As an advisor to Children of Fallen Heroes, I am honored to assist the loved ones of those fallen soldiers and first responders who have lost their lives or physical and emotional wholeness for their people. Ocean Soul Renewal will participate in CFH’ mission “to offer healing retreats and education programs that enable healing, develop character and teamwork skills through a life changing adventure for spouses and dependent children of Fire, Police, First Responders and Military that may be seriously wounded, ill, injured, and are now adaptive veterans or have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The instructor/leader of these courses is Rev Robert Drake, an experienced mediator, theologian, hospice and bereavement chaplain and life-change counselor coach with Master’s degrees in Conflict Resolution as well as Theology. He has combined his love of sailing with spiritual care in an ocean environment of healing and change.
Surviving Children Programs
Sailing Adventure Day: 1 Day Program
Children and young adults may participate in a full day experiential workshop on the waves aboard a beautiful sailboat where they are reminded of their own power and the beauty, potency and healing capacity of Nature in the wind, waves and sea life. Participants learn their way around a sailboat and take part in the workings of the boat, trying their hand at setting and trimming sails, steering, and effective team communication where they are an integral part of everyone’s fun and well-being. This class is offered to a maximum of six children in separate age groups: Ages 12-15, 16-18.
Inner and Outer Exploration on the Waves: 2 Day Program
The experience of sailing is not only healing and exciting – it can be life-changing! This two day class is for the surviving children of adaptive veterans who could benefit from the combined power of inner exploration of their complex feelings and changing emotional needs with the healing and life-changing experience of sailing on the Ocean. Aboard the sailboat the kids will get a sense of the beauty, power and freedom that is available to them on the ocean and in their lives. They will discover that they are capable of meeting great challenges with trust, confidence and joy. Participants will get time at the helm, help with setting and trimming sails and choreographed communication where safety and teamwork matter. Ages 12-15, 16-18.
This experiential class starts with an orientation aboard a 36 foot sailing yacht, getting a feel for the boat and learning the basic safety rules and behavior. In this first session the children, grouped by ages of 12-15 or 16-18 years will also get to know each other using tried and true circle communication techniques of the peace circle and restorative justice. Later we will motor out of beautiful Sausalito California in the San Francisco Bay, hoist sails and experience what it feels like to cut through wind and waves in one of the most breathtaking sailing environments in the world. After an exhilarating sail we will cooperate in bringing down the sails and motoring back to the dock. Here we will work together to put the sailboat “to bed” then go below deck for a circle conversation about what the day was like for them, how it felt and any fears or other feelings that came up during the day. By this time the children are already open to each other and have learned to trust each other enough to be vulnerable and open as they begin to discuss their inner feelings about their lives without their Mom or Dad or with the changes their parents and family have undergone.
The purpose of today is to help integrate the feelings of the morning and day before through physical immersion in the demands and the freedom of sailing on the Bay. This morning is spent again exploring their inner selves and feelings and their challenges in life, at home or at school. After a nourishing lunch we will prepare the sailboat and set sail, bringing them back to land and their lives in the late afternoon, wiser, stronger, more confident and ready to face the changing currents and weather of their lives.
Ocean Soul offers both one and two-day programs similar to those offered to the Children of Fallen Heroes but designed for the needs of the adult parents. The surviving spouses or wounded warrior and first-responders can bathe in the experience of healing, adventure and hope on the waves. The ocean gives her healing and freedom to all. Husbands and wives of the fallen who are left with the grief, loss and great demands of continuing to take care of the family alone can escape to grieve, heal, restore and renew in a single adventure Day on the Waves or in the deeper two day Exploration on the Waves program. Take a hand at the helm, hoist and trim the sails as you sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Feel the freedom of the wind in your face as you blast through the waves with the sun on your face. You may see dolphins playing, sharks jumping and maybe, just maybe, whales swimming together in the ocean swells. Reclaim your love of living with a day or two of healing joy and adventure.
The one Day on the Waves program provides an opportunity for the surviving spouse or the adaptive veteran living with change to break free from their daily reality. Memories of what has been lost are forgotten for a while as you break into the raw and vital experience of sailing on the ocean with peers where there is understanding, healing and renewal in wind and waves. A day of fun and excitement and controlled risk-taking on the San Francisco Bay.
The two-day Exploration on the Waves program allows the surviving spouse or adaptive hero to access their challenging feelings in a safe and supportive environment and to find a confidential outlet for their feelings while they experience freedom of sharing the challenges of their lives in a place where only those with you can hear you. Then feel the excitement and exhilaration that life can still hold for you as you reclaim a part of you that has been lost or hidden.
In order to participate, you must have the recommendation acknowledged as an actual need by a member of your loved ones department ( Chief Officer, Chaplain, Senior Enlisted Advisor, or Commander).*
THERE IS NO CHARGE for qualified individuals or families to attend the sailing camp. Due to the generosity of our Children of Fallen Heroes supporters and annual fundraising events, we are able to provide the weekend-long program free of charge to all.