In-Person Retreat Considerations

UPDATE #4: May 25, 2021

Dear iBme Community,

We are thrilled to confirm that we are moving forward with our planning of one in-person teen retreat in July 2021, in Massachusetts.

After carefully and thoroughly weighing all scenarios of how we can minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission during this in-person retreat, we have made the decision to require all staff and teens who attend our Massachusetts Summer Teen Retreat to be fully vaccinated by arrival day, July 25.*

We are choosing to prioritize the safety of iBme retreat staff, teens, and their families, as well as the staff of Prindle Pond retreat center, where the retreat will be held. Our utmost concern is that we minimize the risk of anyone becoming severely ill with COVID-19. The science strongly suggests that the safest way to gather in person at this time, with consideration that we will be indoors and overnight in shared space, is to have all parties be fully vaccinated.

To keep everyone safe we will:

  • Host the retreat at a Retreat Center where all staff are vaccinated and will be masked while indoors;
  • Operate in full compliance with most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health;
  • Limit room capacity to 2 people per dorm room.

In addition, we will require that all retreat participants, parents of minor retreat participants, and staff sign a waiver certifying that they are vaccinated, and know there is still no way to guarantee safety, and that iBme will do all it can to minimize the transmission risks of COVID.

We honor, and regret, that this decision won’t make it possible for everyone to attend. This news may come as a disappointment to a teen out there who was really hoping to come in person to an iBme retreat right now. However, we will still be holding four online retreats during July, for teens and young adults ages 15-25. There will be a retreat held in Eastern time and one in Pacific time, as well as two retreats specifically for LGBTQIA+ folx and BIPOC folx. We welcome all to participate—and, as always, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

In making this decision, input was solicited from full-time staff, the retreat staff team, parents, participating teens, our Teachers Advisory Council, the staff at Prindle Pond Retreat Center, and public health experts. We did not make this decision lightly, and will revisit protocol after this summer for our New Year’s retreats and beyond. At this time, this policy is in effect for the MA Summer 2021 Retreat.

iBme remains committed to offering mindfulness programming for *all* teens who want to be part of the practice, and will continue to offer online retreats and drop-in programming for connection and community.

With care and love,
Sarah, Tonya, David, Arielle, Tom and Jen

*Fully Vaccinated: An individual is fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series — aka the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine – aka Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. This means that the second vaccination for the 2-dose series needs to be administered by July 11, 2021.

UPDATE #3: April 12, 2021

UPDATE #2: April 27, 2020

UPDATE #1: March 15, 2020