Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm rusticmamaretreats@gmail.com

Empowerment Retreat

April 26-28, 2025 at Cedar Ridge Camp near Bancroft ON

September 5-7, 2025 at Camp White Pine in Haliburton ON

Open for Teen Girls 15+ and Women of all Ages

Empowerment Sessions and Workshops

This weekend is loaded with a variety of workshops designed to build confidence and bring out a braver, stronger new you! You will walk away with skills that will last you a lifetime.

4 Part Self Defense Training & Personal Protection Course

      – Verbal Skills (de-escalation)

     – Situational Awareness Training

      – Strikes & Escapes

      – Ground Work & Attacks

Confidence Building & Empowerment Workshops

Conflict Management & Resolution

Strength & Wellness Workshops

Financial Wellness & Budgeting Workshops

Counsellors will be on-site and available all weekend for anyone who may wish to talk to them. 

Registration Costs

We want this retreat to be as affordable as possible because we know so many teens and women will benefit from gaining this knowledge! 

Empowerment Retreat registration cost is $425 + HST (Adults Aged 20+)

Teens Aged 15-19 can attend for $310 +HST

(parental waiver must be signed for each teen under age 18 and groups of teens must be accompanied by 1 paying adult)

Here’s the breakdown and what’s Included:

*  2 nights shared accommodations in gorgeous, rustic cabins (think bunk beds, friends old and new)

* 6 delicious chef-prepared meals and a variety of snacks throughout the day. You definitely won’t go hungry!

* empowering workshops and sessions of your choosing on a variety of topics. All materials are included

* 4 levels of self-defense training and education, including a simulation attack and defense scenerio if you choose

* key-note speeches & evening entertainment from incredibly knowledgeable guests speakers

Meet your Instructors

Darren Vernon

Self Defense Training & Personal Protection Course Instructor

Darren graduated from the “Harvard of Bodyguard Schools”, Executive Security International, as a Certified Protection Specialist (CPS). Darren spent several years providing close protection for celebrities in the music industry, working as an executive protection driver for high profile attorneys traveling in the US, and providing protective services for female victims of criminal harassment. In addition to being a former bodyguard, he has extensive experience as a nightclub doorman (bouncer),
and as a uniformed security guard. 

Darren’s last professional teaching endeavour had him travelling to numerous high schools throughout Ontario, from Tillsonburg to Toronto, to Peterborough and many points in  between. As a Safe International Student Self Defense instructor, Darren has had the rare opportunity to impart life saving self-defense skills and knowledge to thousands of  students. Darren has been studying the fighting arts for over 30 years. His greatest passions in life include fitness, personal protection and teaching, and he has committed his life to teaching others how to be their own bodyguard. Darren believes and promotes the understanding that, everyone should have the skills necessary to protect them from violent encounters.

Cheryl Easton

From the time Cheryl began her dynamic real estate career in 2014, she credits her success to her unmatched dedication to her clients, as well as building her expansive referral network, with purpose and integrity.  Cheryl is well known for her insatiable passion, drive, and energy, which she focuses equally on her career, community service and her two grown children.  She appreciates a challenge and has a reputation for thinking outside of the box in order to bring otherwise difficult situations to favorable conclusions.  Following a life time of abuses, culminating in a vicious physical and sexual assault by her then partner in 2015, and the resulting physical, emotional and psychological recovery from it, in 2018 she added Motivational Speaking to her repertoire, and is now a requested speaker at events across Canada and the Eastern U.S., focusing on guiding her audiences to translate their personal and professional life experiences into victories.

Chantal McDougall 

From constantly doubting herself and never feeling good enough, Chantal overcame her own traumatic past and discovered the path to becoming the confident, compassionate, and enthusiastic young woman she is today. Her passion is leading others to experience that same transformation from feeling stuck to feeling limitless and overcoming people pleasing. Chantal holds an honour-roll degree in Psychology and is also a certified life coach. She has experience leading team meetings and trainings in different professional environments as well. Her education combined with her life experience have ideally equipped her to share the lessons she learned to help others achieve their goals and increase their confidence.

Fantastic Location

Camp White Pine is located just outside Haliburton, Ontario. Nestled on Hurricane Lake and divided into sections, this camp boasts spacious cabins and a plethora of program buildings. Yoga on the dock, pontoon boat rides, bungee jumping and double zip lines will keep your inner child jumping for joy all weekend. Visit their floating island of water inflatables to cool you down or head into Pinetages Theatre for an epic dance party!  Cabins at White Pines have spacious bunk beds and can accommodate groups up to 14. Newly built washrooms and showers are located in a central washroom building just outside the cabins. 

Camp Cedar Ridge is located near McArthur’s Mills ON, just outside of Bancroft. This site features fabulous activities including a vertical challenge course, wood working, archery, trail hikes and much more! For those that enjoy the view, many indoor workshops will be held in the great room with gorgeous views of the lake and a wood burning fireplace to make it cozy! 

Mouth-Watering Food 

All of our locations have their very own chefs that will provide amazing, nutritious and delicious meals throughout the weekend with both healthy and indulgent options! Meals will include incredible homemade baked goods, vegetarian options and a delicious salad bar. 

Please be sure to inform us of any food allergies/intolerances or health issues you feel we should be aware of well before arriving at camp. Our incredible chef and his staff can satisfy all special dietary needs, as long as we know in advance. 

What To Pack 

A suggested packing list will be emailed out to all participants a few weeks before the event.

How To Get There

Camp White Pine is located in Haliburton Ontario.

Click here for directions

Cedar Ridge Camp is located in Bancroft, Ontario

Click here for directions