2011 Fall Retreat October 29-30
Regina Inn and Conference Centre, Regina SK
The first annual Fall Retreat held in Regina on October 29th and 30th was a great success! The weekend was filled with educational presentations, opportunities for people to expand their social networks, good food and of course lots of fun!
This year's Fall Retreat theme was 'Making Connections'. The event began with a great luncheon that provided a chance to meet other retreaters. Over 70 people attended! Dixon Mclean from the Regina ABI Outreach Team talked about Lumosity; a memory and brain building website that many find helps to increase their skills. Patti-Lynne Mcloed with the Regina Public Library Outreach Team explained how to access the Regina public libraries computer programs and how to get started using the resources the library has available to people with disabilities.
This session was followed by two simultaneous presentations. The caregiver's session was given by Allison Kotrla, the Speech and Language Pathologist on the Regina ABI Outreach Team, about 'Social Communication after a Brain Injury.' She talked about techniques to help people with language difficulties after Brain Injury. The survivor's session, 'Understanding Balance and Dizziness after a Brain Injury.' was presented by Carol Farmer, Physiotherapist with the Regina ABI Outreach Tea. She presented useful information about balance and dizziness and techniques for improving in these areas.
The rest of the afternoon on Saturday provided opportunities for making masks and individual computer stations set up for people to use, with or without assistance, to practise Lumosity or to sign up for social networking sites like facebook. Following a good supper and a lot of visiting, the group was entertained by the 'Mini Saskatchewan Express'. They were talented and very enthusiastic! After the performance it was time for the Carnival Social with games like Pop Bottle Ring Toss, Monster Head Knock Down, Plinko, The Cake Walk and many more! It was a great evening full of fun, entertainment and of course lots of laughs! We were also lucky to have 10 Cognitive Psychology Students volunteering for SBIA all day on Saturday to help make the Fall Retreat a success! Thanks for all your help!
On Sunday morning we met again for breakfast, socializing and of course coffee!! Then a surprise guest joined us! SBIA's honorary spokesperson and CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Jim Hopson came to accept the BIAC 2011 Prevention Award in recognition of the 'Save Your Melon' campaign. The award was presented by Larry Carlson, President of the Brain Injury Association of Canada. This award is presented to an individual, group or organization that supports educational and preventative programs to further advance the cause of brain injury in Canada. Jim then joined Barb Butler presenting an award to Gord Fisher who was the Regina Walk-a-thon's top pledge earner.
The group was blessed to hear an inspirational story of survival, perseverance and hope from a mother and daughter who have overcome many hurdles, Sylvia and Rebecca Coghlin. There was hardly a dry eye in the room because so many could relate to experiences they have overcome in their lives! Rebecca shared her musical talents with the audience. Their story truly touched us all! After Rebecca's story we were ready to get active with Gerry Powers and a group of volunteers from Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada. The group presented on the benefits of Tai Chi for many different populations and lead us in a variety of sets to let us get a feel for these benefits. Tai Chi seemed to be a hit and many people who participated thought they would love to join the health recovery class that happens every Tuesday afternoon in Regina!
We wrapped up the weekend with a farewell luncheon, goodbyes and many thank you's to all the survivor's, families members, caregivers, volunteers and staff that made the 1st Annual Fall Retreat in Regina a wonderful success! SBIA is looking forward to providing this opportunity every fall in Regina and every spring in Saskatoon! All in all, it was a great weekend of making connections! We learned new things, met new friends, caught up with old ones, tried new things and had some good laughs! We hope to see you again next fall!
Register for this year's Retreat