Wonderful time at the Wine Gala

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Our crew had a great time at the Olympic Medical Center Foundation Harvest of Hope Wine Gala last Saturday…10/24/15.                                                              Proceeds from this event are dedicated to services, programs, and equipment for local cancer patients.                                                                                           It was a fun evening and I was honored to be this years guest speaker.

A great event for a great cause!


Wonderful Healing Adventure Retreat

We had such a wonderful Healing Experience at NatureBridge along beautiful Lake Crescent!

P1020112 (800x600)  Wow…our group had such a great time…check out the smiles!

Our participants were treated to amazing presentations during a  weekend of sunshine and sharing.

Special thanks to our presenters: Lynne Taylor, Heath Foxlee, Tim McNulty, Pat Mortati, Kia Armstrong, and Katheryn Cooper for bringing us stimulating presentations. Thanks also to the NatureBridge staff for being so willing to accommodate us with our needs and lead us on our outings.


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Here are a few comments from our participants:

Thank you so much… I appreciate you doing this work. It was so rejuvenating for me, it felt like a re-boot to my life. I LOVED spending the time out in nature… and getting to know and spend time with several wonderful new people!  Harmony P.

It was a wonderful weekend, a truly wonderful weekend.  What a gift you have given us, Jack.  Thank you.  I’ll never forget that canoe ride on Sunday morning.  It was magic.  And I can’t wait for next year. Beth H.

Incredible…would be my word for the weekend. Thanks for an amazing experience! Teresa T.

I enjoyed the time there with you and the other folks, and the program and activities were excellent! Jennie C.

Thanks everyone…for a truly memorable time!





Healing Adventure Retreat 2015

By Jack Ganster

Survivor’s Outdoor Experience (SOE) presents the fourth “Healing Adventure” at the Olympic NatureBridge Campus May 29-31. We would like you to be our guest for this retreat created as a Family & Friends program! Participants will include individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer and a companion of their choice.

This program will bring a small group of participants together in a remarkable setting to enjoy a weekend that will be one to remember. The retreat features fascinating presentations, indoor and outdoor activities, good food and most of all, good times and memories.

Activities include:

  • Who is a Survivor  by Jack Ganster
  • Relating to Nature…A Journal of our Experience by Tim McNulty
  • From Surviving to Thriving  by Dr. Heath Foxlee
  • Healthy cooking with Kia Armstrong of Nash’s Organic Produce
  • Mindful Breathing & Relaxation with Pat Mortati
  • Exercise is Good Medicine with Kathryn Cooper
  • Live music with Local Favorites Barry & Mick
  • Hiking and Canoeing with NatureBridge staff.

“I am pleased and honored to have such a great list of presenters for our flagship program. We have planned an informative and relaxing weekend for survivors and their loved ones. We hope this to be a meaningful experience for everyone.” Jack Ganster, Executive Director of SOE

The Healing Adventure will be held at the beautiful NatureBridge campus located on Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park. This setting allows survivors to relax in this natural location while enjoying and learning from the speakers. The retreat is designed to be a healing experience for all participants.

Survivor’s Outdoor Experience is a non-profit educational and recreational organization. This program was developed to provide cancer survivors of all ages an opportunity to learn about the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle. The program provides a curriculum of informative presentations balanced with recreational activities. The goal is to assist participants in gaining strength, hope, and a sense of the future.

For more information about this free program go to survivorsoutdoorexperience.org, or contact Jack Ganster at 360-477-1619 or jhgisjack@yahoo.com


Our 2014 Healing Adventure Retreat

The SOE 'symbolic tree'. The fire represents cancer and the still living tree is like the person still standing despite the fire.

The SOE ‘symbolic tree’. The fire represents cancer and the still living tree is like the person still standing despite the fire.

Christine Jacobson, MSW,HT,presents 'Getting well with Hypnosis'

Christine Jacobson, MSW,HT,presents ‘Getting well with Hypnosis’

Our mini 'paddle journey on Lake Crescent

Our mini ‘paddle journey’ on Lake Crescent

We had a grand time at the Survivor’s Outdoor Experience Healing Adventure Retreat! Just take a look at these photos…and you will get the idea. What a pleasure to host a great group of survivors with the help of some fantastic presenters: Heath Foxlee, Linda Klinefelter, Bill Berger, Christine Jacobson, Mary Robson and Kia Armstrong. We also want to thank Twisted Roots for their fantastic music and the staff at NatureBridge, including KC Nattinger. They did a great job of making us feel welcome.

Our Hike to Marymere Falls

Our Hike to Marymere Falls

The 'Gang" Sunday morning before our hike

The ‘Gang” Sunday morning before our hike







Healthy Cooking with Kia from Nash's Organic Produce — with Kia Armstrong.

Healthy Cooking with Kia from Nash’s Organic Produce — with Kia Armstrong.









Bonus…sunny Lake Crescent!











Such a great time!




“SOE gave us a memorable,  helpful,  and enjoyable retreat.  The combination of perfect Lake Crescent scenery,
thought-provoking speakers,  and outdoor rambles on trails and the lake added up to much more than the individual parts.
All in all,  a grand experience.”

“Thanks for all the hard work putting things together.  It always takes some time to process such an experience, but I know I will take away some valuable ideas and experiences… and my perspective will surely be altered.”

“We were talking earlier today and we both agree that there was nothing negative about the time we were there. It was all good and positive, and we thank you and your terrific group of people who helped you pull it off.”

“Wow…what a treat! Getting together to share this weekend will remain as a highlight of my cancer ‘journey’.”



My 10 Year Journey

A Survivor’s Journey

As a person who has spent the last ten years willing to share my experience about life after diagnosis, it’s still difficult to simply say “I am a cancer survivor.”  So much goes into this statement.

It’s been an incredible journey and I have seen and experienced so much during this period in my life-a period that almost seemed out of reach.

At the time, I was strong and healthy, Lance Armstrong was still a hero, and the Livestrong Foundation was just gaining traction. Since then, I’ve attended a conference at their headquarters in Austin, Texas, started my own program (Survivor’s Outdoor Experience) and have witnessed Mr. Armstrong’s meteoric fall from grace.

As much as I deplore this man’s constant flippant denials and bully-style behavior, I can totally relate with him about how rewarding it is to help others through simply surviving against the odds-the most basic form of leading by example.

This is why share my story. It goes beyond this simple idea of outlasting the disease- I felt like I would, but I still feel like it’s a temporary victory. Even though it’s been ten years and multiple MRI exams later and all the evidence suggests that I should declare victory. …Continue Reading My 10 Year Journey

Amazing Healing Adventure Retreat

Wow! What a wonderful Healing Adventure Retreat! Our spring 2013 retreat exceeded expectations…great group of participants, engaging presentations, super setting, and beautiful weather to top it off!

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Such a wonderful experience with an amazing group!








Comments from participants:



 Group Paddle on Lake Crescent

Group Paddle on Lake Crescent


“I hope you feel really good about the outcome of this past weekend–personally, it was a really beneficial& rewarding experience! The exchange of information and camaraderie was valuable, encouraging and fun…and to score such glorious weather was a cherry on top!”

That just about sums it up for me. I had a wonderful time and Monday I felt so relaxed I had one of the best days I’ve had in months.Thanks again for your wonderful organization and the special retreat.”

“This was just great. It was such a gift for all involved. I came away renewed, rejuvenated and very inspired!”

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