Virginia New Year’s Teen Retreat
December 28th, 2019 – January 1st, 2020
Seven Oaks Retreat Center in Madison, VA
Do something different
Take part in your life in a new way. Turn the page, try out new things, meet great people, be you and be accepted. Oh, and have some fun! You’ll go home with practical meditation and relationship tools that can help with school, friends, family, and life — AND a whole lot of love and vision for the year ahead.
Who is this retreat for?
Any teen with an open mind and heart who is willing to try something new and do their best to be themselves and accept everyone else in being themselves. We provide everything you need to make that happen.
You leave the incredible iBme Teen Retreat Experience with mindfulness practices and communication skills that you can practice whenever you want to, to restore inner balance and harmony, create focus and follow-through, or just because it feels good to develop your inner life (you won’t believe how good it feels!).
Learn the fundamentals
Using a variety of formats and teaching frameworks, we impart lessons in self-awareness, compassion, and offer techniques to increase concentration and focus the mind.
Spend time each day with a small group of peers, connecting and deepening authentic relationships with other teens who are experiencing the world in similar and different ways from you.
Being on retreat offers a rare opportunity to experience a life without constant distractions. We create a technology-free environment that flows back and forth between silent and social times.
15 to 19 years
All applications received after then date will be put on a wait list.
Number of participants
Capped at 32
Sliding scale. Learn More.
5 days, 4 nights
NYE Retreat Staff
Mick Neustadt is a long time mindfulness and meditation practitioner and clinical social worker. As a result of 20 years of personal practice Mick has experienced the profound benefits of mindfulness. He realizes that we have a great capacity to connect deeply with our full selves and others. Through dedicated practice we can transform the way that we relate to ourselves, those closest to us, and the world. With his rich background as a therapist, former school teacher and coach, Mick brings a wide range of skills and dedication to helping teens and adults on their journey of self exploration. Since 2011 he has formally taught mindfulness to teens in schools, on retreats and a weekly group. He has also taught teachers in schools, and teaches a weekly group for adults. Mick has completed numerous trainings for teaching mindfulness to teens and is also a Level 2 iRest Yoga Nidra teacher.
Charisse Minerva Spencer
Charisse Minerva Spencer brings to the Mindfulness arena a background in Arts, Science, and Youth Development. She earned a B.S. Degree in Medical Technology from the Medical College of Virginia/VCU. However, her love of the Arts led her to divert her path in order to live her passion for dance and choreography. Later Charisse returned to school to get a Masters in Performance Studies with a concentration in Dance Anthropology from Tisch School of the Arts/New York University. Her eclectic professional experience coupled with more than 30 years of practice in the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist organization led to her interest in Mindfulness. Charisse brings a scientific and artistic approach to the field investigating the existence of contemplative practices, its individual and cultural significance, as well as how these practices can be introduced in ways that are broad-based. She has worked with Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), is Mindfulness Coordinator at Friends School of Virginia Beach, and has done workshops in schools, festivals, corporate offices, detention & treatment centers.
Dan fell in love with mindfulness in his early 20s when he was having what people nowadays call a quarter-life crisis. Everything on the outside seemed fine: a graduate of Harvard, he was working for the LA times in Mexico City, in a great relationship, making good money, had lots of friends, but something didn’t feel right from the inside-out. There was a nagging sense that “there’s more to life” than just succeeding and “making it.” Dan went on a search for something that would help bring clarity, reduce suffering and bring greater ease.
In his search, Dan met a Zen monk living on Stone Island off the coast of Mazatlán who taught him a simple meditation practice. He felt like he had been on a long journey in the desert without any water, and somebody had finally offered him a glass of water—the cool, refreshing taste of mindfulness; of being present to whatever was happening without being caught in it and pushed around by it; of touching into a loving, caring awareness at the very core of our being.
Dan was inspired to explore the practice of mindfulness in northern India, where it originated 2,600 years ago, and lived for 10 months in the foothills of the Himalayas. He worked in a school, practiced regularly, and gained clarity about his life path: to help others awaken to the potential we all have to cultivate inner peace and meet life with courage, wisdom, grace, care and love.
Dan has been a teacher, school administrator, educational consultant, coach, and entrepreneur. He teaches mindfulness and other practices that lead to well being in wide variety of contexts from schools to corporations.
Seven Oaks Retreat Center
Seven Oaks Retreat Center is situated just north of Charlottesville, in Shenandoah National Park. Designed to support mindfulness and healing, it offers beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains — plus 120 acres of woods and open fields. Seven Oaks serves great food, with meals three times a day and an abundance of options and deliciousness. Guest rooms are in little buildings throughout the retreat, with easy access to the program spaces and Dining Room.
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Tuition & Payment Information
Tuition is 1% of annual family income, up to $1750.
|Family Income||Retreat Cost|
We offer this sliding scale approach to retreat tuition in order to accommodate a wide range of family incomes. The maximum fee reflects what it actually costs per student to run the retreat.
- Tuition includes all retreat costs, including accommodations and meals at the retreat center, and all sessions and activities and supplemental materials.
- iBme retreats feature a low ratio of adult staff per teen, providing high-quality care, expertise, instruction, and mentoring (this is our secret sauce!)
- Tuition does not include travel to and from the retreat location or any incidental/personal purchases.
Please note: A nonrefundable application fee of $35 is required and applied toward your tuition.
Tuition & Payment Information
Scholarships are available for this retreat.
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. Find out about our annual Commit to Sit fundraiser in the spring and end-of-year Mindfulness Challenge: iBme Fundraising page.
Deposit & Balance
A deposit of 30% of your total payment is required to reserve a space on a retreat. The deposit includes your $35 nonrefundable application fee. The balance of the retreat tuition must be paid two weeks before the retreat start date in order to hold your spot on the retreat.
iBme welcomes and celebrates human diversity in all forms regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ability, personal appearance, or religious/spiritual affiliation.
iBme is committed to accessibility. This retreat welcomes teens from all racial/ethnic groups, sex and gender identities, abilities, and religions. Mindfulness creates a foundation for conversations that support understanding and deepen our connection to one another. We have developed our tuition structure to accommodate a wide range of family income.
What teens are saying
“At this moment I feel I have learned more lessons about myself and others in the past five days than I did in the last year of school.”
Ben, age 17
What parents are saying
“The day after he came home he asked to do yoga with me in our back garden, and we went for a bike ride together…connection I have been yearning for all summer.”
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