Outdoor retreats offered at no cost for veterans, provide a great opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and reconnect with nature and other veterans like themselves, in a way unlike any other, for healing and camaraderie. These retreats are made possible thanks in a large part to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Those we lovingly know as the House in the Woods “family” because everyone involved knows the sacrifices these men and women make, and we make it our life mission to show our appreciation and Give Back.
There are so many ways in which the community can give back to our veterans. Perhaps you’re good with people and just love spreading the word about retreats available for veterans, maybe you love to cook for people, cleaning, crafting, fundraise, etc. while others are more interested in sharing the tools they have such as helping with land and lodge upkeep, carpentry work, or resources such as the use of the land itself. Resources are all around us, it’s just connecting the dots from the individuals that desire to help to the needs for those gifts.
A few keys to a great retreat experience for our veterans are connection with fellow military brothers and sisters, clean and comfortable sleeping arrangements, good food, and a peaceful rejuvenating experience in the beauty of the Maine woods. Our lodge in Lee, Maine provides all of the necessities and so much more. If you haven’t stopped by yet you must visit us soon. We are located on Skunk Hill Road in Lee, Maine. Swing in and say hello. We love visitors and the opportunity to show you around.
House in the Woods is always looking to make new connections with landowners in the Lee, Lincoln, and Springfield areas. Perhaps you have a few acres great for rabbit or bird hunting, or perhaps you have long since given up deer or moose hunting, but have found your land to be a hot spot for that type of activity. If so, we would love to chat with you to see if you’re interested in getting involved with our program.
Taking care of our veterans is our number 1 focus. Along with that, we are focused on maximizing the reach of each donor dollar. Our donors entrust us to make the most of these donations and we work hard to find new ways of offering more at a lower expense just like everyone in this day and age. By finding land to hunt closer to the lodge we can utilize the beautiful facility we have there that sleeps 28 with a spacious great room and commercial kitchen. By hunting locally we can utilize the resources we have and keep the expenses to a minimum.
What's even better than that is the fact that all attendees of the retreat share meals together, spend time before and after the retreat, sharing stories, sharing experiences, and making connections in a way that simply isn't possible at a hotel or split up across several locations.
Veteran retreats are not just about hunting as I'm sure you've already gathered, from our previous columns. What they are about, is CONNECTION and time together. That's why our motto is TOGETHER WE HEAL.
Together isn't about veterans. Healing happens within the hearts of volunteers that take part, maybe they had a family of veterans and know firsthand the sacrifices made. Healing happens for individuals within the companies and organizations that get involved, for they might have a team full of veterans or gold star family members and know the stories behind the service. Healing happens when land owners shake the hand of a veteran who will hunt their land, for they see the look in that veteran's eyes and appreciation for the opportunity.
These Landowners know they are giving back by sharing the resources available to them.
Landowners take part in discussions between Paul House, our volunteer guides, and the veterans themselves. They can see and feel firsthand, the impact these retreats have on those attending. This isn't about a hunt, it's about the NOW, getting away from the hustle and having space to breathe. It's about connecting with new friends that more often than not, become lifelong connections.
If you are a landowner in the area and would like to know how you might get involved, connect with new friends, give back to our veterans, and change lives, please reach out to us to talk further. We'd love to have you join in on the mission of Giving Back. Who knows, maybe you'll find your healing there too.
TOGETHER WE HEAL.
House in the Woods
217 Skunk Hill Road
Lee, Maine 04455