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.
The process of raising children calls adults to continue to grow up any aspects which have not yet come to maturity.
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!
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.
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!
It is such a rare opportunity to be able to go away and have an amazing family holiday, in beautiful surroundings, while at the same time having space to reflect, learn and grow surrounded and supported by caring people. I reconnected to myself and my children, and I know the week will have a lasting effect on us. I came away feeling inspired and with renewed energy.
Thanks again for an amazing, insightful few days
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.
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.
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!
“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:
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.
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 much beautiful people. I blogged about my experience of the camp but in a sentence: This week has bolstered my heart with the embodiment of receiving such deep, loving, non judgemental support for both children and parents and has provided and inspirational vision of the possibility of creating a world where parents receive the support they need.
I wanted to write to thank you in a very heart felt way for what felt like a long over due time as a family with other families. I actually find it quite hard to express the importance of our week together… Embercombe and you taught us about leadership, listening and connecting.
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