The Powerful Women of Ascend

The 2019 Alumni Women’s Retreat was another memorable weekend. This year a group of 20 women gathered in the mountains of Sundance, Utah.

Welcome to the Women’s Retreat
Who run this world? GIRLS

We spent the weekend talking about the power of women and what it means to be a woman. What I learned during this time was that I am surrounded by some really powerful women, who are working on themselves and doing amazing things at the same time. We opened the weekend with tubing down the Provo River. While floating down, the beautiful canyon was filled with laughter and some screams. I got separated from the group at one point and waited for them to catch up. I see everyone attached to each other’s floats and helping one another navigate through the rapids around the rocks. It made my heart happy, because I know they have each other’s back.

Ladies floating down the Provo River
Provo River

Later that day, Ellie (Assistant Clinical Director at Ascend) came over to run a group with the ladies. We worked on vision journals, where we put our dreams for the next year with pictures from magazines. Also, they were challenged with the question: “Where do you get your power as a female?” Here is what one of our alumni, Kiley M. had to say:

  • My independence.
  • Doing things on my own.
  • Physical challenges and pushing myself.
  • Surrounding myself with other powerful women.
  • Supporting others.
  • Doing things I’m afraid of.
  • Being okay with being alone.
  • Standing up for myself.
  • Speaking about what I believe in.
  • Fighting for what’s important in my life and the world.
  • Finding my voice.
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Being kind to myself and my body.
  • Connecting with nature, humans, and universal energy.
  • Forgiving hurts and letting people know how much they mean to me.
  • Having faith that I’m right where I need to be.
Vision Journals
Vision Journals

After sharing our powerful attributes, we got to come face to face with most peoples biggest fear…SNAKES! Haley Bechard “promotes reptile education, awareness, and conservation.” She brought with her a Rattlesnake, Gopher snake, and a Python! The Rattlesnake stayed in its safe plexiglass box, but she definitely let us know she was there. The sound of her rattle let us know just how powerful of a women she is. The Gopher snake would let us freely hold her as the slithered around our arms. And the Python. Well the Python let us hold her tail and would constrict so tightly around our wrist. Haley handled the Pythons head, so it would lessen our chance of getting bitten. The Python was the coolest feeling and I can see why Haley was such a passion and fascination with snakes and reptiles. She taught us a lot about what to do if we come across a snake on a trail and just how amazing they are. Fun fact: the only time Haley has gotten bitten thus far is only by mammals! Haley teaches a Rattlesnake avoidance class for dogs. I have actually taken my own dogs to this course and it was amazing. She taught my dogs to stay away from Rattlesnakes when they hear or smell a Rattlesnake in their path. If you want to learn more about Haley’s company, visit her website It was such a pleasure to hear Haley speak about her own journey into the reptile world. I know I can speak for all the ladies, that her story touched all of us!

Haley Bechard:: Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance
Haley Bechard:: Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance
Gopher Snake
Python Action Shot

It was such a wonderful weekend and one that I look forward to each year. If you are an alumni interested in attending next year, please reach out to me, I would love to connect.

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