The Pamlico Rose Institute
Growing Community by Preserving History
820 Park Dr. Washington, NC, 27889
(805) 320-2967

Total Life Fitness Retreat

Participate in this opportunity at the Rose Haven Center of Healing!

Next Retreat:  04-06 October 2019

Reintegration for Veterans is often a road made rocky and uneven by the lasting effect on mind and body of events while serving.  Women Veterans also face a jarring transition into post-service life because of socially conflicting expectations of women as mothers and warriors, often coupled with being a single parent.  Some may struggle with the adverse influence of their prior service, often different and more debilitating than their male counterparts.  Many women Veterans reintegrate without a support network.  Building a strong foundation of wellness and promoting resilience to overcome the challenges of daily living and future uncertainty are critical to helping smooth the already difficult road of reintegration.

Total Life Fitness is a holistic approach to wellness that builds a strong foundation of living fit, helping one move through the reintegration experience.  Building resilience to adversity, life fitness encourages an individual through mind, body, spirit and healthy relationships to focus on one’s whole self.

Date: 04-06 Oct 2019

Location: Rose Haven Center of Healing

Address: 219 E. 3rd Street, Washington, NC 27889

Lodging: TBD

Yoga: Copper Canyon

Recreation Equipment: Inner Banks Outfitters

Health Screening: Vidant Beaufort Hospital

Daily Schedule

  • sunrise yoga
  • daily sessions introducing total life fitness skills to help ease reintegration
  • afternoon creative arts expression
  • preparation of two meals with a nutritionist during the retreat
  • daily outdoor activities—kayaking, gardening
  • sunset walks on waterfront
  • evening discussions



For more information on this retreat, contact:
Robert Greene Sands, PhD, CEO
Pamlico Rose

Total Life Fitness

Total Life Fitness is derived from efforts such as the Department of Defense’s Total Force Fitness and the VA’s evolving patient-driven approach to serving Veterans.  Total Life Fitness is an integrated approach to well-being through promoting physical, mental, and emotional health.  It connects mind, body, and spirit through the development of behavioral and interpersonal skills such as mindfulness, self-awareness, and social resilience.  In addition, Total Life Fitness includes meaningful and persistent attention to daily activities and events that feature healthy nutrition, exercise, meditation, and spirituality—all helping to build resilience and aid those in recovery or experiencing symptoms of trauma.  For a more in-depth presentation of Total Life Fitness and retreat, please see this linked white paper.


The Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities is offering their Total Life Fitness Retreat at their Rose Haven Center of Healing in Washington, NC which serves as the primary venue.  The retreat last for 3-4 days, beginning on a Thursday evening and ending on the Sunday afternoon.  Located in Washington’s historic district, the Center is less than a 5-minute walk to most retreat activity sites and the picturesque waterfront. 


  • receive introduction to life fitness to promote wellness and build resilience;
  • learn to choose, cook, and enjoy foods that optimize your health and well-being;
  • participate in discussions on behavioral and interpersonal skills to help manage daily life;
  • actively take part in yoga, creative arts, kayaking, and gardening;
  • engage with other women Veterans with similar struggles and life experiences;
  • complete a three-month course through an online app consisting of daily lessons that continue the development of life fitness.

Retreat Schedule

The retreat offers a daily schedule that allows introduction to the broad concepts that underlie wellness and healthy living and behavioral and interpersonal skills that are critical to achieving total life fitness, while building resilience.  The retreat also provides activities that utilize those skills and helps to develop overall life fitness.  Each day’s schedule is designed around the retreat’s purpose to inform and engage.  Most activities will occur outdoors in Washington’s historic district and along the Pamlico River.  Nature provides a therapeutic backdrop to keeping life fit.  One doesn’t need to “get away to the country” to find natural places and spaces in daily life that will benefit sustaining life fitness.  Reintegration also leans on investing in the community around you, knowing that the community, or parts of the community, will give back.  The retreat takes place within an urban setting to help frame that important aspect of reintegration.

Retreat Staff

The retreat staff has professional and applied experience in promoting wellness and resilience, several with experience working with Veterans.  The staff will work closely with participants throughout the day and week as the retreat unfolds.  Access the staff bios HERE.

Director – Robert Greene Sands, Ph.D. – anthropology, CEO, Pamlico Rose Institute, Norwich University
Nate Galbreath, Ph.D. – psychology, George Washington University
Laura Sands, M.S. – human nutrition, public health nutritionist, former Director, WIC, State of Iowa
Shannon Landrum, Ed.D. – adult and community college education, Gaston College
Danielle J. Braxton, MA, ATR-BCRegistered and Board-Certified Art Therapist, Intrepid Spirit Concussion Recovery Center at Camp Lejeune.  
Jennifer Lewis, RN – Community Health Improvement Coordinator, Vidant Beaufort Hospital
Christy Bond, MS, LMFT – Greenville Veteran Center

Who is eligible?

The Total Life Fitness retreat is free and open to women Veterans who are actively involved in reintegration to civilian life.  Personal motivation to learn about, and engage in, an integrated wellness and resilience program to ease reintegration is important.  Participants agree to continue the goals of the retreat through a facilitated three-month online app.  Although the retreat is designed to promote learning and application of life fitness skills, participants will have the opportunity to connect with a community of women Veterans undergoing a similar journey.  To register for the retreat, or for more information, please contact Robert Greene Sands, PhD and CEO of Pamlico Rose at or (805) 320-2967.


About the Rose Haven Center of Healing and Washington, NC

The Rose Haven Center of Healing promotes healing in women Veterans through a reintegration experience that includes residential living, the arts, gardening, yoga, and other activities.  Rose Haven includes a rehabilitated 1892 farmhouse as a reintegration home, its adjacent historic barn as a multipurpose support facility, and a healing landscape that includes meditation and produce gardens.  The Center will also serve the local Veteran community.  The gardens and grounds will near completion in the summer of 2019.  The house will be completed in the fall of 2019, with the residential program slated to start in early 2020.

Washington lies within the Inner Banks of North Carolina at the headwaters of the Pamlico River, 25 miles upstream from the Pamlico Sound.  Washington is a “connected community” featuring tightly-knit historic neighborhoods and a bustling Main Street district that offer a safe and public setting for a retreat that fosters reintegration.  Located directly on the scenic waterfront, downtown Washington offers fine restaurants, antique stores, art galleries, performance centers, and more.  The locale’s natural beauty and temperate climate attract wildlife and outdoor sports enthusiasts and produce elegant and dramatic sunsets. 

About Pamlico Rose

Pamlico Rose is a Washington, NC 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advances programs to help Veterans build resilience and reintegrate into communities.  More about Pamlico Rose can be found HERE.