TA Fall Retreat FAQ

When is the Fall Retreat?

The Fall Retreat is Saturday, September 2 – Monday, September 4 at Camp Timber Lake in Forsyth, GA. The Teen Advisors and some of the adult chaperones will meet at St. Mark UMC around lunch time Saturday, September 2nd (exact time TBA) and take charter buses to the retreat. The buses will bring you back to St. Mark around dinner time Monday, September 4th (exact time TBA).

Where is the Fall Retreat?

The Fall Retreat is at Camp Timber Lake (1721 GA-83 North, Forsyth, GA 31029, phone: (478) 994-0323). Camp Timber Lake is not owned by Teen Advisors, but we have been holding Fall Retreats there for the past several years and know the staff well. Students stay in cabins (divided by gender) that have electricity, air conditioning, and bathrooms/showers. Camp Timber Lake also provides meals. If you have any concerns about the venue or previous Fall Retreat experiences, please feel free to contact us.

What will we do on the Fall Retreat?

The Fall Retreat has several purposes. (1) The retreat will allow you to meet Teen Advisors from your school and from schools around Columbus. (2) You’ll spend a lot of time talking about the purpose of Teen Advisors, how it began, what Teen Advisors stand for, and why it’s important. (3) You’ll learn some details about what you’ll be doing the next year as a Teen Advisor. (4) You’ll have the opportunity to sign the Teen Advisor Contract. If you choose to sign, you will be a Teen Advisor and will commit to living with integrity and abstaining (staying away from) drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity. We’ll spend a lot of time talking about the contract and how it works.

Do I have to go to the Fall Retreat?

Yes! And you’ll enjoy it! The weekend is a whirlwind, but you’ll come away with new friendships and possibly learn new things about yourself. Attending the Fall Retreat (and signing the Teen Advisor Contract) are mandatory to become a Teen Advisor. If you’re unable to attend the retreat, you will have an opportunity to join Teen Advisors in October.

What is the Pre-Retreat Meeting?

The Pre-Retreat Meeting is Sunday, August 27th from 2:00-4:00pm. At this meeting, you’ll get details about the Fall Retreat – packing list, cabin specifics, timeline for drop-off/pick-up, heads-up about what will happen on the retreat. You’ll have an opportunity to meet some of the people who will be on the retreat with you – both high school students and adults. The meeting is MANDATORY. You must attend the entire meeting. Parents are welcome to attend the Pre-Retreat meeting, but they’re not required.

If I was a Teen Advisor last year do I have to go to the Pre-Retreat Meeting?

Yes. The meeting will have details specific to this year’s retreat (plus some of the things you heard last year). The Pre-Retreat Meeting and the Fall Retreat are the only mandatory Teen Advisor events all year.

If I was a Teen Advisor last year do I have to go to the Fall Retreat?

Yes. Each year’s retreat is different. The content of the retreat will be different than what you heard last year and there will be new people for you to meet. You’ll need to sign the contract again this year to be a Teen Advisor. The Pre-Retreat Meeting and the Fall Retreat are the only mandatory Teen Advisor events all year.

What do I need to bring to the Fall Retreat?

You'll get all these details at the Pre-Retreat meeting, but here's a list in case you'd like to go ahead and start packing.

  • Clothes – bring clothes and shoes that are comfortable since we’ll be doing a lot of activity. The main meeting room can get cold, so a light jacket or small blanket may be a good idea.
  • Swimsuit – during free time, there are some water activity options. If you choose to participate, you’ll want a swimsuit or clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Ladies, if you wear a two-piece suit, bring a dark t-shirt to wear over it.
  • Bedding – you’ll be sleeping on bunk beds. Bring either twin sheets/blanket or a sleeping bag.
  • Toiletries – bring whatever you need to get ready and shower (don’t feel the need to get fancy unless you just enjoy it.) Bring a towel for showering.
  • Snacks – we’ll have a Snack Shack that will be open for snacking several times through the retreat. Bring a snack to contribute and share. You’ll drop off your snack before you load the bus Saturday and we’ll take care of it from there. Bring anything that you like to eat – chips, cookies, homemade goodies, fruit, etc.
  • Chair – you’ll do a lot of sitting on the floor. A lot. You can bring something to sit on, but it can’t have legs or you’ll block other people’s view. A pillow or a stadium chair (search “stadium chair” on Amazon.com) is nice, but not mandatory. Do not feel like you have to spend money on this but it is nice to have.
  • Flashlight – bring a flashlight that’s not on your phone.
  • DO NOT BRING – valuables, electronics, fireworks, weapons
Who is in charge of the Fall Retreat?

The Fall Retreat is directed by Teen Advisors. There will be several Teen Advisor staff members at the retreat, leading sessions and working directly with students. Grad Staff (college-age student volunteers) help with the retreat and stay in the cabins with students. Several adult volunteers also attend and help with different parts of the retreat. There is one staff or volunteer person designated for Security and a volunteer "Camp Nurse" for First Aid.

I need accommodations; can I still come on the Retreat?

We will do our best to be sure that every student is able to participate in Teen Advisors and attend the retreat. Where possible, we will make modifications to allow students to participate. Our staff is not medically trained (aside from First Aid and CPR) and is not licensed to provide medical or psychological support. The retreat requires walking of moderate distances and a high level of activity – if you have physical restrictions that may require accommodations, please contact the office to discuss the details – 706-322-6186. If you take regular medication (including injections) please notify the office that you will have these with you during the retreat. Our staff is not able to administer or monitor prescription medication but we will have a camp nurse on-site who may be able to assist with necessary accommodations. If you need accommodations of another kind please call the office to discuss how we can make the retreat a positive experience for you.

I just realized I can't go on the Retreat. What do I do?

If it’s before 5:00 on Thursday, August 31, please call the office – 706-322-6186. If it is Friday or Saturday (Sept. 1st or 2nd) please call Aaron Wall (TA Director) at 706-442-6768 to let her know that you will not be attending.

If you are unable to attend the retreat for any reason, you will be able to join Teen Advisors in October. Your registration fee cannot be refunded, but it will cover you joining Teen Advisors later in the year.

I missed the Pre-Retreat Meeting. What do I do?

If you are already registered, call the office during office hours (Mon.-Thur. 9:00-5:00). Since the Pre-Retreat Meeting is mandatory in order to attend the Fall Retreat, you’ll have to make up the meeting by coming to the TA Office (1316 Wildwood Ave.) Monday, August 28 or Tuesday, August 29 at 4:00. This meeting will take approximately 45 minutes. Please call the office to let us know which make-up meeting you’ll be attending. This applies only if you are already registered; new registration will not be accepted after the Pre-Retreat Meeting (Sunday).

When is the deadline to register for the Teen Advisor Fall Retreat?

The registration deadline is Sunday, August 27 at the Pre-Retreat Meeting. You must pay your registration fee ($150) and have a signed parental consent form in order to register. Registration will not be accepted after the Pre-Retreat meeting on August 27.

When is the deadline to pay for the Teen Advisor Fall Retreat?

The payment deadline is Sunday, August 27 at the Pre-Retreat Meeting. If you have a scholarship, Sunday, August 27 is the deadline to pay the balance of your fee (whatever amount of the fee is left after your scholarship has been applied).

I'm a parent and I can't get in touch with my student who's on the retreat. What do I do?

Students typically don’t have their phones during the day. If you have an emergency you can call any of the following numbers during the retreat:

  • Camp Timber Lake – (478) 994-0323
  • Jen High - TA Staff Member - (912) 271-2218
I have allergies/dietary restrictions? Who should I tell?

Meals are served buffet-style, so most allergens and restrictions can be controlled by the student as they serve themselves. If you have a severe allergy that requires separate preparation facilities, please contact the office – 706-322-6186.