Registration closed: Northeast New Year’s Teen Retreat
December 28th, 2022 – January 1st, 2023
Prindle Pond Retreat Center in Charlton, MA
Please review our COVID-19 Policy before applying.
Ring in 2023 with meditation, merriment, and meaningful conversations!
Mindfulness retreats provide young people with the rare opportunity to experience uninterrupted and genuine insight into their own life experience while connecting with their peers and mindfulness teachers in a welcoming and safe community. Come for the fun & friends. Stay for the calm & community.
15 to 19 years
Sliding scale: 1% of annual household income, up to $2,000. Learn More.
Duration + Location
5 days, 4 nights at Prindle Pond Retreat Center, Charlton, MA
December 14, midnight
Starts: December 28, 2022
Ends: January 1, 2023
Our world-class teachers share their diverse lived experiences and mindfulness practices with every teen on retreat. They honor humanity in its many forms, allowing each attendee to be authentic and show up exactly as they are. Please click on their profile photos to read more about each of our teachers.
Ofosu Jones-Quartey is a meditation teacher and musician from the Washington DC area. He has been teaching mindfulness and meditation to young people and adults since 2004. He is currently the male voice on the Balance meditation app and he teaches meditation and mindfulness classes and retreats around the country when travel is possible and virtually when it is not. Ofosu has taught and led retreats at the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, The Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock, Brooklyn Zen Center, Cleveland Insight and more.Ofosu is also an accomplished hip hop artist and author. He recently released an album entitled “In This Moment” and has performed at the Kennedy Center in support of the project. His live events are considered a hip-hop and meditation experience and he is a member of the DC Chapter of the Recording Academy. Ofosu’s children’s book “You Are Enough” is currently available on Amazon, a follow up children’s book will be released in Fall of 2022.Ofosu’s philosophy is that everyone is deserving of their own love and compassion and that inner work is the way in which we begin to change the world for the better. All of the work he does in the world is meant to support this idea. Ofosu currently lives in Rockville, Maryland with his wife and their four children.
Erin Oke Teacher
Erin teaches meditation and is the Executive Director at the Consciousness Explorers Club, an innovative contemplative community based in Toronto. Her focus is on meditation for self-care and emotional well being and she has taught mindfulness skills in health care, education, corporate and non-profit settings. She has guided meditating teenagers on Inward Bound’s Toronto Teen Retreats and taught mindfulness to high schoolers for KidEvolve. She served as Youth Programs Coordinator for EHM from 2007-2018, running a centre providing free programs for low-income children and youth designed to foster confidence and creativity. She also studied and worked in theatre for many years, and loves to infuse her teaching with a sense of play and creative exploration. Erin is passionate about the confluence of meditation practice and social justice, and using mindfulness in the service of caring better for oneself and others.
Zac Ispa-Landa Coordinating Teacher
Zac Ispa-Landa has practiced and studied insight meditation, mindfulness, and other awareness practices for over 20 years. He’s deeply inspired by the role contemplative practices can play in supporting our individual and collective journey toward flourishing and sustainability. He became devoted to awareness practices in his early 20s and has spent thousands of hours in meditation and 100+ days on silent retreat.
At Inward Bound, he has the joy of teaching Teen Retreats, Harvard Retreats, and the Mindfulness Teacher Training Program. He’s also a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at University of Vermont, where he designs and teaches courses on environmental justice, beekeeping, environmental assessment, sustainability, and mindfulness. His work focuses on mentoring students in developing their capacity to create conditions for positive change in complex socio-ecological systems. He has many years of experience creating transformative education environments with a focus on contemplative practices, nature connection, and relationship. As an ecologist, beekeeper, meditator, and father, Zac has deep respect for interdependence, diversity, complexity, self-organization, gratitude, and the transformative power of awareness. He aspires towards embodied liberation, wisdom, and compassion in all domains of his life.
Zac lives in Winooski, Vermont with his partner, son, cat, and tens of thousands of honey bees.
Tanzanite Msola Assistant Teacher
Tanzanite has a long-term interest and passion in supporting young people academically, emotionally, and helping them achieve a creative outlet. Tanzanite has spent the past 6 years in Massachusetts working with young people from all different cultural and economic background, with all levels of ability and disability. Now, as a recent transplant to NYC, Tanzanite currently assists with the Awake Youth Project at the Brooklyn Zen Center. Tanzanite was introduced to meditation at a young age by attending the Insight Meditation Society’s (IMS) Family and Teen Retreats. As Tanzanite leaned into ‘adulthood’ she returned as a staff volunteer for IMS Teen Retreats and for Inward Bound Mindfulness Teen Retreats. Tanzanite has found it truly rewarding and a privilege to witness the positive effects of hands-on projects, building a personal connection, and understanding that each moment is a learning experience through mindfulness. Tanzanite is excited to continue chillin and growing with the Inward Bound family.
What happens on retreat?
Learn mindfulness practices such as breath & body awareness and mindful walking. Beginners (more than) welcome!
Explore activities like painting, improv, journaling, and creative writing. Pick and choose what interests you, or lead a workshop yourself!
Dance without worrying about what other people think of you. We all have our unique ways of dancing (or not – you don’t have to dance either)!
Laugh in good company, take the opportunity to be vulnerable, and play games like “sweet seat” to connect more deeply with a small group of teens.
Cuddle up with a blanket! Listen and learn how to tend to relationships, emotions, the challenges of our times, and more – it’s all about applying mindfulness to daily life.
Move and release through guided daily yoga practice.
Hear from participants themselves
Being New on Retreat
Working with Stress
Fear of Being Yourself
Registration is now closed!
Sign up for updates on future retreats.
Benefits of attending retreat
Feel More Connected
We’ll offer your teen tools to open their heart, deepen their sense of self-compassion, and connect more deeply with themselves – and with you!
Help Them Find Their People
Your teen will develop meaningful relationships in a community of peers and mindfulness teachers alike, where they’ll be accepted for who they are.
Take the Stress Off
You don’t have to provide for every aspect of your teen’s mental and emotional well-being. The mindulness practices your teen learns on retreat can offer additional support!
Peace of Mind
Worry less, knowing your teen will learn tools to compassionately and mindfully meet every moment of their life.
Forge Meaningful Relationships
You always have a friend at Inward Bound! Connect with people in a safe, welcoming space where you don’t have to “fit in” to be loved, to make friends, to be yourself.
Find Your Center
Gain tools to deepen understanding of your inner life, and apply skills for navigating your thoughts and emotions.
Make Happiness Easier
Learn how to release tension, pain, and self-judgment through the practice of mindfulness.
Share Who You Are
Authentically share who you are with your peers in small groups, workshops, creative/art shows, during walks in the woods, and more.
"This retreat was exactly what my 17-year-old son needed. A supportive staff, diverse group of kids, beautiful setting, meditation, yoga, talks, mindfulness, new friends, and new thinking. Learning to relax and observe your emotions from amazing staff and leaders! Life changing in the most positive way."
Kimberly, Inward Bound parent
"My son (14) and my nephew (17) came back from their first meditation retreat changed young men. I am so impressed with the depth, accessibility, and integrity of the retreat program, as well as by the skill and compassion of the facilitators. Our family enthusiastically endorses the Inward Bound programming. We’ll be back."
Leslie, Inward Bound parent
"It’s so much easier for me to be happy. I used to have all these emotions that were right here, really tight, all the time. Mindfulness practice slowly unraveled how tightly I held them. There’s so much less tension and pain around them."
Taeya B., teen
"Inward Bound opened my eyes to see how beautiful I really am and to how much potential each one of us has."
Levi P., teen
Tuition & Payment Info
We offer this sliding scale approach to retreat tuition in order to accommodate a wide range of family incomes.
- Inward Bound retreats feature a low ratio of adult staff per participant, providing high-quality care, expertise, instruction, and mentoring (this is our secret sauce!)
Please note: A nonrefundable application fee of $35 is required and applied toward your tuition.
Scholarships & Donations
We rely on tuition fees, supplemented by donations, to cover the costs of our retreats and make it possible for all teens who want to to attend. If you can, we invite you to consider making a donation when and if it feels right.
Deposit & Balance
What about COVID-19?
*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.
What happens on retreat? What's the schedule?
The daily retreat schedule includes periods of guided sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement such as yoga or qigong, small group activities, workshops and free time for socializing or resting. We move into and out of periods of silence throughout the day. You should be prepared to attend all of the activities each day. We also serve three tasty meals a day and a late night snack to keep you going.
How much meditation and yoga will I be doing?
You can plan on about 4-6 hours of silent meditation spread throughout each day (2-3 hours in the morning, and 2-3 hours in the afternoon/evening). Don’t worry though, you won’t be expected to meditate for two hours straight! Each meditation session is about 20-30 minutes. The meditation time includes a mix of sitting meditation, walking meditation, and other mindful movement.Some form of mindful movement, such as yoga or qigong, is offered on a daily basis, usually for about an hour at a time. If you are excited to practice more meditation or more yoga there are often workshops during the week that allow you to deepen your practice.
Is the whole retreat silent?
No, definitely not! While there are periods of silence during the retreat there’s a lot of time to connect and talk with other participants such as during your small group meetings, over meals, during workshops and free time.
I am a competitive athlete/training for a race/etc. Will I have time to train for my sport?
While our retreat schedule is fairly structured, there is some free time built in. There is usually about an hour of free time following each meal. If you don’t have a mindful clean-up job scheduled during that time you are welcome to exercise, go for a hike, etc. There will be some guidelines around going for hikes and runs depending on the specific retreat location but we are usually able to accommodate these kinds of needs.
Can I come on retreat with a friend, sibling, or family member?
Yes, provided they meet the age requirements of the retreat, friends, siblings, cousins, etc. are welcome to come on retreat together. There will be lots of time to talk, connect, and hang out with each other – during meals, free time, workshops, etc. Please be prepared, however, as friends or siblings may be assigned to different dorm rooms and different small groups. We encourage all participants to “stretch outside their comfort zones” by interacting with new people and not just hanging out with a friend or sibling for the whole retreat.
My mind is always racing. I think I have too many thoughts to meditate. Is this for me?
This is a really common concern! A lot of people say, “I think too much. There’s no way I can still my mind. Meditation might work for other people but it’s not for me.” If you think this you are not alone! The objective of meditation is not to “space out” or clear our minds until they are completely of thoughts. With practice, you may find that when you are meditating your thoughts and emotions are still present but you won’t be so consumed by them. Meditation and mindfulness are about practicing awareness and acceptance towards ourselves, our thoughts, and strong emotions – not making them go away!
Why do people come on retreat? Are Inward Bound retreats fun?
Sometimes people hear “meditation” and “mindfulness” and they think, “It sounds like this retreat is going to be serious and silent. Why would I want to spend a week of my summer doing that??” Good news–our teen participants consistently share that the retreat is one of the most powerful, connected—and fun—weeks of the year. While we do meditate and learn the skills of mindfulness and compassion throughout the day, there’s also lots of time to connect with new friends, explore new sides of ourselves through creative and interesting workshops, go for hikes, and just hang out together. A big part of our retreats is “relational mindfulness” with small groups at the center of the experience. During small groups you will get the chance to play goofy games, hear other people’s stories, and be part of a community. We have retreat “alumni” who keep coming back every year because the people they meet on retreat become their closest friends.
What kind of person comes on retreat?
There is no “typical” Inward Bound participant. Our participants are a diverse group in many ways. Some are not religious, others are Buddhists, while others may identify Christian or Jewish or Muslim. Some are musicians, others are artists and theater fans, some are athletes, others are outdoorsy types. About 1 in 3 of our participants identify as LGBTQIA. About 1 in 4 of our participants identifies as being a person of color, biracial, or multiracial. The thing tying all of our participants together is that they are all humans looking to de-stress, connect more with themselves, and create community with like-minded peers.
What is the age range for Inward Bound teen retreats?
The age range for teen retreats is 15–19.