Family Forward Retreat at the Zion Ponderosa

A few weeks ago I had the chance to attend the Family Forward Retreat down at the Zion Ponderosa. Honestly, I had NO idea what to expect. I had never been down to the Zion Ponderosa and I had NO idea what the “retreat” would entail. Let me enlighten you: It was LIFE CHANGING. I’ll explain why. Stick with me.

The entire weekend was focused on video, so we practiced taking pictures. This picture is one of my faves. Classic iPhone pic and I’m dang proud of it!


I made some amazing new connections and friends. It’s always so fun for me to meet new people that just GET ME.

HANDS DOWN – my mos favorite picture from the entire trip. First of all, what are Shannon (Lucky) and I even doing? Killing it. Obviously. Then Amy (in the background) is seriously killing me. Again, best picture of the weekend. The end.

After our sunset picture taking extravaganza, we had an ice cream contest. Yep. An ice cream sundae contest. Ain’t Nobody got time for dat! Small, dainty, glass cup? BULL. Give me a BOWL babes and get OUT of my way. Ice cream = in mouth. NOW.

The next day we had our own “Adventures.” I was totally clueless, but did the “Canyoneering” class, because…”Why not?!” I was NOT disappointed.

My Agnes and Dora leggings – always a hit. I highly recommend them the next time you rappel down a mountain. Just sayin.

That night we hitched a ride to dinner and were serenaded by the sweetest cowboys. How often does that sentence come together for you? Only at the Zion Ponderosa!


Remember how I mentioned that this retreat at the Zion Ponderosa LITERALLY changed my life? Well, I give 100% credit to THIS babe, right here. Literally – inspired me beyond words. She gave me hope and courage to go for it and I’ve never been happier.

WALK back from dinner? H no. This was us – “off-roading”, going too fast, no seat belts, and loving life.

We finished the night around the fire eating s’mores. It was a successful day full of awesome people and amazing activities.

THEN the next day came and I had signed up for SKEET SHOOTING. Bless me. I’d been shooting ONCE and it was a JOKE. I was such a sissy with my gun – who on earth could’ve thought I could hit a skeet? To say I was apprehensive was an understatement. This was me PRACTICING on stationary targets. I look pretty awesome, but don’t be deceived: I only hit ZERO of my non-moving targets. WHAT?! How on EARTH was I supposed to hit a MOVING target?

Honestly, I’d given up. Which I hate. That feeling of NOT TRYING for fear of not doing well and looking good? Utterly ridiculous. When it was my turn to shoot skeets, I did it because I didn’t want to quit. I knew I wouldn’t hit anything. PLUS, all the other girls around me had hit at least TWO skeets. I didn’t want to join the competition, I didn’t want to lose, and I didn’t want the humiliation of missing all of my targets again. Again, I’d resigned before I started. THEN I ended up hitting FOUR out of the FIVE targets. NO. FREAKING. WAY. It’s true. I have it on film. Moral of the story:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
― Henry Ford

I’d recommend the Zion Ponderosa to anyone – it was the perfect weekend of relaxing, nature, adventure, and good times.

Sound like this if for you? Who wouldn’t want an awesome and AFFORDABLE family adventure retreat that includes your whole family (Yes! For kids of all ages!)? Then check out Family Forward: Mountain Adventure, which takes place October 9-12, 2014 on the border of Zion National Park in Southern, Utah. All-inclusive pricing for a family of 5 ranges from $350 to $699, depending on the type of lodging you choose (tent, RV, cabins on up to luxury homes). Yes! You heard me right. Passes include 3 nights of lodging, three meals a day and snacks for your entire family, and vouchers for adventure activities, good for miniature golfing, zip lining, ATV riding, paint balling, and more. Enjoy a $50 discount through June 29 when you register with the code: “SCHOOLSOUTFORSUMMER”!

If you aren’t sure, watch the video. It’s so much awesomeness from the Zion Ponderosa, you might just die. Keep your eyes open for me!

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