Oh, the Places We Went at the Family Forward Retreat


The Mom It Forward team just returned from Family Forward retreat in Orlando, Florida. We had a super fun week with all of the attendees and their families as we all enjoyed learning ways to strengthen families, found time to relax at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and played at the two Universal Orlando Resort theme parks.

Universal welcomes Mom It Forward

We started off the week with a kick-off event. Families were able to take super hero pictures and get excited to learn how to strengthen their family relationships.


Jyl Johnson Pattee and her husband, Troy, shared some of the highlights of the Becoming a Super Hero Family ebooks, and talked about ways families can learn to draw on their own inherit super awesomeness! We played Family Forward Bingo to get to know the other families at the retreat.

Some of Universal Orlando's characters surprised our attendees with a special photo opportunity. The Simpson's, Woody and Winnie the Woodpecker, plus Popeye and Olive Oyl were all there.


And last but not least, we attended a private party at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We received a warm welcome from the staff at Universal Orlando and drank butterbeer to our hearts' content. It was a perfect way to end to our first day at the Family Forward retreat.

harry potter

The next day we started by having a fun activity with Cricut and Duck Tape. The brands gave each of our families the opportunity to work together and get our creative juices flowing. We loved watching families cooperate and strategize to make totally creative projects. Teamwork was the core of this activity.

family forward

National Geographic Kids passed out beautiful photo books and encouraged the families to liken the characteristics of their family to animal families. We also participated in the Great Nature Project to help set a Guinness World Record. For more details, see here.


Our lunch activity was all about roles and responsibilities. Families worked together and learned to make mealtime a time to share and have fun with each other. There were discussion cards and fun place mats at each table to promote connecting around the family dinner table.


After lunch we went to Studio 33 to participate in the "Beat the Best" games. We had fun playing together as families. We were also able to see Universal Orlando's float parade and had time to enjoy the theme park for the rest of the afternoon.

Universal Games

Later that night, all the families at the retreat had the option to go to Blue Man Group. If you haven't had a chance to see the show, you have to go. It is incredible!

family forward

During the week we asked the families to participate in a Family Mission where they worked together to pass off certain tasks. If you fulfilled your family mission, you were entered to win Southwest airline tickets, a Cricut and Duck Tape prize pack, and some gift cards from Universal Orlando Resort. On Friday morning we announced the winners. Congrats to our Family Forward  Super Hero Mission contest winners: +Amber Passey +Sandra Calixto +Melissa Bielaczyc +Jill Anderson +Shell Things +Bongga Mom. You are all amazing super hero families!

Universal Orlando had one last surprise up their sleeve as we ended the retreat. Each of the families were welcomed on the red carpet by some incredible Universal friends. Our families then spent the next two days in the parks riding rides, making memories, and connecting as Super Hero families.


We want to thank all the families that attended the retreat. We had so much fun connecting with each of you and watching you bond with your family. We can't wait to hear about your trip and all the fun experiences you had.

Now that the retreat is over, we encourage you to join us every Wednesday for the Super Hero Family Google+ hangouts. Each week we will discuss one of our super hero eBooks and share ways we can continue to strengthen our families and make them SUPER!

family forward photo bomb

 What are you doing to make your family a SUPER HERO family?



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