Winter Family Retreat 2019

Winter Family Retreat is an opportunity to make connections with other members and friends from First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto and Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Enjoy longer conversations, lots of free play time for kids and parents, in a beautiful and catered setting at YMCA Cedar Glen.


Registration Extended to December 14th!

Friday January 18 – Sunday January 20, 2019

Register using Eventbrite at

Please register before November 30th, 2018. Neighbourhood Unitarian Congregation of Toronto Registration starts December 1st.


The schedule below is tentative and subject to change.

WFR Jan 18 - 20.pdf

Location: YMCA Cedar Glen

YMCA Cedar Glen FAQs

Accommodation at YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre in Schomberg

  • Each bedroom sleeps 3 or 4 (1 bunk bed and 1 single bed, or 2 bunk beds) and includes sheets, pillows, blankets and towels
  • Families of more than 4 will be assigned to neighbouring rooms
  • Each room has a small closet and private, three piece washroom

YMCA Activities

  1. Map Orienteering
  2. Archery
  3. Shelter building
  4. Art in Nature
  5. The Maze
  6. Snowshoeing
  7. Low or High ropes (Grades 3 and up only)

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is joining us again this year at First Unitarian Family Winter Retreat 2019! Woo hoo!

Alyson Schafer is a family counsellor, author and internationally acclaimed parenting expert who empowers families by sharing her principles, rules and tools for raising happy and healthy kids. Parents can count on help from Alyson whether they are simply looking for a bite size tip to see them through a melt down or delve further to transform their family life. Her style is fast, witty, warm and encouraging. Alyson delivers her deep insights in ways that today’s busy parents can easily understand and apply immediately.

Kit List

Please read the YMCA Cedar Glen Packing List. The YMCA do provide linen and towels. You may want to bring:

  • Board & Card games of any kind! (in case of bad weather)
  • Crafts adults and kids (knitting!)
  • Books
  • Hockey sticks for the traditional road hockey game.
  • Toboggans (and the mandatory helmets) are provided as are snowshoes.
  • Don’t forget slippers or shoes for all indoor areas.
  • Extra socks, mitts, scarves, hats are great in case you get wet.
  • Bring your own soap and toiletries.
  • Talent for Talent Show
  • Adults may (and will) consume alcoholic beverages in designated areas. We will have a liquor licence, and after the kiddies go to bed often the adults will gather around chatting and sharing a glass. No alcohol is available for sale at the Y. BYOB, BYOG(lass)
  • People who live for an excellent cup of coffee might be disappointed. If a good cup of Joe is important to you, BYOC(offee).
  • Please leave toys with addictive electronic screens at home, so our kids can spend time being with each other.

Talent Show

We have an incredible all ages talent show in which no skill is too small to show off to friends. Songs sung in multiple keys simultaneously, strings of Knock Knock jokes, advanced math theorems, slam poetry, ridiculous cuteness, earnest kazoo playing or any other budding talent welcomed, encouraged and adored!

Be sure to fill out the Talent Show Sign-up form.

Dance Party

Please email Andrew your family’s top 10 all-time chart-popping, booty-moving, sing-alonging picks by as soon as possible or collaborate on our Spotify Playlist.

From Raffi to New Order to Lorde -- we want it all! Let’s dance out some of that first night excitement! The dance will end at 9:30 for those who need a hard stop to help with bedtime. Boots-and-cats-and-boots-and-cats-and...


We will be reviewing your carpooling requests and work to match you up with another family.

If you need to carpool with someone and did not indicate previously, please contact Dawn or Andrew.

Dietary restrictions

The YMCA is able to accommodate dietary restrictions or anaphylactic allergies: you likely indicated these preferences on the Eventbrite sign up form.

If you did not indicate any restrictions, please contact Dawn ASAP if your family has a dietary restriction that the cooks should be aware of. Unless it’s just that you don’t like Brussels sprouts. That’s a given.


This is a team event and we appreciate all the volunteers for events.

We've put down some assignments based on the Eventbrite invitations. If you would like to suggest improvements to the Volunteer assignments, please suggest them to Dawn or Andrew.

You might need to use the Google groups function, email or call your fellow organizers ahead of retreat to co-ordinate.

New Family Mentor

If you're new to Winter Family Retreat, it's always good to have a family you can connect with.


Welcome Team & Name Tags


In Gathering




Ages 5 and Under Activity


Ages 6 + Activity


Dance Party


Talent Show


Sunday Service


Road Hockey