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!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year from Adventure Retreat Leader

We wish you all the best in 2012 and beyond.

The Good News: Adventure Retreat Leader is a resolution-free zone. We only ask that you find a little adventure in your life each and every day.

  1. Adventure Can Be Simple: Too often we think of adventure as this big thing we have to plan and put together. Arrangements need to be made, schedules coordinated, time secured, etc. Now that can take the adventure right out of adventure! Adventure can be as simple as just stepping out your door with no plan in mind.
  2. Hang Out With An Adventurer: Do you know someone who has an adventurous nature? Spend some time with them. Adventurers love to lead others into uncharted territory.
  3. Adventure Is An Attitude: Get that and you will find adventure in everything you do.
  4. Go To The Wilds: True, adventure can be found at work, home and even in a good book. But in the wilderness, your senses become more acute. You'll smell, see, hear and feel more. A sun-soaked rock can feel as good as a down-covered bed; a light breeze or a cool lake as good as a full body massage; a campfire more wonderful than turning up the furnace; a field of flowers or just plain old earth more scent-filled than the best perfume. The best place to start with adventure is to let you body sense where all adventure comes from, the wilds.
  5. Move Your Body: You'll see this in most of my top ten lists. Your body knows more than your mind ever will. Hone it.
  6. Be A Child: When you were five, adventure came naturally. What did you love doing at that age? Do it. Yes, this may mean you'll have to get in the sandbox, on a swing, hang from the monkey bars or lead the cat around by a toy at the end of a string. (Hint: Kittens and puppies can teach you a lot about adventure)
  7. Take The Dog For A Walk: Let him or her lead.
  8. When The Directions Say Turn Right, Turn Left
  9. Make Choices In Seconds: Not, hours or days. If you can't decide in a few seconds, then choose not to choose. Let it go as though you never had the choice.
  10. Find a Creek and Follow It: Upstream, downstream, it doesn't matter.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

Happy Holidays from Deb and Patt at Adventure Retreat Leader.

We wish you warmth, wellness, wisdom and wealth in 2012 and beyond! And, of course, as much adventure as you can pack into a lifetime.

Thanks for your support.

We hope we have helped you Take It Outside!

Peace and Much Love
Deb and Patt

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Too Young to Retire

Too Young to Retire: 101 Ways to Start the Rest of Your Life by Maika and Howard Stone is an excellent resource if you are thinking about offering a Baby Boomer Adventure Retreat.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Women's Adventure Magazine

Women's Adventure Magazine is full of inspirational ideas and articles for women who love adventure.
  • Read stories about others on adventure
  • Find travel destinations
  • Get tips about preparing for you adventure
  • Find adventure ideas specific to your favorite sport.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Give Your Outing Away

"What!?" you say. Why would I want to give away one of my Adventure Retreat offerings? Well you don't have to. But we have played with this one and find it helpful in several circumstances:
  1. You are brand new to offering Adventures and Retreats. You feel a little inadequate and suffer from concerns about being "good enough." I gave my first outing away as a way to get over this hump. It worked. And people ended up paying me something anyway. In fact, I made more than I would if I'd had the nerve to ask.
  2. You want to expand into a new market and you are not sure there is potential there. Just like restaurants offering a taste of their meals at a business expo, offer a "taste" of what you have to offer to your new market. It does not have to be a complete retreat. A two-hour taste will do.
  3. You want to show a business or organization who can send a lot of work your way what you might do with their employees, executives, or customers. I have often given my offering away in exchange for a much larger contract. This takes guts because you have to be extremely confident in your product. But it works.
  4. You have pulled together a group of friends and acquaintances who are centers of influence. You know that they can influence others to buy your outing.
If you are going to give it away, there are a few rules to play by:
  • Make sure your participants understand that you will be charging in the future. That this offering is a beta version in order to gather information. This is not a free community or public service but, instead, a marketing research project.
  • Get what you need from your participants. Plan time for feedback from them and help them understand that by participating they are agreeing to give you that feedback. Get that feedback during your offering instead of waiting for feedback to come in later. If your participants are those centers of influence, use time to brainstorm with them about how they are going to help you sell your offering. Get names about others they would like to invite, not just promises to talk to people.
  • If you are doing this for a larger business contract, have the contract agreed upon prior to your offering. In other words, if the business or organization is wowed with your offering, there is nothing left to do but sign the contract.
Now go get 'em!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Woman's Comfort Book

The Woman's Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden is another great read if you are offering Retreats, Outings and Adventurers to women. There are loads of ideas for exercises and reflection activities.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Find Your Adventure

Where in the world would you like to go on your next Adventure?

What Adventure activities interest you?

Who do you want to Adventure with? Who do you not want on your Adventure?

AdventureFinder can help.
"Don't just vacation. Have an adventure."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Having Two or More Fees for Your Outing

Having more than one fee for your outing can get tricky. You'll need to remember who gets what fee. And you need to be conscious of your participants and their feelings about what they had to pay compared to another.

When considering multiple fees for our Adventure Retreats, we have found fees based on who the participant is does not work. Examples include:
  • Fees based on what a participant is able to pay. This can get incredibly complicated. Note: This is different than asking your participants to pay at the end of your offering, privately, for the value they received. We have seen that sometimes work successfully.
  • A discounted fee for locals. Sometimes the venue you are using for your offering will ask to advertise your adventure to local residents at a discounted rate. This often happens when your offering is in a high tourist area where locals are living on service industry wages.
  • A discount for seniors. If you are using a venue that also provides Elderhostel programs, the venue will sometimes ask if they can advertise your offering at a discounted rate to seniors on their mailing list.
Discounts we have found do work are:
  • Fees based on early registration. An early-bird discount is quite appropriate and can be very helpful when you need to secure early deposits in order to fund preparation for your offering.
  • Fees based on bringing a partner. We call this a "buddy" discount. Just be very clear that you are offering the discount for two people who are registering at the same time or if someone who has already registered later refers a friend to your offering. This discount is not for people who have registered alone and do not know each other to be partnered by you in order to receive the discount. Yes, I've had people ask for that.
  • A referral discount. This is giving someone a discount on an upcoming retreat because they have referred a new customer to you. Just be sure the new customer has already signed up and paid for something you have offered. A referral discount can be awkward if you give the discount before the referred person engages you and then later backs out.
What else has worked for you? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The E-Myth Revisited

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is an excellent book for any small business entrepreneur, including those of us who are offering Adventure Retreats.

Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Patt's Playground

One of Patt's favorite Adventure Retreat spots is the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Check it out at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and then zip Patt and email at You might want to join her on one of her Pine Barrens offerings next year and/or she can help you get started on your own offering is this amazing natural environment.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Holiday theme retreats can really work for you. And Halloween can be one of the best holidays. There are many activities around Halloween from carving pumpkins to creating costumes to playing tricks and finding treats that can be woven into your Adventure Retreat. And Halloween food is so playful!

Add to that some of the spooky, daring, bewitching and magical aspects of the holiday, and you've got some makings for a great offering in which your participants will be engaged and active. No need to stay indoors unless you want to. Some amazing insights can come from stepping boldly into the dark of night.

What have you personally done for Halloween in the past? What are some of your favorite Halloween activities? How can you turn these into an Adventure Retreat Offering?

Here are a few themes you might consider for your future Halloween outings:
  • Exploring the Unknown
  • Embracing your Dark Side
  • Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My
  • A Better Boo!
What else? Please share your thoughts and Halloween ideas. And bring your flashlight!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pocket Field Guide to Wildflowers

Pocket Field Guides to Wildflowers are oh so very helpful on your Retreats and Adventures.

  1. Be a resource for the questions your participants may have about the wildflowers they see on your offering.
  2. Use wildflowers as a reflection activity by asking your participants to take a photo (no picking necessary) of the flower they find that best illustrates where they are at right now in their transition or goals or image of themselves. You can download the photos right on to your iPad and send them to each participant with a quote that best articulates why they choose that particular flower. Or make a card.
  3. And at some of these great prices, you can give a field guide as a thank-you gift to each participant.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch

Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch is definitely worth checking out for your next adventure.

One of the things we love about using a venue like this, whether it's Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch or another retreat facility, is that they provide the accommodations, food, environment and even some of the activities. This frees you up, as the host and leader, to provide the insights, teachings or reflection activities in order to offer a complete experience.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where Do Your Potential Participants Hang Out?

It seems so simple and makes so much sense. Market your Adventure and Retreat offerings where your potential participants hang out. But we tend to skip the step of discovering where the folks we want to attract spend their time and, instead, start throwing mud on the wall to see what sticks.

Are your offerings more reflective and indoors, asking your participants to join you around a roaring fireplace for some good treats and reflection activities? Perhaps you want to market at your local bookstore by providing customers with a mini-retreat or a talk.

Are your adventures very much about roughing it in the elements? Maybe your local camping and outdoor equipment store is where you can best spend your marketing time.

Do you want to have women only or men only on your retreats? Where do these women tend to gather? Men? What publications do they to read?

Even look at what you are calling your offerings. A "retreat" may interest some people and turn off others. Likewise, a registrant for an "adventure" may never consider signing up for a retreat.

And if your offerings are not local and you are marketing to a national or international audience, you still need to find out where your potential participants hang out; that is, virtually.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is one of our favorite Adventure and Retreat "idea" books.

Beyond being a great personal read that we recommend for everyone, this book has some outstanding activities you may find helpful to modify for your participants while they are on your outing.

Get the book, do the work, and then adapt some of the activities you found most helpful to your next adventure!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Last Minute Invitations

If your Adventure Retreat participant numbers are low, just prior to your offering, try personal invitations. Advertising does not always work for everyone. Some potential participants do not see themselves as participants until they are invited, personally.
  1. Think about your offering and those you know who would enjoy it. Personal invitations only work when your adventure truly has something to appeal to the person you are inviting.
  2. Pick up the phone and invite him or her. Tell this person why you thought of them, why you would enjoy their participation and how you can help them make it happen.
  3. Ask about any concerns this person may have. He or she has probably already heard about your offering. Why have they not registered already? They may have some concerns that can be easily addressed with some simple conversation. If there are no concerns, it may simply be that some people see your ads but don't see themselves as part of your offering until you invite them. That's just the way it is for some folks.
  4. Phone calls are still best. However, as an alternative to the phone, send a personal invitation via email or even a facebook message. Do not make this a generic broadcast. At this point, each invitation needs to be personally designed for the individual. 
  5. Always let your invitees know you have room for their friend.
Our Adventure and Retreat Leader Live Series begins on October 4. We have room for you!

Favorite Fall Hikes

New on the REI Blog. Favorite Fall Hikes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last Day

This is the final day of our Adventure and Retreat Leader Live teleclass series special. $30 off the regular price through midnight tonight. DETAILS

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Equinox Special at Adventure Retreat Leader

This weekend only, we are offering our live Adventure Retreat Leader teleclass series (beginning in October) at $30 off!

Details about the training and how to buy it at this special price can be found at Adventure Retreat Leader.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Too Young to Retire

Too Young to Retire: 101 Ways To Start The Rest of Your LifeWant to offer Adventures, Outings and Retreats to Baby Boomers?

Too Young to Retire is a must read!

Want to learn how to offer Adventures, Retreats and Outings to anyone, including Boomers?

Our Autumnal Equinox special on our Live Adventure and Retreat Leader Training begins today! Classes begin in October. Register this weekend and join us for a special price! Details HERE.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumnal Equinox Special for Adventure Retreat Leader Training

Our Live Adventure and Retreat Leader Training Teleclass Series begins in October.

Beginning Friday, September 23 through midnight, September 25, we are offering our Live Adventure Retreat Leader training at a special Autumnal Equinox price!

Do you want to offer Adventures, Retreats and Outings as a profitable part of your business? We've got all the details and instruction to get you started.

Let us help you Take It Outside!

$30 off our regular rate through the Equinox Weekend! Details can be found HERE.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Often Do You Lead Your Retreats and Adventures?

If you are new to leading, give yourself loads of space to create your offering. Once you have three or four offerings with different themes, enjoy leading more frequently and use these guidelines.
  • A one-day retreat that does not require significant travel for the leader can be offered as frequently as once each month. You may be even be able to provide this offering more than monthly if you have a large group of participants to pull from.
  • A multi-day adventure that does not require significant travel for the leader can also be offered monthly. Just remember to give yourself some time to reflect and regenerate as well as time to revise your outing. Try leading for three months (June, July and August for instance) and then taking a month or two off.
  • A multi-day retreat that does require significant travel for the leader needs a lot more prep time. Consider offering something like this once every three months, at the most, to once a year. And only after you've gained some experience. Also know that your advertising will need to begin at least 9 months in advance. 
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX SPECIAL: On September 23, 24 and 25 we are offering our Live Adventure and Retreat Leader Training at a special price. Details HERE

This training is offered only twice a year, via the phone. It includes a bonus session, all the materials including the 100-point Adventure Retreat Checklist, AND two one-on-one coaching sessions! Training begins in October and you WILL have access to the recorded sessions should you miss one. If you are considering offering Adventure Retreats and Outings, this training is exceptional and will strongly jump-start your business.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Passages in Care Giving

Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into ConfidenceAny of the Gail Sheehy "Passages" books are good resources for you as an Adventure and Retreat Leader. We have found lately that Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence has been a wonderful resources for offerings comprised of Baby Boomers who are caring for their elderly parents.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Duluth Pack

My very favorite Adventure accessories come from Duluth Pack of Duluth Minn. I've got several of their Canvas Canoe Packs, one of which has survived a bear hauling it away from camp twice! Sturdy, Strong and Guaranteed for Life.

Next on my wish list is their soft-sided tackle box. What about you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's All About Them

When you are talking about your Adventure and Retreat Outings or advertising in some form, speak to your audience using "You" words. Avoid using "I," "Me," and "My."

For Instance:
  • "You will experience ...." instead of, "I will provide an experience that..."
  • "Your days will begin with..." not, "I will begin each day with..."
  • "Your Adventure will be..." in place of, "My Adventure Offering will be..."
The focus should be on your participants, not you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Woman's Retreat Book

Woman's Retreat Book: A Guide to Restoring, Rediscovering and Reawakening Your True Self --In a Moment, An Hour, Or a WeekendThis is a book we recommend and use often. It's a wonderful resource and a great gift. The Woman's Retreat Book by Jennifer Louden.

Thanks Jennifer!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Looking for Adventure Retreat Leaders

We have a super live training coming up in October, November and December.
  •  9 Sessions and one Bonus "Working" Session.
  • Two individual one-on-one coaching sessions
  • A 38-page Playbook, including a 100-point retreat checklist
  • Loads of support
  • Recorded sessions, just in case you need to miss one 
Details can be found at Adventure Retreat Leader. Come join us!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Another of our favorites. We really like their products and we really appreciate their commitment with

Monday, August 15, 2011

Become an Adventure Retreat Leader

Our live Adventure Retreat Leader Training begins on Tuesday, October 4. We have an Early-Bird Special rate through September 5.

You will learn:

  • How to make money offering Adventures and Retreats as part of your business.
  • The ins and outs of leading a successful adventure retreat.
  • How and where to find your perfect adventure setting.
  • How to market your offerings.
  • Where to find participants.
  • How to set fees and handle registration.
  • What to say in invitations, flyers and brochures.
  • Creating a theme for your outing.
  • Creating a retreat series.
  • Registration, cancellations, 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 adventures full with participants who pay well.
  • And much more!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Expos and Fairs

If you live in an area with a high density population and you draw your retreat participants from local sources, try exposing your offerings in a local Expo or Fair. Target an event that will attract your potential participants. If your customers are businesses, try a Business Expo. If your participants are women, a Women's Expo might be appropriate. Health and Nature Fairs can also be productive.

You will be most effective if you set up a system to collect names and contact information of potential participants to your offerings. Of course, giving out your contact information is important too. But event visitors can be overwhelmed by all the information they are collecting. You will generate more business if you follow up with interested participants. Be sensitive, however. Ask for permission to contact an interested participant.

Lots of photos of your past and current Retreats and Adventures are key to this kind of marketing. A photo board of some kind is far more effective than a photo album. Make it easy for all your visitors to see what you're up to, even if you are engaged in conversation with one person.

If your retreat business collaborates with another business like a yoga instructor, water sport vendor, or retreat facility, consider sharing a booth with them. Ask the Fair or Expo if this is permissible.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Upcoming Live Adventure and Retreat Leader Training--Earlybird Special!

Hey Retreat Leaders!

We have dates for our upcoming Live Adventure and Retreat Leader training. And we are offering an Early-Bird Special now through Labor Day, September 5.

Join us using telephone technology from the comfort of your home or office.

Two options, live or access to the live class recordings.

Includes a 38-Page Playbook, the training with plenty of time to ask questions, a working bonus session, and individual one-on-one coaching.

All the details, including a link to registration, are available at Adventure Retreat Leader.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Get Coached!

One of the fastest ways to start your own Adventure and Retreat Leader business is to get coached! At Adventure Retreat Leader, you've got options:
  1. In October, we will be offering another Live Adventure and Retreat Leader Teleclass Series, right from the comfort of your home. This series is offered with two, one-on-one coaching sessions (one with Patt and one with Deb) as part of your package.
  2. Or you can purchase an Adventure and Retreat Leader Coaching Packet at any time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Listen to Your Participants

Patt Osborne of Boomer Chick Adventures has a retreat and adventure business full of "regulars." Why? She listens to them. She asks them what they want to do next? Where? When? She challenges them to make a list of what they want to learn.

Yes, you are the retreat leader. Yes, you need to make decisions about what is smart for you to offer, what fits your style and your comfort level.

However, survey your participants first. Get a good idea of what inspires them. You might be surprised at how easy your regulars can make your adventure offerings.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Transitions by William Bridges

We have discovered over the years of offering Retreats and Adventures that most of our participants come to our offering because they are going through a transition. Learning more about the nature of transitions will help you help your participants. William Bridges is one of the leading experts.
Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, Revised 25th Anniversary EditionTransitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, Revised 25th Anniversary Edition

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Compelling Name

What is the name of your Adventure and Retreat Business? Does it inspire you and others? It better! Much of your marketing work is done when you decide on your name.

Patt gets an immediate response to Boomer Chick Adventures. Her potential customers know immediately whether they are in or not. It does not take long to determine if you are a Boomer Chick in both demographics and spirit.

My name, Portage Wilderness Adventures, comes from my love of canoeing and the portage from one lake to the next. It's a metaphor for the transitions I take my clients through while on Adventure with me. Most folks who would enjoy my offerings "get it" immediately. Those that want an explanation need not apply.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Did you know that REI is committed to Adventure? They offer many Adventures around the world. And they offer REI Outdoor Schools. If there's an REI store near you, stop in and ask about collaborating. Start with your expertise about something local. Let REI help you fill your offerings while you provide a valuable service to their customers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Your Special Adventure Gift

When it comes to Adventure, where do you shine? What is your special Adventure Gift?

Do you come alive hiking in the mountains? Are you most intrugied by the circular nature of islands? Do tall pines make you feel like you are worshiping in a church? Is a hard, rocky terrain where you feel most grounded? Does a Caribbean beach soak into your soul? Does dangling from a cliff set you free? Do icy barrens help you appreciate the simple things? Can you turn a canoe on a dime from raging rapids into the small eddy of a rock?

Where you most feel at home is your special adventure gift. Seek to provide your offerings in those environments that honor your gifts. Other will sense your urgent delight. They can't help but follow.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Way of Adventure

One of my favorite books to pick up and read when I'm looking for some Adventure inspiration is The Way of Adventure by Jeff Salz. While this book is not about Adventure Retreats, it is so strongly grounded in the magic of adventure, you can't help but come away with ideas for your next offering.

The Way of Adventure: Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and VisionThe Way of Adventure: Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and Vision

Monday, June 27, 2011

Look for Established Groups

Often it's easier to fill your Adventure and Retreat offering if you market to established groups.

Be ready to talk about how your offerings can fill the needs of Business Partners and Collaborators, Boards of Directors (profit and not-profit), Company Managers, School Groups, Sports Teams, Small Business Employees, Community Groups, etc.

Market to groups that want an Adventure Retreat offering that includes:
  • Visioning and Prioritizing
  • Recognition of Employees, Students or Service by Volunteers
  • Working Smarter
  • Developing Teamwork
  • Developing Leadership Skills
  • Fostering Commitment to the Organization or Businesss
  • Helping Coworkers Better Understand and Support Each Other
  • Creating Opportunities and Understanding Challenges
  • Annual Visions, Missions, Goals and Strategies
  • Game Plans and Action Steps
Once you have your language and ideas together, make presentations to groups you feel might be interested, fine-tune your offering for their specific needs, and fill your Adventure Retreat immediately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life Launch

One of our favorite books when we prepare for Life Transition retreats is Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life by Frederic M. Hudson and Pamela D. McLean.

Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your LifeLife Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Kayaking on Atison Lake

Patt's next Boomer Chick Adventure is Summer Kayaking on Atison Lake. Saturday, July 16, 2011.

This adventure is great for first-timers. You and your fellow Boomer Chicks will explore beautiful and peaceful Atison Lake, in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Details can be found at Adventure Coach Boomer Chick Adventures