Grow The Grown Ups Homecoming
Due to Embercombe’s journey of restructuring and winter regeneration we will not be running a Grow the Grown Ups Homecoming this October.
This is an opportunity to return to Embercombe with your family at this different time of year. We will have many of the same team members to welcome you, plus some new faces, and together we will revisit our daily Listening Partnerships and Special Time whilst enjoying family time in guided activities and some adults only/children only groups too.
This event is just for families who have previously participated in a full Grow the Grown Ups programme at Embercombe. It will be suitable for families with children of all ages.
Grow the Grown Ups Camp
There will be no Grow the Grown Ups camp at Embercombe in 2018 but we hope to see you in 2019.
“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.
“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)
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.
Thanks again for an amazing, insightful few days
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!
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!
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.
The process of raising children calls adults to continue to grow up any aspects which have not yet come to maturity.
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.
For me the most special bit of the camp was the general ease I felt about myself, and my parenting, whilst there in Joanna’s and everyone’s company. I felt able to follow my and my son’s flow with no sense that I was disappointing or challenging anyone. I felt trusted to ‘find my way’ and I thank you in particular for this. Alongside this ‘trusting’ there was also a sense and experience of people caring about us and being there for us in whatever way we needed… practically and emotionally… that’s quite something. I found my connections and LPs quite magical!
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.
“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:
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!
Thank you so so much for an extraordinary 5 days. I can’t really find the words to explain what has shifted in our family but it’s huge and so full of love and insight. Many many thanks and deep gratitude for the work you are doing to support all of us to step into the next paradigm . These are extraordinary times and it feels like we are pioneers. I feel a deep well of gratitude at my back from the thousands of ancestors who bought me to this point and who are willing us to open wide and allow all the love that there is into our hearts.
Thank you for a fab camp again. It is undoubtedly a highlight of our entire year and we cannot wait to the next one! Best parts: We loved everything about the camp: the holding, the singing, the circle with children, the rhythms of Embercombe and parents sessions. I particularly appreciated having parents sessions in the afternoon because it gave us some time to arrive and have family time in the mornings. Thank you for all your holding, teaching, heartfulness, permission, love and light. The 20 min 1:1 with Joanna was AMAZING! We both had big shifts in that short time, so thank you! Scheduled time for both Special Time and Listening Partnerships was invaluable. Our yurts were superb! It felt like the height of luxury and true glamping 🙂 It was sweet to have other young families in the nearby yurts. The food was gorgeous and nourishing and we appreciate it so much that the Embercombe team looked after us for several days, so that we could leave behind worrying about cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. So, it’s amazing to have that abundance and quality. Thank you! As in the previous year, it’s great to have some host families there. It feels reassuring that there are people holding the space outside of the main circle.
When I read about it I couldn’t quite believe it was being held in the UK. I thought it must be in the States as it sounded too good to be true. There were so many aspects that drew both my partner and me to it: the rich nature of the work being offered, having time without the kids to be able to really focus on our parenting journey, staying in a yurt, being cooked for all week, the kids being able to romp and roam on the land…. Fundamentally for me it was having an opportunity to connect and work with others drawn to this parenting approach, as prior to this I’d felt I was treading a lone road. My expectations were exceeded by the wealth of engagement from the other parents attending and it felt a great privilege to work together with them.
Embercombe feels a very grounded place. I have visited many communities since the 80s and it stands out as sane, healthy, fun and inspiring. I had the impression it was also open to new ideas and endlessly growing, rather than getting too stuck in one groove.
I wanted to express my deep gratitude to Joanna, Tim, the host families, Play Team and all the amazing staff at Embercombe for the incredible space that you create and hold together. It’s immense and I love that as a family we can experience such richness and depth of being in such a safe and cherished space. We will be back!
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