Adventure Retreat Leader is a resource for Coaches, Speakers, Authors and Writers, Educators, Practitioners, and all Heart- and Nature-Based Entrepreneurs and Professionals. We offer teleclasses, audios, guidebooks and coaching; all designed to help you lead Outings, Adventures and Retreats in nature as a profitable part of your business.

Adventure Retreat Leader successfully motivates and trains you in the art of adventure retreat leading.

Let Us Help You ... Take It Outside!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Market With All Five Senses

When you begin to advertise and market your Adventure Retreat, include all five senses in every verbal and/or written communication with potential participants. 
  • Tell them what they will feel: The warm sand sifting through your toes as it massages your bare feet, the gentle warm breezes of the tropical bay over your bare skin, million year old boulders warmed by the summer sun radiating heat into your body, the evening warmth of wood burning in the fireplace...
  • Tell them what they will hear: Falling asleep each night to waves crashing on the shore, waking up each morning to the calls of tropical birds, nothing but the water dripping off your paddle as you lift it for another stroke in the middle of the silent wilderness, a crackling campfire while listening to the distant howl of wolves...
  • Tell them what they will see: Hundreds of shades of forest green, a lake so large and vast it appears to go on forever, sand dunes that climb straight into the blue sky, a flower garden so colorful a large box of crayolas can't begin to compete with it.
  • Tell them what they will taste: Savory campfire food with flavors only a wood fire can provide, fish so fresh there was only a 10-minute gap between the lake and your mouth, vegetables fresh from the resort garden picked only minutes before lunch is served, juicy and extraordinarily sweet exotic fruit, strong camp coffee guaranteed to awaken all your senses each morning...
  • Tell them what they will smell: The smoke of a pine-wood campfire wafting through the dense woods, the crisp clean smell of fresh snow falling lightly each night, the musky odor of blueberry bushes and moss warmed in the summer sun, the smell of fresh brewed coffee waiting each morning at your cabin door...
  Combine words and photos that will engage all five senses and your advertising material will come to life and inspire readers to join you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1001 Natural Wonders

1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die: UNESCO EditionThis is the book you'll want to browse as you plan your 2011 Adventure and Retreat Schedule. This is a great time of year to sit back with your favorite beverage and holiday treat and immerse yourself in the wonders.

1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die by Michael Bright

Have Fun!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Special Price

Now through the end of the year, our Adventure and Retreat Leader Audio Series is being offered at a special price. You can purchase all 7 Recordings and the 38-page accompanying Playbook for only $79.

Not sure? We've got a one-hour Adventure and Retreat Leader Audio Introduction for only $5! That's one full hour of tips and ideas to get you started.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chat It Up!

What a great time of year to Chat It Up! We are all out visiting with friends and family we may have not seen in some time. We're in the mood to play and we've got the spirit!

Connect with others who may hook you up with new Adventure and Retreat, friends, colleagues. There are loads of opportunities this time of year and adventure and the party spirit go hand-in-hand.

Share your upcoming adventures with those you meet at the grocery store, library, hairdressers, hardware store, yoga center, auto repair, Christmas tree lot, etc. Then watch your ideas spread and stick like holiday glitter.

Patt once took a nutrition course and shared her retreat business during opening introductions. She now has four regular retreat participants from that one course.

Where will potential adventure participants hang out during the holidays? Where will you find them after the new year? Perhaps in a nutrition course, weight loss program, gym, ...? Go play with them!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Classic Hikes of the World

Classic Hikes of the World: 23 Breathtaking TreksHere is one of Patt's favorites.

Classic Hikes of the World: 23 Breathtaking Treks by Peter Potterfield. 

This book is a wonderful resource and inspiration for your Adventure and Retreat business. It's full of resources to help you plan your next BIG outing!

Classic Hikes of the World: 23 Breathtaking Treks

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Walking Bear Resort for Your Next Outing

Escape to Paradise! 

LuAnn, owner of Walking Bear Resort and Lodge, is a graduate of our Adventure and Retreat Leader Training. She can and will provide a quality experience.

If you would like to take a group to Montana, Walking Bear Lodge is one beautiful place to consider.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eco Lodges in the Tropics

Want to offer one of your adventures in the Tropics? Check out this great site for Eco Tropical Resorts.

Now go Take it Outside!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Twenty Years from Now...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

Mark Twain is full of great retreat ideas and themes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Your BIG Dream for Leading Adventures, Retreats and Outings

  1. What are you willing to do NOW to grow your offerings or get started? 2011 could be your year!
  2. What are you unwilling to do? Let it go without guilt.
  3. When you think of FULLY participating in your adventure and retreat business, how do you feel? Know and understand that feeling.
  4. What obstacles may be in your way (people, time, energy, knowledge...)? Handle them.
  5. What excites you most about leading Adventures, Outings and Retreats? Connect with that excitement every day.
  6. How would you describe your ideal Retreat Adventure day? Write it and read it daily.
  7. How would you describe your ideal Retreat Adventure business? Write it and read it daily.
  8. What ONE thing can you do this week to pump energy into your next Adventure? Do it.
Want a jumpstart?

Both options come with an invitation to join our Adventure Retreat Leader Success Team where we'll provide the support to help you stay focused by keeping questions just like these in front of you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Every Walk With Nature...

"In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks." ~John Muir

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Firesand Haven

One of our Adventure Retreat Leader graduates has his own retreat camp for rent. If you're planning an offering in the beautiful Lake Superior area, not far from Lake Superior Provincial Park, check out Bob and Joann Groman's Firesand Haven.

86 acres, Lake Superior, the Michipicoten River, the Firesand River, boreal forest, trout, waterfalls, rapids, sauna, canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, moose, wolf, link, otter, fox, and bear.

Firesand Haven has a lot to offer. Everything except phones and tv. Truly a getaway!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Go To Nature

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed and have my senses put in order." ~ John Burroughs

Friday, October 15, 2010

Try A Vacation Rental For Your Next Retreat

VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) at is an excellent resource for vacation rentals around the world. Photos, maps, videos, and travelers reviews are available on many of the listings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Appalachian Mountain Club

The Appalachian Mountain Club at is a great resource for outdoor adventures in the Northeast. They have trails, guides, lodging and more. Just click on "Get Outdoors" and then "Plan Your Own Trip" for ideas and options for you and your adventure retreat participants.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Options for Meals on Your Retreat

There are lots of ways to feed your retreat participants. Before you set the prices for your next outing, consider these meal options. 
  1. Meals on Your Own: Suitable for all lengths of retreats. On day-long adventures, participants bring their own meals. On longer offerings, the daily activities start after breakfast and end before dinner. Participants are given a break for lunch. This option works best when you have meal providers and/or stores within walking distance of your venue. This is the easiest and least costly option. We highly recommend providing a "surprise" treat (drinks, desert, yummy snack) for your participants if you choose this option. For little cost, you can make your outing more special.
  2. Potluck: Suitable for day-long or weekend retreats. On a day-long retreat, everyone brings a lunch dish to share with the group. On a weekend retreat, consider assigning meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to participants. We've used this option on retreats as elaborate as renting a cottage or a house on the beach to as simple as a long-weekend camping retreat. As in option 1, considering bringing that special treat. Also consider the extra work involved for you in coordinating potluck meals.
  3. The Retreat Venue Provides Meals: Suitable for all lengths of retreats. Many venues have the facilities to provide meals. With some, meals are part of the venue's rates. With others, meals are available but extra. As the Retreat Leader, you might want to negotiate a package for your participants.
  4. The Retreat Leader Hires a Caterer: Suitable for all lengths of retreats. The meal is usually included in the retreat fee you charge your participants and you then pay the caterer. We've had caterers come to cottages and houses to drop off a nice meal or cook for us. We've also had caterers show up somewhere along the river and feed our hungry paddlers at a nice picnic spot.
Before you set your retreat price, know the answer to these questions:
  • How many participants? If you don't yet know, what are your maximum and minimum numbers.
  • What is the cost per person, per meal? What is the cost per group, per meal?
  • Are gratuities included in the cost of meals?
  • Will meal service be a menu or a buffet?
  • Are there any discounts offered for groups?
  • Are drinks (alcohol and non-alcohol) included or extra?
  • Can the venue provide snacks (in addition to meals) throughout the day?
  • What are the special food needs of your participants?
  • What is the venue's meal reservation/cancellation policy?
  • Are deposits required? Are meals paid for in advance?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Patt Says...Partner With Nature

 Here's a great book resource from Patt. Retreats and Adventures really are all about partnering with nature. In fact, Nature does most of the work.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Patt offers Boomer Chick Adventures

Horseback riding on September 18 at a great price if you're in the NJ area.

The International Ecotourism Society offers training certificate

As an Adventure Leader, you might want to check out The International Ecotourism Society. In partnership with GWU, they offer a variety of helpful classes and a certificate program. They are also a great resource for eco-retreat venues and membership is a no-brainer at $15 per year. Lots of jobs posted too!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life On Your Terms

So often we lead retreats and adventures for participants in transition; physically moving, leaving a job, taking on a new venture, starting a business, reinventing life after the kids are out of the house, retiring, going back to work...the transitions are endless.

Life On Your Terms is a wonderful resource for Adventure Retreat Leaders. You can learn more at

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Extraordinary Jobs for Ordinary People

My friend Kim Davis is editor of an extraordinary website resource I go to for insights and new ideas. Extraordinary Jobs always gets my juices flowing with some great adventure and retreat ideas. Check out the Resources section. There you'll find loads of information and inspiration for your upcoming adventure, inspired by others who are living life on their terms.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Patt's Upcoming Boomer Chick Adventures

Surfing Lessons -August 16
Water Tubing -August 27
Back Bay Kayaking- August 31
Take a mental health day and come out to play!
Check 'em out at Adventure Coach

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Dates for the Adventure and Retreat Leader Live Teleclass Series

Join Adventure Leaders Deb Martin and Patt Osborne for a 9-session Adventure and Retreat Leader Teleclass Series.

Our class begins on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 12:00 Noon, Eastern (NY) Time.
  • October 5, 12, 19
  • November 2, 9, 16
  • December 7, 14, 21
All classes are recorded should you miss a session.

Three options are available to you
  1. Join the live sessions (9 total)
  2. Day and time don't work for you? Listen to each recorded session within one week of the call
  3. Purchase the 7 recording series of the same material covered in the teleclass series and listen at your leisure.
You will learn:
  • The ins and outs of leading a successful Adventure Retreat
  • How and where to find your perfect Adventure Retreat setting
  • How to market your offerings
  • Where to find participants
  • How to set fees and handle registration
  • What to say in email invitations, flyers and brochures
  • Creating a theme for your outing
  • Creating a retreat series
  • Registration, cancellation, policies, etc.
  • The little things that will make you crazy and how to avoid them.
  • How to work with outfitters and vendors.
  • How to create an ongoing retreat "engine" to keep your offerings full with participants who pay well.
  • And much more!
Limited to 15 participants. Visit for more information and to register.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Patt Suggest "The Woman’s Field Guide to Exceptional Living"

The Woman's Field Guide to Exceptional Living by Corrie Woods is another great book for your retreat and adventure toolbox. This book is filled with good retreat discussions and exercises.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Patt's Spruce Spring Tea

A Spring Tea made will ingredients collected outside:
  • 1tsp. broken or chopped up spruce needles
  • 1 tsp. violets or wild strawberry flowers
  • 4 leaves crushed mint
Add the ingredients to 4 cups of boiling water and steep until everything falls to the bottom. Serve with honey

Friday, July 9, 2010

Patt Suggests Living Out Loud...

This book is filled with retreat activity possibilities. A great resource!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Suggestions for Using Your Favorite Adventure Bandana

We love a good bandana! And they make a great gift for your participants, especially if you put your favorite adventure quote and/or business logo on them. Here are some of the ways we use bandanas while on an outing.
  • Sun protection
  • Headband
  • Wetted to cool your forehead and/or neck
  • Hanky or pee rag (just make sure you have more than one). 
  • Sling or bandage
  • Silt pre-filter for your water pump
  • Strainer
  • Pot holder
  • Marking the portage trail for friends
  • A pouch for collecting berries, rocks, pine cones, mushrooms, etc.
  • A washcloth or towel
  • Canoe flag while transporting your canoe by vehicle or trailer
  • Marker for bear bags/barrels
  • Tying loose items together for the portage
Your turn. What else?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adventure and Retreat Reading from Patt

Nature Crafts for Kids: 50 Fantastic Things to Make with Mother Nature’s Help by Gwen Diehn and Terry Krautwurst
Patt says you can easily adapt these activities to a retreat for adults!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Deb Says...Tell Your Adventure Participants What to Expect

Sharing information with you retreat participants prior to your adventure can be helpful for them and you. Of course, for a half-day or one-day outing the list is shorter. As your outing grows, there's more to include in your preparation notes. Here's an example of some of things Patt and I choose to share with our retreat participants.

  • Physical Conditioning--What physical condition is needed/expected. What you can do to prepare for this trip.
  • Mental/Emotional Conditioning--What would you like to get from this experience? What may get in the way? What may help?
  • Weather conditions to expect like average temperature and rainfall.
  • Wildlife experiences to expect, including bugs.
  • How your family can contact you in an emergency
  • Background reading
  • Transportation information--How to get there.
  • Lodging information
  • Food/Water necessities.
  • The group size
  • An equipment list
  • Background information about your adventure location like history, names, features, independent activities available, etc.
  • An agenda
  • What to bring
  • What to leave at home

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Patt Says...Ride The Trail of Truth

Here's an interesting game for you next woman's retreat.

Cowgirls: Ride The Trail of Truth, including cards with both playful and serious questions, is a fun game for a woman's retreat and great for getting the discussions flowing and some great laughs and insights.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Patt Says...Keep Gifts Simple

Giving your retreat participants a gift is a nice gesture. A simple gift can add to your offering and make it memorable for your participants. However, simplicity is key. You might want to start by combing your local dollar store or toy store for good ideas. Here are some of the items our participants have enjoyed receiving on our retreats.
  • Candles
  • Water Pistols (great for an outing on the water)
  • Flower or Herb Seed Packets or Flower Bulbs (perfect for a retreat about new beginnings)
  • A bottle of bubbles (also good for water outings)
  • A stone unique to the area, especially heart-shaped stones or sea shells
  • Packets of tea (nice for a contemplative retreat)
  • Local food (jam, jelly, bread, fresh or dried fruit, ...) either prepared during the outing by you or as a take-away
  • Bandanas in bright colors (nice for a hiking adventure)
  • An inspirational card or note
 Use your imagination. Think about the Theme for your offering. What small item ties into your Theme? What small item represents the unique experience you are offering?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Deb Says...Keep Your First Offering Simple

I remember my first retreat. I didn't have a clue. But my retreat partner and I had a strong desire to bring folks together for conversation, insight and an immersion in nature. (More about partnering with someone later)

  • We made our first offering free. We actually collected quite a bit in donations though. That took us a long way towards knowing that what we have to offer has value.
  • The retreat (aka Cool Coaching Campout) was in my backyard. No fancy retreat sites this first time around. I have a wild backyard on the edge of acres of state forest land. A creek, a river and loads of hiking trails were all we needed. I fired up the firepit for the weekend and created plenty of space for indoor and outdoor "camping."
  • We let our participants bring what they wanted to the offering and we let Mother Nature do most of the work. Each day I planted them in a nature-based activity like hiking or rafting. Each night they talked and we listened and we shared.
  • Food was easy. I had the basics on hand. Everyone brought their favorite food and drink. I provided the means to prepare and cook. Mostly we cooked and ate outside. 
Challenge yourself to make your first outing just as simple.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's Get Started!

If you're just beginning your adventure and retreat offerings, you've got a few things to get in place. Actually, our 100-point checklist gives you, well, 100 things to get in place.

For now, however, here are the first 5 things you need to get clear about:
  1. Know the length of your offering.
  2. How many participants do you want to attract and who are they (demographics)?
  3. Do you want a partner or to collaborate with someone?
  4. Indoor? Outdoor? Combination? What's you balance between outside and inside on your offering?
  5. How physical do you want your adventure to be? What will your ask your participants to do with their bodies?