Since WWW began in early 2011, we've hosted six parents' weekends and 14 (I think) mini-retreats for Moms ... but only three weekends for Dads. We've found that Dads are just a little bit more hesitant to commit to something like this. I don't know ... maybe they think it's going to be a "spill your guts" kind of thing all weekend long. No man wants to do that ... and I don't think too many women do either.
No, when the guys get together, they spend time doing guy stuff ... riding four wheelers, fishing, grilling steaks, etc. Sure, they talk about their kids and their experiences along the road of grief, and for many of them, this is something they've really never had an opportunity to do with another man, especially a man who actually understands.
Our Dads' weekends are usually held at my husband's family's farm in a very rural area of Yell County, Arkansas. The guys stay in an older farmhouse with several bedrooms, where they have the run of hundreds of acres of fields and forest land. They always have a great time, but the accommodations, while nice, are nothing fancy. You can click here and here to read about the last two Dads' weekends which were held there.
Here's where the unique opportunity part comes in. While We're Waiting has been offered the use of the Spring Valley Anglers Rod & Gun Club Lodge for one of our Dads' weekends in March. This facility is located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. This place is amazing ... click here to take a look at their website. We are so excited to have the opportunity to host an event for Dads here. And with the location in northwest Arkansas, it's more easily accessible to more people. It's even close to an airport, in case anyone would need to fly in for the weekend.
The weekend is scheduled for March 14-16, 2014. The guys never have a set starting time on Friday evening, because everyone gets off work at different times, but they will gather Friday evening, and will wrap up the weekend on Sunday morning. Guys, if you've thought about coming to a Dads' weekend in the past, but just haven't done it ... here's your chance. And ladies, if your husband needs to come to something like this ... use your feminine wiles to get him there. I can promise that every Dad who comes will be glad he did.
There's no cost for the weekend. Of course, we always accept donations if anyone would like to give something to support the ministry, but it is not necessary. To register, just click on the "Register for a While We're Waiting" tab above. Spots are limited, so don't delay. It's going to be a great weekend. I leave you with what one of our dads said after the last Dads' weekend ...
"I want to thank you for this weekend. I know so much more will come to me as I process these moments over the next couple of weeks, months, and years to come. But, these are the immediate take-aways that I will leave with today: 1) I'm not alone in this walk, 2) the opportunity to bring my son alive in the open discussions and just saying his name aloud again, and 3) ways to move forward in my life but, more importantly, my faith. Thanks again and God bless you."