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Biennial Retreat

The Crew plans for the next activity.

The Bridge School sponsors a 3 night, 4 day retreat for BCTAC members and other adults who use AAC. This biennial retreat is a part of The Bridge School's Outreach Program and seeks to:

  • Positively influence the future of the members
  • Support the expansion of knowledge
  • Promote self-determination
  • Enhance self-advocacy
  • Support the development and advancement of independence

The retreat is designed for individuals 18 and older. The activities and events are geared to this adult-aged group.

Attendant support at the retreat:
BCTAC does not provide attendant support at the retreat. Members are required to bring their own attendant for personal care.

2013 Retreat

Summer is close and so is the 2013 BCTAC Biennial Retreat. This year, the crew decided to head back to Via West! Whooping it up in the woods this summer will include a lil' bit of everything and a ton of fun!

On Thursday:

  • The crew arrives in the early afternoon to check in, catch up with friends and meet the new folks attending their first BCTAC retreat.
  • In the evening people will wind down, decide on a few movies to watch, chill and then head to the sleep lodges to rest up for the next day.

On Friday:

  • Folks will get creative and design Rock Art - artwork that is sold as part of BCTAC's fundraising efforts. To see Rock Art from previous years, please visit BCTAC's Facebook page.
  • People will team up with their buds to play dodgeball and kickball. Last year, the team names were hysterical - Team Train Wreck!?! Stay posted for team pics!
  • Club BCTAC is in the hizouse! Casino Royale, Bingo, Black Jack, Wheel of Fortune and Roulette! What happens at Club BCTAC, stays at Club BCTAC.

On Saturday:

  • The crew will participate in a Self-Advocacy presentation by Jake Atteberry, a BCTAC member and David Grady of Area Board 7. For more information on Jake Atteberry and/or other BCTAC member's personal bios, check out Meet the Crew.
  • The group will plan for Club BCTAC's nighttime swim party with DJ sets, and music videos - think VH1! For some additional fun, the crew will choose a water sport/game to play in the pool.
  • BCTAC will discuss their AAC/Accessibility Review project, similar to Yelp only better and any goals they would like to achieve with this endeavor.

On Sunday:

  • BCTAC will meet to talk strategic planning, discuss goals for the group that align with BCTAC's mission and calendar future BCTAC activities and events.


Retreat activities change and evolve based on the input, decisions and goals of the group. Activities may include invited speakers addressing topics of interest, roundtable discussions, presentations by members, and fun day and evening activities to just hang out with friends.

Over the course of the four days, the sequence of activities may include the following:

Art and Design

  • Rock Art - Artwork inspired by rock music and created by the BCTAC crew. The final masterpieces are sold at The Bridge School Benefit Concert as part of fundraising efforts for the group.
  • Alternative Art - During free time, retreat attendees can choose to design and create their own art using adaptive tools and materials.

Health and Fitness

An adaptive sport or fitness activity is a part of every retreat. Some of the activities may include: yoga, swimming, basketball, soccer, etc.

Strategic Planning

At each retreat, members hold a business meeting to:

  • Complete a quick survey about the current retreat and activities
  • Brainstorm and calendar the next year's events and activities based on their budgeted funds
  • Discuss fundraising activities (what, where, job responsibilities, etc.)
  • Determine the direction of the group and long and short term goals for the year

Free Time

Because relaxing and chilling out is also important to retreat attendees, time is set aside where crew members can head to the sleep lodge for a little rest, do a little audio reading, play video/board games, take a nature hike, socialize, etc.


Sample Schedule

  Thursday   Friday Saturday Sunday
    7:15 - 8:30 Rise and shine Rise and shine Rise and shine
    8:30 - 9:30 Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
    10 - 12 Activity: Art & Design
Rock Art
Activity: Health & Fitness
Activity: Strategic Planning
    12 - 1 Lunch Lunch Snack
3 - 4 Staff arrival 1 - 2 Chill Chill Go home
5 - 6 Particpants check-in 2 - 4 Activity: Health & Fitness
Activity: Self-Advocacy
Presentation by BCTAC member
6:30 - 7:30 All staff & family dinner
(time for support staff, participants and families to discuss participant needs for the retreat)
5:30 - 6:30 Dinner Dinner  
8 -10 Movie night 7 - 9 Activity: Club BCTAC Activity: Pool Party  
10 - 11 Sleep 10 - 11 Sleep Sleep  


The location of the retreat may change from year to year based on the group's agenda and the environments that would best support the planned activities. Ideal locations are:

  • university campuses
  • facilities that offer wheelchair accessible meeting spaces and accommodations for overnight stay(s)
  • local organizations that offer alternative experiences (swimming, sports and rec, etc.)

Previous retreat locations:


Scholarships are available for members and/or an attendant to join the retreat. Application for a scholarship must be submitted to The Bridge School and will be reviewed by a scholarship committee. Scholarships are provided based on the BCTAC member's:

  • annual income (SSDI, earned income, etc.)
  • contribution and level of participation in BCTAC fundraising efforts, web content development, planning meetings, etc.
For more information on schloarships or to apply, contact