West Region Play Day!

Friday, October 7, 2022
to Saturday, October 8, 2022
Category: Regional Conferences & Events

Western Region Association of Experiential Education presents...

Professional Development and Play Day


Dates: October 7 and 8

Location: Roaring Camp in Felton, CA and Henry Cowell State Park in the Redwoods

Price: $25 per day* or $50 for 2 days **

*registration includes access and parking fees for each day and site related fees to support the program’s success. 

**scholarships are available for all participants in need. Please email our contact email below if you are in need of additional support to join this amazing program! 

The last few years have been one wild ride and now it’s time for some R and R: Restoration and Reconnection! We have missed each and every one of your beautiful faces and are looking forward to seeing you all in person at the majestic Roaring Camp venue.

We will gather for fun, learning, playing in nature and growing our resilience muscles! We have two fantastic days of programming. Friday includes two workshops for professional development in the morning and afternoon. The first offering will be led by one of the most engaging and fun facilitators around, Jen O’Brien Rojo. Our second workshop is hosted by UCSC students and game changing staff leaders, Francis Ge & Tim Galarneau. 

Saturday will be a day of fun and friends in the beautiful redwoods of Henry Cowell Park. We will get a tour of the redwoods with a local ranger and convene participant led skill shares and offerings to reconnect and deepen our community while immersed in the outdoor classroom of the state park!

Friday includes two workshops for professional development, hosted by one of the most engaging and fun facilitators around, Jen O’Brien Rojo. Our second workshop is hosted by UCSC students and game changing leaders Francis Ge & Tim Galarneau.


  • Arrival and parking ~8:30-9am 

  • Opening circle and check-in: 9am-10am

  • Workshop 1: (see details below) 10am-noon

  • Lunch: noon-1pm

  • Workshop 2: (see details below) 1:00-3:00pm

  • Closing day circle: 3:00-4:00pm

  • Optional Evening & Dinner at the beach ~5:30-8:00pm (optional evening swim and beach adventure for folx interested at Twin Lakes beach)

Saturday will be a day of fun and friends in the beautiful redwoods of Henry Cowell Park. We will get a tour of the redwoods with a local ranger and will play, explore and reconnect!


  • Arrival and opening circle 9am

  • Guided Nature Walk 10am-noon (Saturday)

  • WRAEE sponsored lunch / picnic (12-1:15 pm)

  • Activity/Teaching Exchange and Share: 1:15-2:45pm (informal open space style design)--share your own breakout and teach a favorite experiential activity or lesson with attendees. 

  • Closing circle (3pm)

Other activities and items to note: 

Bring your own food or purchase at Roaring Camp (Friday or Saturday)

Workshop 1: “Creating Resilient Youth-What Every Teen Needs to Thrive” 

  • Date: Friday, October 7, 2022

  • Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

  • Presenter(s): Jen O'Brien-Rojo, California Institute for Invincible Youth

  • Bio: Jen O'Brien-Rojo, founder of the California Institute for Invincible Youth, coaching teens, families and communities to ensure they have a web of support that protects and launches teens into their greatness. She has worked with teens, families, schools and communities for over 20 years. As a Youth Advocate, Youth Development Director and Executive Director of a nonprofit agency on Santa Cruz, CA, she has worked with teens who are survivors of domestic violence, victims of violence, teen parents, in the foster care system and teens who simply want more out of life! She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Community Prevention Partnership, and the Steering committee of the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force. She is a trainer for Brightways Learning, a practitioner coach for Leadership for Community Transformation and is trained in Strengths Finder.

  • Description: In this fun and interactive workshop, participants will learn, discuss and play through the 7 factors of Integrative Youth Development to gain tools to intentionally promote youth thriving by developing the personal and community capacity to create and sustain thick and vibrant webs of support for all youth that protect them from harm and launch them into their greatness.

Workshop 2:  "Cultivating Belonging, Healing, and Transformation: Weaving Story, Seeds, and Experiential Education" 

  • Date: Friday, October 7, 2022

  • Time: 1:00-3:00pm

  • Presenters: UCSC Center for Agroecology Staff (Francis Ge & Tim Galarneau–staff bios here) and incredible Student Leaders!

  • Description: The mission of the Center is to advance agroecology and equitable food systems through experiential education, participatory research, agricultural extension, and public service. The food system intersects with all of us...from growing, accessing, cooking, and sharing. This workshop will feature activities and dimensions of how students and staff build a transformative experiential agenda in the work that brings us together through a healing and justice centered approach to our food system. From seed dumpling making and sowing deeper visions in the rows of possibilities to heating up seasonality and diverse cultural foodways that weave into our intersectional identities--YOU are invited to table for this incredible afternoon workshop! 

Saturday 10am-noon adventure in Henry Cowell Redwoods:

Naturalist Bio Dylan McManus has been with CA State Parks for nearly 5 years. He began his career in the Sierra District (Lake Tahoe) and thereafter transferred to Santa Cruz District, where he is based at Henry Cowell Redwoods. Although he speaks to the public about redwood ecology every day, he is also an excitable bird watcher, and passionate reptile/amphibian enthusiast. You can find Dylan hiking on the trails in the park with a camera in hand and pencil behind his ear.

For more information:
PHONE: Kym @ 831.234.2046