 2:30PM or so (may change slightly)

Clothing/Gear List


Rain/wind jacket







Insect repellant

Lip balm

Toiletries (including soap and shampoo)


Conservative and appropriate swimwear

Towels for bathing and water activities

Sleeping attire

Camera (confidentiality restrictions) – only pictures of you, your student, facilities and/or staff (no other pictures of students)

No pocket knives, weapons, fireworks, matches, or other dangerous items

Parents are strongly discouraged from bringing excessive or distracting items (i.e. I-Pods, cell phones, etc.)


Will Calo and/or the retreat location be providing bedding, pillows and/or towels for this retreat?

·         Calo will arrange for students attending to have their sleeping bag, pillow, and towel. Parents, however, will want to bring 1) a sleeping bag or blankets, 2) a pillow and 3) bathing towel.  *Hint:  Some parents flying to the retreat may want to consider buying a less expensive sleeping bag or blankets in the arrival city instead of paying for this as extra luggage. 

Will I be sleeping on a bed with a mattress or are we camping?

·         All students and parents will sleep on a bed with a mattress.

What are the sleeping arrangements like?

·         This retreat will feature family lodging.  Each family will either have a private, large cabin with bunk-beds or sleep in a duplex unit with traditional beds and mattresses (students sleeping on the floor).  Families in duplexes will share the duplex space with another family or with Calo staff.  Each duplex has one bathroom. The cabins utilize a centralized large bathhouse with many private showers, sinks and restrooms. 

What if I get hungry?

·         You may bring your own snacks but Calo will be providing water/drinks and a variety of snacks. Calo will also provide three meals on Thursday and two meals on Friday. We do not receive feedback that anyone goes hungry on retreats.

How strenuous will this be?

·         We try to be sensitive and understanding of any physical limitations parents may have. Wearing comfortable clothing and good walking shoes is a must (there will be a fair amount of walking). It would also be wise to rest up before the retreat as we do want to maximize our time together. Parents with special needs or circumstances should make these clearly known to the Calo therapist.

What will the weather be like?

·         We experienced a mild winter here in mid Missouri.  Because the retreat is in May, check the weather forecasts before the trip. Plan on fluctuating temperatures from the 80s during the day to 50s during late evening-morning hours. It would also be wise to anticipate rain and wind.

What are the costs for this?  Do I need to bring any spending money?

·         Our plan is for parent retreats to continue to be a part of tuition. This retreat is no different as there are no additional costs to parents. Depending on future locations and costs, we may ask parents to pay a portion of the expenses. However, we will do everything possible to create a variety of experiences during our retreats while trying to keep costs down. So far we feel like we have done that. 

What if I have an off campus or home visit right after the retreat?

·         Please be in close contact with your Calo therapist about post-retreat plans.  We want to make the transition as smooth as possible so families are able to leave the retreat and immediately begin off-campus visits without an extra return trip to Calo if possible.  In order for this to happen your therapist needs details (exact times of visits, medication expectations, off campus belongings needed, etc.)

When do I need to show up for the retreat and when will it end?

·         Please arrive at Calo on Thursday morning around 8:00am but no later than 8:10am.  Please head straight to the conference room for breakfast.  The retreat will end by 2:30 or 3:00PM on Friday.

My child is asking for me to bring his I-Pod, l-Pad, and/or other electronic.  What should I do?

·         Tell him you are looking forward to the retreat focusing on your relationship and you would rather not have distractions.  We strongly discourage parents from bringing any electronic equipment to the retreat for students to use. 

What if I get nervous, anxious or concerned about my childs behavior and/or safety during the retreat?

·         Stay in frequent communication with your therapist and coaches.  Feel free to ask for help or support at any time. 

How else should I prepare for the retreat?

·         We are entering the third year of Calo retreats.  Previous retreats have evidenced this time to be very effective in creating safe, meaningful, and lasting memories with your Calo students, Calo staff and other Calo families in attendance. Please be prepared to learn, grow, and connect.

We look forward to seeing you in May!