HOW IS LIGHTHOUSE RESPONDING TO COVID-19?

Safety and security of families living through childhood cancer and our volunteers continue to be our top priority as an organization. For the most up to date information on COVID-19 and attending a retreat please see our COVID-19 Response and Retreat Updates here.

WHAT IS LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY RETREAT?

Lighthouse Family Retreat is a faith-based nonprofit that exists to strengthen every family living through childhood cancer by providing week-long, seaside domestic mission trips & One-Day Regional Retreats. Seaside Retreats create environments where Retreat Families, the families we serve, can experience rest, joy, restoration, and find hope beyond a cure ... a hope in God.

WHO QUALIFIES TO ATTEND A RETREAT?

Families with a child, 18 years old or younger who is currently on treatment or completed treatment within the past year qualify to attend a retreat. Treatment completion date must be within the past calendar year to qualify. Child on treatment, mom, dad, and siblings 21 years old or younger who are living at home are encouraged to attend the retreat together. If the parent is single, they may bring a significant other who has been involved in their cancer journey. To be fair to everyone, we can not include any extra adults for any reasons. Families from all over the United States and Canada have joined us on retreat.   

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND A RETREAT?

Once you arrive at the retreat, all of your food, lodging and planned activities are covered. You only need to cover any additional expenses that you accrue outside of our program. Travel expenses to and from retreat are not covered. You are required to get yourself to and from the retreat. We do not cover your travel expenses however we do have a scholarship that you can apply for that will help cover gas when driving to & from the retreat.  We do not cover plane tickets or rental car expenses. After you have been accepted to attend a retreat, you may request a travel scholarship application from our staff to help assist with gas. You will need to complete the form and have your Social Worker complete a portion as well.  

WHAT IS CONSIDERED TREATMENT?

Focused treatment for your child’s cancer such as Chemo, Radiation, Surgery, Immunotherapy, T-cell therapy, transplants, Clinical trials, etc…. Treatment for secondary side effects from your child’s cancer treatment does not fall into this category.  Quarterly checkups or follow ups after treatment do not qualify.  

HOW DOES LIGHTHOUSE DECIDE WHO IS CHOSEN TO ATTEND A RETREAT?

Families who qualify to attend a retreat are chosen on a first come first served basis with a few restrictions to retreats as follows: 

  • A limited number of returning families are accepted on each retreat. Once those spots are full, returning families are placed on a wait list. 

  • A limited number of large families are accepted on each retreat and once full, these families will be placed on a waitlist.  

CAN MY CHILD AND I ATTEND WITHOUT MY SPOUSE IF THEY HAVE TO WORK?

Our program is focused on the whole family. If you have a 2 parent family, both parents must attend with your family to fully benefit from our retreats.  

CAN MY FAMILY ATTEND A RETREAT MORE THAN ONE TIME?

As long as your family qualifies to attend a retreat, you may be chosen to attend a second retreat as space allows following the above guidelines. Due to the number of new families applying every year, we do not accept families who have already attended twice, even if they still qualify.  

WHAT ARE THE PLANNED ACTIVITIES AND DO WE HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL OF THEM?

Our program is set up with activities in the morning for parents to meet as a group (Common Ground) and the kids are together in groups based on their age & gender (Flip Flop). Afternoons are free for families to enjoy each other. Each evening we have a different group activity that surrounds dinner and usually involves the whole family. Parents do have a night that they get to go out while the volunteers care for your children. We do ask that all retreat attendees participate in all planned activities. Part of the Lighthouse Experience is our program that we have planned and prepared for your family. To learn more about retreat week activities, please see the Retreat Family page here.  

WHAT IF WE DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE SHARING OUR STORY AND ATTENDING COMMON GROUND?

We ask parents to participate each morning in a time that you get together with the other Retreat Family parents to share your story and encourage and support each other. This time is led by a couple who is there to facilitate that time and support you throughout the week. We have found that this time is one of the favorite parts of the week for our parents.  

WILL MY KIDS HAVE FUN? TEENAGERS?

We have kids of all ages attend each retreat. This includes our Retreat Families and our volunteers. Our environments ensure all ages enjoy their time together and time with their families.  

WHERE DO WE STAY WHILE ON RETREAT? WILL WE HAVE A KITCHEN? WASHER/DRYER?​

At most of our retreat locations, families will be staying in rented or donated condos or homes.  Most of our locations will be able to provide each family with their own. We do have a few locations where families may share a home depending on your family size and availability of housing. If you do share a home, your family will have your own bedroom(s) and bathroom(s) but will share the common areas of the house. Majority of our condos & homes are equipped with a full kitchen, washer & dryer.  

ARE MEALS COVERED? WHAT IF WE DO NOT LIKE WHAT IS SERVED OR HAVE ALLERGIES?

​All meals during your stay are provided and prepared by a local caterer or business. We do have a prepared & planned menu for the week. Due to the size of our retreats and planning purposes, we do not make adjustments to our menus unless there is a specific dairy, gluten, nut, or seafood allergy. We do ask that you make us aware of this prior to the retreat. We cannot make last minute adjusts once the retreat starts.  

HOW ARE VOLUNTEERS TRAINED? ARE THEY BACKGROUND CHECKED?

Volunteers called “Family Partners” are provided with training materials and spend time preparing for the retreat. All volunteers 18 years of age & older are required to have a background check prior to attending the retreat.  

DO WE HAVE TO BELIEVE IN JESUS OR HAVE A STRONG FAITH TO ATTEND?

Lighthouse Family Retreat is a faith- based ministry and our retreats are designed to strengthen families living through childhood cancer by helping them find hope in God as they continue to battle cancer. You do not have to share your faith in order to attend a retreat but you will experience the love of Christ through our words & actions while on a retreat.   

DOES MY ONCOLOGIST HAVE TO APPROVE US ATTENDING THE RETREAT?

Yes, your child’s Oncologist will have to complete and sign a Medical Consent Form within 2 weeks of the retreat for you to attend. 

WHEN AND HOW CAN I APPLY TO ATTEND A RETREAT?

You can apply by visiting the "Attend a Retreat" tab on our website menu bar and selecting "Family Living Through Childhood Cancer". 

Questions or Concerns?

Contact us via email at help@lighthousefamilyretreat.org or by phone at 404.590.5338

Frequently

Asked Questions

FAMILIES LIVING THROUGH CHILDHOOD CANCER

(RETREAT FAMILIES)