Contact Us| Careers Parent Portal

Introducing Open Sky Wellness Retreats; Learn More and Register

Tom Holcomb | COO

Background and Overview

For more than a year, we have contacted alumni parents at the six-month anniversary of their child’s graduation. The purpose of this being twofold: to find out how parents and their child are doing, and to understand how Open Sky might better serve graduate families moving forward. From these calls, one thing is clear: alumni families are hungry to tap into the power and magic of the Open Sky experience after graduation. We also surveyed a subset of our alumni families to solicit feedback on location, venue, duration and programming. The feedback consistently indicated alumni parents desire the opportunity to connect and grow with the following preferences:

  • A venue located in a rural / semi-rural environment with access to nature
  • A location within a one- to two-hour drive from home
  • Lodging accommodations that are modern, simple, and clean
  • A two-day event led by Open Sky staff, Normal Elizondo and Kendall Smith
  • Events structured to support alumni parents, alumni students, and alumni students and parents together

On November 18 – 20th, Open Sky will host our very first Parent Wellness Retreat at the perfect venue, the IONS EarthRise retreat center in Northern California where many of our alumni families are located. The emphasis of this first retreat will be on fostering the parent community, building on the skills learned during the program, and a new curriculum addressing personal and family development, all delivered with inspiring insights of Norman Elizondo and Kendall Smith.

Future events will be offered outside of other major cities such as Denver, Chicago, New York, Boston, DC and other areas with a high concentration of alumni families. Our retreats’ programming will also evolve to support the variety of needs and continual growth of alumni students and parents. As we embark on bringing Wellness Retreats to your community, we welcome your feedback in our efforts to offer services that best support you and your family’s lasting success.

Program Overview

Join us for an inspiring, grounding and spacious two-day retreat! Through expert guidance and facilitation, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your own personal growth and development as well expand on the skills you already have. There will be a combination of new information, activities and exercises as well as a review of foundational self-regulation and communication skills. Over the course of two days you will have the opportunity to practice yoga and meditation, engage in large and small group activities that deepen your self-awareness and increase your ability to connect with others, experiment with being instead of doing, enjoy delicious & healthy meals, gain tangible tools for negotiating the unpredictable nature of life, unplug from technology, and return to your core values and beliefs.

We are constantly reminded of the benefits of slowing down, connecting with nature, and sharing openly about our experience, however, finding the space and time to do so seems, for most people, to be a great a challenge. Take advantage of this Wellness Retreat as your optimal choice in meeting that challenge. The retreat begins Friday night at 6:00 PM over dinner and continues through Sunday late afternoon.

Facility and Location

Located on 194 acres of beautiful rolling hills, the IONS EarthRise retreat center offers hiking trails through live oak woodlands, panoramic vistas of the California landscape, and thoughtful facility design. Known for its healthy, delicious and aesthetically beautiful meals made with fresh, organic local food, the chef draws upon flavors and techniques from around the world to create a diverse cuisine with alluring flavors. The EarthRise campus provides the ideal environment for making connections, self-reflection, and personal growth. Located just 30 miles north of San Francisco, it is easily accessible from all locations in the Bay Area.

Pricing and Lodging Details

Program registration and lodging are separate fees. Registration for the event is $600 for the weekend and includes six meals (two dinners, two breakfasts, two lunches). Open Sky is offering a 10% “New Program” discount for this first Wellness Retreat. To receive this discount, use the code: “RETREAT” at checkout. Additionally, we are offering a 15% Early Bird discount for registration before September 12th. Should you take advantage of the New Program and Early Bird pricing, event registration is $465.

Lodging prices depend on your preferred option. Earthrise provides on campus sleeping accommodations that are modern, simple, and clean. Single and shared occupancy rooms are available. Clean and private bathrooms are located in the hallway and are shared with other guests. A guest kitchen is located in the lodging area for coffee/tea and includes a full size refrigerator for guest use. Room options are provided below and are booked first come first serve via registration. Check-in is between 3:00 and 6:00 Friday night.

  • Single Occupancy / Twin Bed / $190 per weekend
  • Double Occupancy / Two Twin Beds / $360 per weekend
  • Double Occupancy / Double or Queen Bed / $360 per weekend

Finally, we are targeting a minimum of 15 participants and maximum of 50. Should we not achieve this minimum number of participants by September 15th, we will cancel the event and provide registrants a full refund. Event registration is provided below. Should you have any questions, please email Peter Frankel, Open Sky’s Alumni Communications Coordinator, at Thank you for the opportunity to support you and your family!

August 1st, 2016

Tom Holcomb | COO