Next programme: 28th May – 2nd June 2017
“We are one generation away from Heaven on Earth … We need to raise a new generation of human beings who are not disconnected, who are not traumatised.” Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, 2013 (Birth Into Being)
“Support for parents must be the cornerstone of any community that wants to preserve and increase human potential” Patty Wipfler, 2016 (Parenting by Connection)
“Grow the Grown Ups” is a unique week on our beautiful land for adults with young children to participate in a facilitated twin trail programme with their families.
On this programme, parenting is the focus and stimulus for both the outer and the inner trails.
Parenting is an opportunity for effective realistic direct action towards creating the world of our longing. The challenges, which inevitably come up in the journey of parenthood, point to areas ripe for the parents’ inner growth.
We take the perspective that parenting is an honour, a privilege, and at the same time a challenge, and an invitation to grow.
Having dependent children is an intense experience: we’re in relationship 24/7 with someone who needs us, initially for their survival. Not only that, but as they grow, they need to define themselves and – to some degree – gradually leave us behind.
Aspects of us that have not yet matured, where we are not ready or don’t know how to be responsible, practically or emotionally, will show up in us in the relentlessness of being there for our child, often un-thanked. We will find ourselves triggered by our children’s immature behaviours, and despite our best efforts to parent consciously we will most likely hear ourselves repeating unhelpful actions and phrases that adults around us used when we were children.
Children are very accurate mirrors. Even those of us who are not in any kind of parenting crisis can benefit from support to understand how to navigate family life – how to find the balance between everyone’s needs, and how to skillfully grow up our residual immature parts and mature as adults, so that we can parent our children from a wise responsible adult place. When we are reactive towards our children, there is always something for us to face in ourselves.
This is brave and courageous work and the rewards are rich.
“Grow the Grown Ups” gives parents practical and emotional support to do this brave work. We take away the daily tasks of shopping, cooking, driving, entertaining, earning, emailing etc for a week so that parents can give themselves, each other and their children some quality attention in a simple, natural environment.
Book Your Place
|28th May - 2nd June 2017||Grow the Grown Ups May 2017||Sold Out|
If you have any questions or difficulties with your booking please call us on +44 (0) 1647 252 983
What to Expect
Each morning simple activities (gardening, crafts, music) are shared, in small family groups, with others. Each afternoon adults come together while children have a great time (with our Creche and Play Teams nearby), to discuss, listen, learn, share and re-focus on what really matters.
We do not tell you how to parent your child: we see this very much as your lifestyle choice. We draw on the Parenting by Connection model, and introduce and practise 2 of the tools during the week: Special Time and Listening Partnerships. For more information about these, please follow this link http://www.handinhandparenting.org
The proverb works both ways: “It takes a village to raise a child.” And “It takes a child to raise a village”
Children who are raised with consciousness and love, who are allowed their feelings and thoughts, who are given helpful loving limits and guidance in how to socialise, are a resource to our communities. They trust their intuition and their hearts as well as their minds. They expect to love and be loved. They intuitively know when something is out of integrity. These children will be ready to step up as our next leaders to steer our world back on track where it has become imbalanced.
When we are able to witness a child’s natural confidence of being, and listen to the unlimited thinking of their mind, when we can open ourselves to share their moments of delight in simple things, and to hear their emotional pain when hearts close, adults can be touched, restored and brought back into alignment with our essential trusting, creative nature.
Programme Director and Lead Facilitator – Joanna Watters
Staff Team Leader – Tim Hall
Host Leader – Fiona Barnes
Creche Leader – Helen Bourne
Play Team Leader – Stephan Pfaff
Craft Leader – Miriam Rose
Moving Sound Leader – Christoffer de Graal
Parenting by Connection Advisor – Anna Cole
Plus staff and volunteers from Embercombe.
Photo on postcard courtesy of Rachel Mowitz
Read what previous participants had to say:
Without doubt, the best bit was the sense of connection – to my family, to my inner life, to some of the fundamental pinch points within our family and also within myself, to some of the other participants, to the sacrificial work of all of those running and supporting the camp (particularly the volunteers and Tim), to the land. I found that nearly all of the camp worked towards improving the sense of connection. Special time was fabulous, and the focus that it felt was on the children during that time. Each evening, we sat at the campfire. Just before bed every night, Tim came round as part of checking the whole camp. I felt a real sense of being watched over and cared for, from this. The food and the practicalities of the camp were great. The volunteers and staff could not have done more for us. The only reason I was at Embercombe was because my wife had said she wanted to go. I wouldn’t have ever thought of or wanted to go. We arrived at the camp and I had given no thought to it, other than the practicalities of getting there. My intention was to endure whatever she had dragged me to. Even once I had managed to settle in to the camp, and to move from enduring to actually wanting to be there, I still did not expect to find such a deep insight as during the “you are welcome” exercise. I am slowly working my way through the layers of this, and trying to alter my family relationships particularly with my son. It isn’t easy but it also won’t go away (except sometimes in the heat of the moment). Without wanting to settle for second best, I am also trying to accept “good enough” particularly based on the resources available to me. Thinking that about my own parents is certainly very helpful for me to understand them and to accept some of the ways in which they parented me. I found Joanna’s leadership of the camp to be very gentle and surprisingly effective and insightful. In focused sessions, she seemed to touch lots of us in very different ways and to provide a way in which we could approach different things and move forward with them. The parenting sessions felt extremely safe to me. If I had not felt safe from the very beginning, I do not think that I would have experienced such deep insights. I am not sure how Joanna created that environment of safety, however it was extremely profound and effective. Quite apart from parenting learning, I started a lot of thinking about my lost spirituality, balance in life and connection to food and nature, and the purpose and spirit of my business. Provided that I can discipline my approach to work, the implications of these can be significant to my life. We are talking about whether to return next year. If we are able to, I will not be a reluctant attendee. Far from it, I very much want to be back at family camp. So, thank you for all of your work, energy, effort, learning, insight and love for parents and children.
A deeply held space in which families are able to explore both their inner and outer worlds Beautiful surroundings, beautiful people, beautiful food. Wonderful to see my daughters blossom under the care of so many attentive adults. It’s the first time ever that I have been able to leave them both in the same “kids club” offering at the same time. They came back so happy and proud of their achievements. This is such important work. Parenting is one of the least supported and understood roles in modern life yet it is perhaps the most vital. To be able to connect it with our own personal and spiritual journeys is powerful, healing and necessary if we are to raise the consciousness of our planet. Grow the Grown-Ups gives us that opportunity. Thank you!
Grow the Grown Ups has – for two years now – been a really special week where we can reset our relationships with our young twins. It has given us a chance to spend very different time with them: looking at them and loving them deeply. They love it, and it’s very precious for us as a family. It’s a great privilege to be at Embercombe for the week. It’s a beautiful place where you feel supported and everyone on site helps this to be a really special time. There’s no other time like it in our year, and it helps us be better parents, and more courageous people out there in the world.
We loved all of it! The children loved their time in the woods in the afternoon, we loved the options of the rhythms of Embercombe, the games, the stories, the songs, etc! Food was delicious – loved the freshness of it all.
What an extraordinary programme!!! I was bowled over by the care and attention that went into every detail of the week. The quality of the support available to me as a parent from the staff team and the experienced GTGU parents made this a week to remember. I have never known our son to be happier or more relaxed and the play workers (Henry in particular!) gave him the security and confidence he needed to join in the programme and make new friends. I have 25 years experience as a parent of young children yet found there was still so much to learn:) For me, the most significant thing was realising the simple fact that being a parent is the route to growing the hurt child within us all. It felt like a relief to have a chunk of time with your loving support plus that of my listening partners , to ask simple questions of myself and then turn them around into simple, clear realisations that are so simple and obvious NOW!
I loved EVERYTHING. And my daughter did too, so it’s difficult to be specific. It really struck a good balance between there being enough laid on for us to do together to really connect whilst also being a total eye-opener in terms of the listening partnerships and other workshops with the grown-ups. I’ve never done work like that before, and it was incredible. Yurt was sweet and cosy — we didn’t expect burners or a proper wooden floor! Food was great — there was so much of it too! We both came away from the camp feeling utterly wonderful — and I feel changed for life, actually. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing!
“To be honest, we didn’t know an awful lot about the week before we signed up. I can’t remember if I saw something about it in an article I read, or if it popped up on my Facebook feed, or if possibly even a friend might have mentioned it. But somehow I heard about it, and it sounded wonderful to me: lots of family time, outdoorsy activities for the kids (and parents!), adult-only sessions to delve deeper into this intense and complex work that is parenting, no meals to cook… What more could a busy parent want?” Read more:
A brief thank you once again now, to Joanna and all the team, for everything this week – what a difference you are all making! Please could you also pass my particular thanks to Stephan, as I didn’t see him before we left, and I really wanted to let him know how extremely helpful and supportive he was, and how much we appreciated everything he did for us. The children are still buzzing, and talking about next year already!
Thank you for the wonderful week on Grow the Grown Ups. We all had a rich, meaningful and inspiring time. We’ve all come back a bit changed for the better and that’s something we’re managing so far to bring to, and hold on to, in all the different areas of our life. High-lights:
- The incredible supportive atmosphere on the whole of the site. It felt like everyone – Embercombe volunteers, camp volunteers and leaders and the land itself – was there with love and was cradling our family. That was humbling and precious.
- Time and space to be together as adults, with the kids looked after with such love. Support and encouragement to just be with our kids. The joy of seeing them as people.
- The afternoom by the pizza oven. I am filled up just thinking of the wonderful setting, the sense of community, the care from everyone involved and fun of the time.