Queer Spirit Retreat for LGBTQ+ Teens

For LGBTQ+ Teens, grade 9-12

In response to request from our community’s Queer youth and their parents, on this Independence Weekend and to kick off our summer offerings, Spirit Hollow offers a completely Queer space for all queer-identifying youth, grades 9-12, to claim your own True independence as you step into your personal power and express your true self in a safe space in Nature.

Come join us in this amazing retreat for a weekend facilitated by seasoned professionals and packed with guided activities, including:

  • breaking down heteronormative gender expression
  • sharing coming-out stories and strategies for safe coming-out
  • exploring how to manage space in our various communities
  • learning coping skills and becoming more empowered
  • storytelling, role-playing and psychodrama
  • drumming and visioning
  • creating individual and group art projects
  • gaining tools for navigating life as queer youth
  • supports for you as an agent of change in your community and
  • a Saturday evening Bonfire Cabaret Celebration.

All staff are LGBTQ, except Tracey Forrest, Spirit Hollow Director, who will be on site as support staff.

Teens will be staying on campus for the weekend. We can accommodate 18 teens (bunk bed style) in our new tent cabins. If you need extra space or privacy, you are welcome to bring your own tent.  We have outdoor showers and outhouses are available.

Please print both the :Application for QUEER SPIRIT RETREAT Participants and QUEER SPIRIT RETREAT PARENT INFORMATION FORM for registration.  The participating teen should complete the application and  parents should complete the information form and submit with a $100 deposit.   Cost: $250 early-bird registration; regular registration after April 15, $300.  Deadline for all registrations is June 1, 2016. (NOTE: if funding is secured, there may be a few partial-tuition, needs-based scholarships.  Also, if you would like to donate to sponsor a teen to attend, your donation is tax-deductible; see below for details).


Space is limited to 20 teens, so early application is crucial as we expect this retreat to fill quickly.  Mail application and information forms to:

 Spirit Hollow, 2509 Shaftsbury Hollow Rd,   North Bennington, VT 05257
Register online here.  

Facilitated by:

Eshan Lacoste: Eshan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health.  He is currently employed as a Co-Occurring Clinician at a non-profit mental health agency and teaches at CCV.  He has also worked as a Clinical Facilitator of psycho-education at the Southern State Corrections Facility, has worked with the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club of Rutland County and the Upward Bound Program.

Eshan is assisted by three college-aged LGBTQ mentors and Jen Castellani.

To make a donation to sponsor a teen for this retreat, contact Tracey.  Thank you for your support for this spirit-affirming event.