2022 Serenity Retreat for Women Grieving the Loss of a Loved One in the Opioid Crisis
May 20-22, 2022
Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center
3300 River Road, Mt. Bethel, PA 18343
Registration fee must be paid in full by February 15
Download Registration Form Below
Check-in 3:00pm -5:00pm
Welcome Gathering 7:00 - 9:00pm
Chair Yoga with Tina (optional) 7:15am
Morning Gathering 10:00am - 12:00pm
Afternoon - Free Time
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (details forthcoming - advance registration required)
Evening Gathering 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Chair Yoga with Tina (optional) 7:15am
‘With Love & Hope‘ Send-Off Gathering 10:00am - 12:00pm
* Additional Activities to be scheduled include:
**Do you play the piano or guitar, and/or like to sing? Please let us know!
We would love for you to share with us! 🎶
Thank you for your interest in our first Serenity Retreat! ❤️ My name is Rhonda Miller, but I am best known here because I am Ben‘s (and Alex’s) mom. My journey began when my precious youngest son, Ben, was just 16, struggling with fitting in and finding his place in this world. Like many teens, he experimented, but when he was introduced to opioids, he was pulled in to a horrific addiction he was unable to control. Throughout eight years, I lived the roller coaster of hope and grief. I had very little support through those painful years; few could understand what I could not even understand. On August 1, 2016, one week before his 24th birthday, we tragically lost our precious Ben. The devastation (and the many secondary losses) have been very difficult to navigate alone.
Two years later, my family and I founded a nonprofit, Speak Up for Ben, Inc. to speak out and educate regarding the dangers of opioid use, and to offer support to those struggling and to their families. With the aid of Northampton County, we opened OASIS to help families throughout all the stages of grief experienced when a loved one lives with a substance use condition— and to offer compassionate support to families who lost their loved one. This retreat is an extension of the grief support we offer. While serving our families, I have received credentialing by world renowned grief expert David Kessler as a Certified Grief Educator, and by the Grief Recovery Institute as a Certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist. Combined with my lived experience, these trainings have aided me tremendously in my mission to support our many grieving families.
This retreat will be facilitated by your peers—bereaved mothers, who have lived experience in learning how to cope by finding meaning in building a new life. We are not clinicians, but sister travelers on this grief journey.. .We welcome you to join us…With the love and support of each other, we will learn to gently restore our serenity, with every new day, heart to heart. 💔❤️🩹 ❤️
As a single mother of two daughters with a successful private family law practice, Joanne’s life was full. Then, in 2013, she learned her oldest daughter, Emily, was struggling with an opioid addiction. Three years later Emily found out she was pregnant. Emily went on a drug maintenance program and delivered a healthy and beautiful baby girl, Carter. Emily was able to wean off medically assisted treatment, was doing very well maintaining her sobriety and was enjoying motherhood. However, nine months after Carter was born, Emily relapsed and, tragically, died.
At the age of 59, Joanne found herself in the position of being a single parent again, charged with raising a baby. She obtained custody of Carter, and while raising her for the past six years, uses her expertise as a family law attorney to address the issues of the opioid crisis with public officials. She has served on The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Children and Youth Sub-Committee on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and helped pass legislation to make it easier for grandparents to seek emergency guardianship in situations where one or both parents suffer from Substance Use Disorder. In 2017, Joanne was selected as one of Penn Live’s Newsmakers of the Year, along with two other grandmothers, for their work in assisting others after suffering the loss of their own children. Joanne serves as a Grands Voice on a committee with Generations United, a non-profit that assists families with inter-generational issues to help keep children out of the foster care system. Governor Wolf assigned Joanne to serve on the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Work Committee on grandparent raising grandchildren issues.
Now 65 years old, Joanne continues to operate her family law practice while raising now six-year-old Carter. They live in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with their black lab, Charlie, and two cats. When Joanne isn’t busy mothering or working, you can find her in the kitchen pursuing her love of cooking. Joanne also uses her love of humor to balance the stress in her life. She exclaims, “I honestly don’t know how I would manage this crazy life of mine if it wasn’t for my humor!”
Joanne will bring her special brand of humor to us, and help us learn how joy can coexist with grief. ❤️
Enjoy exploring the beautiful grounds of the Inn, along the Delaware River in the foothills of the Poconos !
Registration office for room check-in upon arrival, open until midnight.
Situated on 37 scenic acres on the Delaware River
Patio to enjoy the view with new friends
Enjoy quiet reflection along the river
An old-fashioned bell will ring for meals!
24-hour coffee station and water bottle filling station is in dining hall lobby.
Good home cooked meals are served to us Family style!
Our private bedrooms, group meeting room, and cozy conversation nooks are nestled here
Coffee, tea, juices, and water provided during gatherings….snacks to share are welcome!
Modern and complete deluxe rooms with two beds, private bath (with tub!), telephone, and flat screen TV!
The Pine Room is a dedicated space for our art programs and gatherings.
Choose from several options available during free time on Saturday afternoon 🎨
We will be in Riverside l & ll for overnight accommodations and main meeting room
Explore the many cozy spots for reflection or conversation with a new friend
Saturday night activity.… we will enjoy s’mores around the campfire! Bring along your singing voice! Instruments welcome!
Located in the Cedar Chalet building, book shop hours are Friday 9:00pm-11:30pm, Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, and 9:00pm-11:30pm. Snack shop hours Saturday 2:00-5:00pm & nights.
Treat yourself… enjoy inspirational books and keepsakes, home decor, and gifts at the Tuscarora Inn Book & Gift Shop!
Start your mornings with a restorative stretch!
Ping-pong, Anyone? 🏓 Exercise room, game room, tennis, bocci, shuffleboard, and more! Exercise Room open daily 7am-11pm
Come experience a special Sisterhood that is certain to last a lifetime!
Public Registration Opens January 21, 2022