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5:44 AM Tue, Dec. 18th

WEB retreats kicks off April 17, seeking scholarships

PRESCOTT - Beginning Thursday, April 17, the Women's Empowerment Breakthrough retreat will get underway at the historic Mingus Springs Camp near Jerome. The three-day retreat will focus on a number of topics, including workshops on leadership and positive body image to workshops on how to make chocolate, living in the outdoors and nutrition.

Women's Empowerment Breakthrough (WEB), a nonprofit project of Prescott College, has partnered with The Launch Pad, a new teen center in Prescott, for this year's annual conference. WEB founder Courtney Osterfelt has coordinated the annual spring retreat for the last 11 years.

"It's a program for teenage girls in the quad-city area," Osterfelt said. "Girls arrive on the first night and we'll have a campfire, s'mores and songs and a big group dinner."

Approximately 20 different workshops are scheduled for Friday, April 18. The workshops are taught by women from the Prescott area who volunteer their time to take part in the retreat.

"All day Friday girls will be all over the retreat center going to different workshops," Osterfelt said. "We offer yoga every morning, healthy food throughout the conference, all their materials, and a T-shirt."

Registration for the retreat is $75, though scholarships are also available, Osterfelt said. Fundraising helps cover the cost of the event every year, she added. For more information on registration and other questions, email womensempowerment@prescott.edu. The retreat is open to girls in both middle and high school. This year, Osterfelt said WEB is currently seeking donations for gift cards that can be used to purchase food for the retreat, cash donations for scholarships, donations for art supplies, and transportation assistance.

"We have middle school cabins and we have high school cabins," Osterfelt said. "We have anywhere from 50 to 70 girls who attend the conference each year. It's a very exciting, energetic weekend. We have a very high staff to participant ratio. All of our staff are volunteers and they are all background-checked."

The retreat has become so popular over the last 11 years, Osterfelt said, that many of the participants have returned years later as counselors.

"It's rare that a girl comes to WEB and doesn't come the following year," she said. "It's something that girls truly look forward to. It's a transformative experience and it's for all types of girls. The unique thing about WEB is that it brings everyone together to work on building community."

Kaylee Scott, an 8th-grade student at Mile High Middle School, will attend the conference for the first time this year.

"I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friend and doing something that I've never done before," Scott said.