A Retreat Experience Brings Women Together to Discover Their True Selves

Article by Cheryl Parton

Photography by Esther Rohr and Danielle Lopez

Originally published in Bend Lifestyle

When Sheryl Wright approached the moment her children would leave home for college, a lifetime of confronting challenges then multiplied—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Detours had always intrigued Sheryl, who after living in Oregon since she was 12 moved to New York City after college on a detour to herself. “Dares were the ways I did the hard things,” she says. “If there was a challenge, I would dare myself to move through it.”

From her life experiences, she created Dare to Detour, a movement of women daring themselves to step out of their day-to-day experiences, release the past and “rediscover who they truly are.”  The week-long adventure retreats or daylong experiences are created for women to take time to rediscover their identities and move forward in their lives with intention. They are an opportunity to recharge and reconnect with other like-minded women, then leave the experience with a capacity to lead with strength.

Wright is based in Bozeman, Montana where she leads the Dare to Detour five- or seven-day retreat held each fall at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch in southwest Montana, adjacent to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The program is couched in a spirit of guided connection and community to help women realize their strengths, resilience, and potential. “My desire is to do more day-long experiences,” says Sheryl. A key to the Dare to Detour movement is its mission to be not only enriching but greater accessible to the program, she says. Having maintained connections in Central Oregon from her years attending Oregon State University, it was a natural fit to bring a full-day version of the retreat here.

For women in Bend, a Daylong Detour takes place at Pronghorn Resort with a curated mix of key components of the longer retreat, such as meditation, movement, self-reflection, and creative practice along with doses of adventure and nature. “The energy in Bend is so ‘high vibe,’ she says. “Women drop into the work in a unique way.” As the most recent group gathered in Pronghorn’s Chanterelle Room, their retreat day began by sharing food and introductions. Movement was led by Lynn Herbert of Soul in Motion, Bend. The group was guided into a reflective space through readings, prompts, and poetry from the duo of Sheryl and Karen Lum of Lum Consulting. The work of the morning segued into a sensory meditation walk led by Jennifer Pahl of Twist Yoga, Portland, then segued to an impromptu dance party that set the tone for creative work. Sara Fraser, candlemaker and founder of The Fraser Collection in Bend, taught the art of candle making, with each participant perfecting their own signature scent. The evening concluded with live music as the sun set across the High Desert. For Sheryl Wright and the women who dared to detour for this day, being vulnerable to change allowed each to find direction back to their true selves. DareToDetour.com, @DareToDetour

2022 Women’s Retreat: The Dolomites

June 14-16

Chalet Sotciastel

Alta Badia, Dolomites, Italy

2022 Women’s Retreat / Montana

Sept. 12-16

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch

Daylong Detour / Bend

Friday, January 20, 2023

Pronghorn Resort

Daylong Detour / Bozeman

Friday, March 3, 2023

Sage Lodge, Paradise Valley

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