Retreat for cancer survivors returns


PORT ANGELES — Survivors Outdoor Experience will provide a retreat for cancer survivors in May for the first time in three years.

This year’s event will take place over a single day, May 21 at the Nature Bridge Campus at 111 Barnes Point Road on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park.

This will be the 10th healing adventure.

“We were preparing to host our 10th healing adventure in Pittsburgh in 2020 when COVID hit,” Jack Ganster, founder and director of Survivors Outdoor Experience (SOE), said in a press release.

“And we all know what happened after that.

“Of course we didn’t realize that. [COVID] would take so long to run its course,” Ganster added.

When the number of COVID-19 cases fell from previous highs in Clallam County, Ganster and SOE board members said they felt the time was right to bring the program back, this time in the region where SOE was founded.

“People are ready to move on. We’ve seen the interest and have inquiries,” Ganster said.

New for 2022 is a one-day format instead of an entire weekend.

“We decided that people would feel more comfortable right now if they weren’t sharing their living space overnight,” Ganster said.

The retreat is free, but places are limited to ten people.

To reserve space—or for more information—go to or contact Ganster at 360-477-1619 or [email protected]

SOE is an educational and recreational organization that has created programs to provide cancer survivors with the opportunity to learn about the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle.

Ganster, a mountaineer, founded the weekend after surviving brain cancer. He was diagnosed 17 years ago.

“The program offers informative presentations balanced with recreational activities to help participants build strength, confidence and a sense of the future,” Ganster said in the release.

The 10th SOE Healing Adventure will include a series of presentations: Who is a Survivor?, Sharing Our Story, Nature’s Prescription, Companion’s Story, Self-Advocacy, What Now? Forward Navigation and Healthy/Convenient Cooking.

Dr. Heath Foxlee, radiation oncologist, will present for the sixth time.

“I love helping out with this program,” Fioxlee said.

“It’s just a wonderful idea to bring people together to share their stories and learn more about how to move forward.”

The Healthy Cooking program will end with a meal.

“Food brings us together, sharing a meal is a great way to feel connected,” said Julie Jacobson, chef and presenter.

“And nature too. It’s just perfect to combine all these elements.

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