2023 Year in Review

2023 Year in Review

In the past year, The Uplands has been privileged to host and support a diverse set of changemakers: grantmakers promoting the rights of women in the workplace, veterans, advocates for educational equity, and migrant workers. We have also been blessed to receive groups of people that care for others: grief counselors, young people working to disrupt violence, hospital residents and physicians, and caregivers of children with disabilities. The clarity, commitment and courage that our guests have displayed in the course of their work – and their retreats – continues to build The Uplands Center, which salutes the amazing groups who work in service of others and bring hope to many.

National Retreats

Worker Justice and Dignity Fund grantees: organizations aiming to protect the rights of working women. The leaders came together to inform the Fund’s future grantmaking and reaffirm a shared commitment to gender, migrant, economic, and racial justice, and an intersectional approach.

Common Defense: a grassroots organization of 350,000 veterans and military family members working to champion a truly equitable and representative democracy. Their leadership convened at The Uplands for a strategic planning retreat, reinforcing the organization’s vision, values, and goals and theory of change. 


Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss: New Jersey-based nonprofit that offers free grief support for children, young adults and families dealing with the death or life-altering illness of a parent, sibling or child. At their retreat, Imagine expert facilitators provided grief support and restorative care for 12 adults who were mourning the loss of their life partner and co-parent.


She Wins: a leadership and social action organization for girls affected by inner city violence in Newark, New Jersey. This year’s retreat at The Uplands was focused around the theme of “Leadership and Self-Care” – setting SMART goals, identifying their intentions, and defining how they will lead based on their unique skills and characteristics.


Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences residency program: residents and attending physicians engaged in a collective reflection of the past academic year and restorative practices to sustain and improve their work in the hospital system.


Newark Community Street Team: trailblazers of the award-winning model of reducing violence through building a community-centered public safety ecosystem. NCST’s team members came to Uplands with the retreat theme of being present to themselves and to each other.


Damayan: works to empower migrant workers – including trafficking survivors –  to fight for their labor, health, gender, and other human rights.  Their retreat served as the culmination of an evaluation of a leadership development program, where conclusions were shared and validated by a cross-section of the organization’s Board, staff and worker leaders.


Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services: a full-service agency supporting the social and emotional needs of Jewish families. This group brought together mothers of children with developmental disabilities for a three-day caregiver retreat.


New Jersey Children’s Foundation: an organization that invests in people, programs, and partnerships that will improve public education and equity by putting the interests of children first. Their staff returned to The Uplands Center for a changemaker retreat focused on team building, leadership transitions, and goal setting.


The Byron Fellowship: a transformational community of generative leaders co-creating a flourishing world. Over a week, seventeen young changemakers in diverse fields – from agriculture, climate justice and environmental conservation to affordable housing, and global poverty alleviation – articulated and refined their visions, developed leadership skills and fostered connections to support them in realizing their goals.


Lenox Hill Hospital: the Quality Management and Performance Improvement department. Thirteen nurses and administrators from this group of dedicated caregivers, overwhelmed with the depth of their workload, focused their retreat on renewal, relaxation, and team bonding.


Good Work Institute: a worker-directed nonprofit based in New York that cultivates and supports a diverse network of people, initiatives, and organizations fostering regenerative and just communities. As part of their work to build local economic power and democratize wealth, 18 participants gathered at Uplands to work on the development of a democratically-managed community fund for the benefit of the people of Kingston.


Clinton Hill Community Action: partners with residents to revitalize the Clinton Hill neighborhood, ensures that development is equitable and just, and advocates for what the community needs and deserves. Their retreat aimed to strengthen the organization’s culture, create a professional development plan for staff and community, and devise a coordinated communications plan and engagement strategy.

Leadership Alliance: a network of and for BIPOC executives in the nonprofit sector. Their first cohort came together at Uplands to share experiences, learn new frameworks, build skills and foster an intentional community of support for BIPOC leaders.


Community Events

In addition to national retreats, The Uplands has continued in its efforts toward fostering connections and cultivating opportunities within our local community of Delaware County.


Day retreats: The Uplands was pleased to host several staff retreats for local organizations to strategize, reflect, and bond as a team.


Women, Inc: a national organization that serves to empower women to grow and feel comfortable in the workplace. 


Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society: a chapter of the National Audubon Society aiming to protect our natural environment and connect people with nature to benefit birds and other wildlife through conservation, education, research and advocacy. 


Delaware Opportunities: offers a host of programs and services that respond to the needs of the citizens of Delaware County, New York including employment, financial assistance, youth development, and family education. 


UHS Delaware Valley Hospital: improves the health of the Delaware County community through compassionate, dedicated caregivers delivering safe, effective, patient-centered care.


The ARC of Delaware County: an organization that supports people with disabilities in living personally fulfilling lives.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council: dedicated to the prevention of alcohol and substance abuse by providing education, information, and referral services.



Walton Central School District events: 


6th, 7th, and 8th grade Advisor Days:  field trips filled with active and challenging team building activities, group hikes, yoga & mindfulness sessions, and art activities.


Crush Connects (Alternatives to Violence Program): a specialized program focused on students in need of social-emotional learning tools. Centered on the theme of “growth and resilience”, the students worked in the garden, took group walks, enjoyed outdoor yoga, and engaged in a gratitude circle.


Other Programs


Helios Care grief retreat: a day-long retreat for those who have lost loved ones, using art, movement, and nature-based experiences to address individual and collective grief.

Winter tree walk: an educational walk through the woods exploring trees in wintertime: their natural history, medicinal properties, and identification characteristics.


Radical Plant Walk: a field-to-forest immersive educational experience, acknowledging plant allies through a de-colonial and respectful lens.


Catskills Forest Association Land History Walk: a walk along the Brook trail, focused on trees, exploring signs and indications of past land use and succession.


Music on the Delaware Concert: featuring folk singer/writer Lauren Jelencovich in Uplands’ dining hall, a free concert for supporters of MOD.


Create your Future: an event led by a yoga instructor and a Holistic Management teacher, focused on gaining personal insight and clarity through mindfulness, movement, and writing.

Community Hike: a no-frills guided walk on Uplands’ Brook trail.


Awakening Dreams Circle: a contemplative and arts-based event supporting guests to awaken to the intelligence available to them within their dream world.


Garden-to-table community dinner: an educational garden tour, harvesting experience, cooking session, and group meal.


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