Ah, these are the moments that make me feel alive the most — the moments that make me feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many beautiful souls. The CHAARG Retreat 14, an event that literally took us all summer to plan [huge shout out to Molly our Retreat Runner : )], was nothing short of perfect. We ate — we got our sweat on — we inspired others + were inspired ourselves. ++ we will live to tell about this amazing weekend + about our amazing community. Putting this blog together + going through all of the pictures our lovely photog Sarah captured [yes, you will receive them all — next week!] made my heart dance. I will *attempt* to give you a glimpse of the CHAARG RETREAT 14, one of the best weekends in CHAARG history yet…
Of course, we need to start out with EAT. If there’s one thing we know how to do well, it’s EAT. CHAARG = FOODIE [but for realz]. Thanks to our amazing sponsors we were constantly happy full. There were many healthy eats, but of course some treats. Let me take you on a little tour of our food…
When girls arrived, they all grabbed an Owl Be Sweatin’ Headband, About Time Fill, Shake + Go’s, + KIND bar — because it was about time to sweat + inspire [+ of course be kind to ourselves + each other]. Not to mention, in their Aerie goodie bags they received plenty of yummy eats from Quest, True Citrus, Nature’s Mills, Tiesta Tea, ginnybakes, + even more About Time! ++ lets not forget about the other goodies — FitGear from Bandin + Skullcandy + JRJ! It was time to get the party STARTED.
Dinner that night was none other than our favorite — Pigs Eatin’ Ribs — salad, corn on the cob, roasted red potatoes, shrimp kebabs, chicken kebabs, grilled veggies + bread rolls. *drooling still*. um — did I mention SRIRACHA.
Mallows + SHOTS ended the night — CHAARG style shots, aka apple cider vinegar : )
COFFEE. COFFEE. COFFEE. Lots of it, thanks to Greyhouse Coffee [Purdue CHAARG girls — you need to check this place out!]. For bkfst, we made parfaits + our favorite new creation — Ozery Bakery’s morning rolls with A Loving Spoon’s Honey Vanilla Bourbon PB [YES, this is a real thing. *heart eyeballz emoji*], Nature’s Mills‘ granola + cherries//bananas//apples from King Orchards, sprinkled with cinnamon. It was absolutely AMAZING. Oh, + we had cherry juice with lemon, which was also phenom.
Lunch was vegetarian style — lots of veggies [thanks to Market 65!], mustards, sriracha, cheese + buns from Ozery Bakery. Popcorn from Popped! — will definitely be travelin’ to Kent more often just for this caramel corn : ) ++ LOTS + LOTS + LOTS of hummus//guac from Good Foods. We literally had a hummus bar, there were at least 10 different flavors.
Dinner was P I Z Z A — we had crazy creations like goat cheese + apple, as well as the classic basil + tomato + motz. This was the start of more tasty treats to come…
Okay, how do I explain dessert? First, we had mini cupcakes to celebrate it being the last night of the retreat [wah!] — choc, vanilla, + raspberry. THEN, we had THE. ULTIMATE. S’MORE — Graham Cracker, A Loving Spoon Honey Vanilla Bourbon PB, Quest Vanilla Almond Crunch, Chocolate + Mallows. WOAH BABY. You guys need to try this.
On the last morn, we had to stick to what we new best — our fav creation [we need to come up with a name for this!] ++ COFFEE, of course. After all the fun + while saying goodbyes, the girls got to pick from all the leftover goodies to bring back home! AH, if only we had more days to eat up all the delicious foods together.
This is a CHAARG retreat so obviously there was bound to be A LOT of sweatin’ involved. ++ by the amount of food we ate, you could see how hungry we constantly were, so you can imagine how much we were werkin’ out. Tour de sweat…
We started off the week with a workout led by the girls #inCHAARG of the CHAARG Chapters, our Ambassadors! We did a sampler of all of our favorite ways to sweat — starting off with a warmup, we went from tabatta to HIIT to yoga to abs.
++ we ended the night with a midnight mile with lots of glow sticks!
Some of the girls started the morn’ with a sunrise run [dedication to #runCHAARG — proud of ’em!]. ++ then we got right into sunrise yoga led by Molly! #CHAARGom. This was a workout Molly will always remember…
One workout in particular, though, will remain with me as the most memorable. The girls joined me under the rising sun for a beautiful morning yoga practice + the early light streaming through the trees provided just enough warmth to contrast the crisp morning air. I could feel each + every girl breathing + moving along with me through each relaxing pose. ++ in that moment, nothing else mattered. Nothing else existed. Pure + honest perfection.
++ then, we had the ultimate fitness challenge — starting with the Battle of The Paddle [yes, girls paddled in doubles — this was amazing + hilarious], we had 10 fitness challenges that the girls completed with their teams [+ cabin mates!]. We did piggyback rides — gallon carries — volleyball challenges + much, much MORE. Team FLASH [Fit Ladies Always Stay Healthy ; )] won the Ultimate CHAARG Challenge ++ all earned an Under Armour headband! Incredibly thankful for NOOMA for keepin’ us hydrated during this 2+ hour #sweatsesh.
Our very last workout was a quick HIIT Tabata workout, led by Molly. Here’s the workout if you guys want to do it at home!
Four Sets of 8X [20 seconds on + 10 seconds off]
Set One — Burpees + Mountain Climbers
Set Two — Tuck Jumps + Squat Hold
Set Three — Switch Jumps + Push Ups
Set Four — Breakdowns + Hip Dips
Honestly, I’m speechless when I try to put into words how inspired I was after this weekend. Hearing your stories made me that much more in love with our community [how is that possible?]. Molly said it perfectly on her blog…
While the mission of CHAARG heavily relies on physical health [amazing healthy eats + killer sweat seshes], the unapparent side of this movement lives in it’s promotion of emotional + mental health.
So throughout the weekend, we planned talks + discussions + activities designed to inspire each girl to recognize her remarkably unique qualities — those special characteristics [both inside + out] that culminate to her an essential piece of the CHAARG puzzle.
WHAT MAKES HER STRONG + BEAUTIFUL — WHAT MAKES HER A CHAARG GIRL.
Girls heed the infamous reputation of pulling one + other down, but with each girl expressing what makes her beautiful + strong, those stereotypes slowly shattered until they no longer proved any worth.
The retreat mantra — ignite your passion — came to us early on in the planning. We wanted each girl to not only light a fire within herself, but also within each + every girl she meets.
We asked the girls to write letters to themselves — taking in the picture perfect setting + expressing her feelings + thoughts + goals. We asked them to finish the sentence I AM ____– a single word to describe themselves + their ongoing journey. The outcome of this activity blew me away. Each girl so thoughtfully chose the word to fit her best. ++ I still cannot describe how overwhelmingly humbling each word was.
Looking around I could see myself in each girl’s eyes. I could see the strength + passion we have instilled. I could see how CHAARG has changed the way I see. I could see how CHAARG has changed the way I feel.
CHAARG is not about asking girls to change who they are but rather about pushing girls to grow + learn + evolve into the greatest version of themselves possible. ++ about realizing you do not have to embark on that journey alone.
[+ how adorable are our CHAARG-ified Nike Dri-FITs — I’m obsessed, especially with the bolt on the sleeve : )]
++ with that being said, I hope you [all the girls who went on the CHAARG Retreat] ignited the passion you found on this retreat + go out + SHARE IT, SPREAD IT, LIVE IT. ++ always remember…
WE ARE STRONG
WE ARE LOVING.
WE ARE DETERMINED.
WE ARE AUTHENTIC.
WE ARE BEAUTIFUL.
WE ARE INSPIRING.
WE ARE FEARLESS.
++ TOGETHER [all 2500+ of us!], WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.
// SPECIAL SHOUT OUT // Sarah, a Kent CHAARG girl + our retreat photog — thank you for capturing these moments that we now have to remember forever <3
+ of course! Another big thanks to all of our sponsors — this retreat would not have been as delicious + special without you.
SkullCandy — KIND — Nike — Ozery Bakery — Aerie — Bandin — True Citrus — Owl Be Sweatin’ — About Time — Quest — A Loving Spoon — Market 65 — Popped! — JRJ — King Orchards — ginnybakes — NOOMA — Good Foods — Nature’s Mills — Tiesta Tea — Grey House Coffee