Spark Retreat

An AYF Adult Program | September 21 to 24, 2023

Registration is now open for Spark, an AYF adult retreat!

Aligning with the AYF’s value of continuous learning, adults 21 and older are invited to participate in a four-day Spark retreat. The Spark retreat is an expanded version of previous AYF offerings like Living Your Mission or Living Your Purpose.

During our time together, we will participate in scheduled sessions/workshops, personal reflection, small group and community-wide experiential programs, and enough unscheduled time to fully absorb the beauty of Miniwanca. Participants will experience a retreat with with tangible takeaways with opportunities to reflect, connect, relax, and rejuvenate in a safe, fun, and welcoming environment.

All are welcome.

  • Previous experience with AYF programs is not required. The content will be tailored for those in the adult phase of life, and all participants ages 21 and older are welcome.
  • As with all AYF programs, we believe in the power and importance of the full expression of all individuals. We enthusiastically welcome people of all identities, beliefs, life experiences, and abilities, and we are committed to reducing any barriers that may prevent your full participation

Keynote Speaker
We welcome the return of keynote presenter Darrell Jones, and we are thrilled his partner, Cari Jacobson, will join him to create a dynamic weekend of connection, learning, and self-discovery while in community.

Questions? Email Director of Adult Programs Holley Young at or learn more about the 2022 Spark retreat online.

Rates and Lodging

To increase access to this program, the American Youth Foundation will offer equity pricing for Spark:

Standard Rate: $300
Community Supported Rate: $200
Pay It Forward Rate: $500

A $100 deposit is required at the time of registration.

Lodging: In addition to dormitory-style lodging, Miniwanca’s rustic cabins are available for use if desired. Cabins will also be utilized for overflow housing. All meals are included.



Keynote Speakers

Darrell Jones

Darrell Jones is a reverend, spiritual practitioner, and mindfulness coach with a long history at Miniwanca as a camper, seasonal staff member, and NLC participant. In 2015, Darrell created his own online spiritual community called Soul Gym, and in 2016, he helped launch a secular meditation studio in Chicago called Chill.  Darrell also published his first book, Soul Gym, in 2021.

Cari Jacobson

Cari Jacobson is a nationally respected practitioner of chiropractic and holistic medicine with over 14 years of experience. Dr. Jacobson believes in empowering people with the tools to understand the true meaning of wellness and how to maintain it. Her work helps people achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness by balancing the body physically, chemically, emotionally, and energetically. She passionately believes that when we are in balance, we thrive!