Barren Heights Retreat Brings Families Together
Barren Heights Christian Retreat Center Brings Families Together
Respite is often viewed as time away from the demands of caring for a child with special needs. Barren Heights Christian Retreat Center in Scottsville, Kentucky, has found a way to make respite a family affair. The ADA compliant cabin campground and recreational facilities near Barren River Lake were built to host mini-vacation style retreats that strengthen families that have one or more child with a physical or developmental disability.
Called to Serve
Barren Heights is unique amongst organizations offering services for families with special needs children. Joe and Toni Rose, the founders, do not have a child with special needs. Why did they decide to convert their family vacation property to serve in such a specific manner?
“We saw a need and wanted to do what we could to fill it. We have tremendous respect for parents and caretakers of children with disabilities – they are often physically taxed and emotionally drained in unique ways. We felt that those families could use a weekend getaway at a facility that was designed with their specific needs in mind.”
Families Helping Families
A volunteer host couple or family is assigned to each of the three guest families spending a weekend at the retreat. Their volunteer service begins when they review their guests’ detailed registration packet. They then call to discuss the needs and goals of each family member. Equal attention is paid to the care requirements of special needs children and the social/emotional needs of typically developing siblings.
The hosts meet their families at the retreat’s Friday night ice cream social and follow them until checkout Sunday afternoon. They prepare their guests’ meals, which are provided for free. They provide child care while the parents go to men’s and women’s prayer groups or enjoy alone time. It’s not unusual for the children of the host families to serve next to their parents while upholding Barren Height’s mission of loving and encouraging families.
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