SMASH Peer Leader Retreat
The SMASH Peer Leader Retreat for young men and male-identifying youth* will takes place every July, and young men and gender diverse youth between the ages of 13 to 17 years who live in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut are invited to apply! *Please note that youth of all gender identities are welcome at our FOXY/SMASH Retreats, and we encourage you to contact the Amanda Kanbari, Director of Programs, to discuss your individual needs if you are gender-diverse or non-binary.
There is no charge to anyone who participates in the SMASH Peer Leader Program. All expenses for participants, including travel from their home communities to Yellowknife are covered through the generous support of the Arctic Inspiration Prize and our other sponsors.
Youth at the SMASH Peer Leader Retreat will have the opportunity to learn traditional Northern games, create Northern games kits of their own, produce digital stories and participate in drum circles and several fun, outdoor, physical activities while learning about their own strengths and defining their own masculinity.
Participants receive 2 high school credits for their active participation in the Retreat, and 2 additional credits for their completion of a Community Project when they return to home communities!
All participants will spend time during the Retreat planning a small Community Project that they will deliver when they return to their home communities with help from a mentor and SMASH. The SMASH team will provide resources to assist with the planning, and will help connect the Peer Leader with supports when they return home.
Due to current border restrictions and recommendations from the GNWT and the CPHO (Chief
Public Health Officer), we are only accepting applications from youth who currently live in the
Northwest Territories. We are unable to accept applications from youth living in the Yukon or
Nunavut. We apologize for this inconvenience, and we hope to open applications to youth in
Nunavut and Yukon in 2022!
As restrictions are rapidly evolving throughout the NWT and Canada surrounding COVID-19, our
program is subject to change based on recommendations from the GNWT CPHO.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, been outside of the NWT, or in contact with someone
who has been outside the NWT in the 14 days leading up to the Retreat you MUST notify our
We are continuing to work with the CPHO to update our risk mitigation plan so we may hold the
2021 Retreats with a COVID-19 safety plan in place. If you have any questions or concerns
surrounding our Retreats please send us an email at email@example.com.
Applications for the 2021 SMASH Peer Leader Retreat are now closed. Stay tuned for our 2022 Applications!
New Peer Leaders:
If you have NOT attended a SMASH Retreat before, please download the following application form for New Peer Leaders
Returning Peer Leaders:
If you have attended a SMASH Retreat before and are interested in returning as a Peer Apprentice, please download the application form for Returning Peer Leaders
(subject to change):
- Participants arrive in Yellowknife from their home communities
- All participants and facilitators spend the night at the Yellowknife Ski Club
- Participants and facilitators leave for Blachford Lake Lodge at in the morning via float planes
- Participants arrive at Blachford, get settled, and eat lunch before doing an orientation and getting started on camp activities!
Day 3 – Day 7
- Participants take part in art projects, outdoor activities, sexual and mental health education, empowerment
exercises, and planning their Community Projects
- Participants spend the morning presenting their community project plans to the group
- After lunch, everyone packs and gets ready to leave
- Over supper, we give out our Camp Awards
- In the evening, we get onto the planes and return to Yellowknife
- All participants and facilitators go to Yellowknife Ski Club for a team sleepover
- Participants all return to their home communities. We’ll miss you!
Blachford is a premiere lodge, but some activities will be outside and everything will take place in a rustic environment. Please do NOT bring anything that you will be upset about if it gets damaged/lost!
This is a suggested packing list, but remember that all of our accommodations will be shared, and you’ll be responsible for keeping track of all of your belongings. Most of what you need (such as bedding, pillows, and towels) will be provided while at Blachford.
Please pack light! Make sure that your baggage is within the weight limit of your flights to Blachford/Yellowknife (no more than 30 pounds).
IF YOU DON’T HAVE EVERYTHING ON THE LIST, DON’T WORRY! CONTACT AMANDA – YOU CAN PROBABLY BORROW SOMETHING FROM SMASH!
Even though it will be summertime, please remember that it can get chilly at night!
- T-shirts – plus your SMASH t-shirts/hoodies if you already have them!
- Jeans/outdoor-appropriate pants (sweat pants or other comfy pants are awesome!)
- Light waterproof jacket (in case it rains)
- Sunhat/ball cap
- Swim trunks
- Sandals (optional)
- Water shoes (optional, if you want them for the lake)
- Runners or light hiking shoes
- Toiletries (eg. Shampoo/conditioner/soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, hair brush/comb, lip balm, deodorant, glasses (if needed), contacts/contact solution/case (if needed)
- Camera and battery charger (don’t worry if you don’t have one – SMASH has lots you can borrow!
- Water bottle (reusable and marked with your name!)
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Eye Mask for sleeping (optional)
- A book
- A towel for swimming (shower towels will be provided)
- Sleeping bag, pillow, and an optional small foamie for the sleepovers in Yellowknife (these will get stored in Yellowknife when we go out to Blachford – so pack them separately from the rest of your gear! If you are from a community that is very far from Yellowknife, we have some to lend out)
- Any prescription medications in their original containers (this is to be given to the Retreat First Aider on the first day for safe keeping – she will give it back to you at the end!)
- 10-15 photos of things that are meaningful to you Please email firstname.lastname@example.org these photos.
- At Blachford, you will be sharing a room with at least one other person. If you have any concerns about this, or would like to make any special requests, please contact us in advance.
- At the SMASH Peer Leader Retreat, smoking, drinking and drugs are not allowed. Please leave these items at home so they don’t get confiscated and jeopardize your chance to stay at the Retreat.
- We will make all attempts to accommodate special medical, nutritional, and personal needs. Please be honest about your needs and we will work with you as much as possible to make sure that you have the best time at the Retreat!
- During the two evenings we are spending in Yellowknife, all participants and facilitators must remain at Yellowknife Ski Club as these are team-building activities that are central to the SMASH Peer Leader Retreat. There will be no exceptions made.
- Please be honest and thorough with your health form. It allows us to prepare for all possibilities while at the Retreat.
- During our time at Blachford Lake Lodge, participants will not be able to leave for any reason outside of an emergency. If a participant must be removed from the site for disciplinary reasons, the cost of the flight charter will be forwarded on to the participant’s family.
- All successful participants in the SMASH Peer Leader Retreat will receive 2 Grade 10-level credits in the NWT school system. The Peer Leader Community Projects are worth 2 Grade 11-level credits when they’re completed!
- SMASH strongly discourages you from bringing your phone or device to the Retreat – we don’t have cell service anyway, and the limited Internet is exclusively for the use of the Blachford Lake Lodge staff. If you are concerned about your device getting lost or damaged, please leave it at home. We’ll be super busy anyway doing fun things, and many participants in previous years found that they enjoyed being free from their electronic devices during the Retreat! Don’t worry if you don’t own a camera – we have a bunch of really awesome professional cameras that you will learn how to use and are free to pick up anytime to take photos of your Retreat fun (and we’ll make sure you get to take all your photos home with you)!