Helping the Youth of Our Military Families

April is the Month of the Military Child, and so we’ve asked our partners at Project Sanctuary to share how they’re making a difference in the lives of military families and the unique challenges and successes for these families.

Project Sanctuary is a national nonprofit headquartered in Granby, Colorado. Founded in 2007 by Heather Ehle, RN, based on the principle that when one person serves, the whole family serves, and understanding the best way to “support the troops” was to create an organization supporting the entire family. Project Sanctuary is one of the few national organizations empowering the entire military family by providing therapeutic recreation, counseling, education, referrals to best-fit resources.  


Project Sanctuary hosts therapeutic retreats in eight states across the country that are staffed and designed by the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) and the licensed counselors and social workers on Project Sanctuary staff.

While other organizations provide activities/retreats/camps for families, none of them do it in a 6-day retreat setting with classes and a Therapeutic Youth Program and Teen Group. Our families definitely have plenty of fun and recreation time, however, it’s important to note that our retreats include educational components not only for the grown-ups but dedicated programs for the youth and teen members of our families.


The Youth Program and Teen Group each follow the topic schedule of the parent classes which include Communication, Emotions/Mental Health, Post Traumatic Stress and Purpose which are specifically designed and taught at an age appropriate level. This model is intentional so that after each class, the family can come together and share/use the skills they learned. And they also use what they have learned through the week. For example: if a daughter is up on a ropes course and starts to become scared. The dad and the daughter could practice communication and maybe some breathing techniques they learned TOGETHER to get through it. And now a moment for dad and daughter has been created.

The Youth Program and Teen Group educational components are not just taught in a classroom. Recreation is used as the medium to bring about these lessons and learning through experience. They could be out on a hike, playing a game or learning through other forms of engagement.

Both Youth Program and Teen Groups are led by a trained and professional Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist or a Licensed Professional Counselor.


To find out more about Project Sanctuary, apply for a Therapeutic Retreat, Family Support, Destination Resource Weekend or Volunteer, visit our website at or email us at


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