HNC Family Retreat
August 13-15, 2008
Salter Path, NC Outer Banks
A Great Time at the HNC Family Retreat!
The weather was a bit blustery but everyone braved the rain and wind to start the HNC Family Retreat off in Beaufort aboard the Mystery Boat Treasure Hunt trip on Wednesday, August 13th. We boarded the boat and took a tour of the area before landing on a private island where the kids searched for hidden treasure with the pirates, argh!!! Fortunately, the storm broke by then and we were successful in finding some delicious treasures for all. After the hunt, we were given a tour of the island and saw the wild horses that roam the dunes.
After returning back to solid ground, the group of 21 families checked into the Trinity Center in Pine Knoll Shores. After the official orientation, Gina Raymond-Duncan (CSL Behring) presented "The Clot that Binds Us." This was a fascinating look at the differences and similarities of bleeding disorders. Although our campfire plans were rained out for the evening, we were entertained by resident folk teller and songwriter, Ray Mendenhall, who involved the whole audience in his world of storytelling.
On Thursday morning the sun was shining beautifully! The families broke into different programs with the children attending the Knight's Crossing Program presented by Rich McLaughlin (Baxter) and the adults attended a presentation by Anne Lowish, RN (MedPro Rx) on School Tips and Emergency Preparedness. The kids had fun in their program that took place at the beach. The highlight was the team competition for the egg drop off the beach pavillion! The adults learned tips on how to work with their child's school to address obstacles they may face and also discussed how to work with their local rescue personnel in making them aware that someone in the household has a bleeding disorder so they can respond effectively.
After lunch, Ed Burke, President of the Factor Foundation of America spoke to the group about advocacy and the importance of getting involved. Ed has been active in pursuing legislation to eliminate lifetime caps and stressed the need for members to contact their legislative representatives, learn the issues and speak up! Everyone then attended The Strength of Life program, presented by Chad Brown, Sports Advocate Consultant to the Factor Foundation of America. Chad is 30 years old, has severe hemophilia and is a professional wake boarder. He shared his personal story and the importance of following your passion while being safe and staying healthy. Then we all joined Chad at the pool for some aquatic exercises and games -- great fun!
The families enjoyed some free time in the afternoon to go to the beach or travel around the area and take in the sights. That evening, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Beach Pavillion on a beautiful summer night. After dinner, a representative from the NC Aquarium presented "Scaly Skins, No Fins" and brought along a few of her favorite scaly friends for the kids (big and small) to enjoy! Following the presentation, we took at Night Trek on the beach with flashlights and learned all about the habitat and living creatures that make the area their home. We had fun looking for ghost crabs (they are real crabs!) and had a special treat in visiting the nesting site of sea turtles that was getting ready to hatch.
On Friday morning, we all checked out and concluded the retreat activities with a visit to Fort Macon where we heard information about the history of the Fort and saw a musket firing demonstration.
Our many thanks to the speakers, the Trinity Center and all of our sponsors who made this program a wonderful success. We were disappointed that we could not accommodate all the families who responded due to space availability but the good news is that we have reserved the Trinity Center again for next year at the same time and have held more rooms so we can fit a few more families!