sun shining through tall grasses
  • GilChrist Retreat Center
  • Retreat
  • Southwest Michigan
  • Spiritual Formation

A one-day retreat with Kristen Counts, Certified MBSR-T Instructor


Teens will experience a relaxing and enjoyable day at Gilchrist led by Kristen, who will listen well to the stresses that they face. We will reflect together on how we each experience stress- in body and mind.


Kristen will lead teens in guided meditations, breathwork, and mindfulness-based activities. We will notice and discuss the effects of mindfulness practices on the mind, body, and breath. At the end of this day, your teen will walk away simply feeling better. More importantly, your teen will acquire many tools to use throughout their days to calm down their nervous systems and decrease perceived stress levels. A list of resources (including free guided meditation apps) will be provided.


We will be enjoying Gilchrist’s WindHill gathering space and also outdoor gathering spaces (weather permitting). Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Please bring your own lunch. Water and plenty of snacks will be provided. Cell phones will be turned off except for during the lunch break.


Kristen is LGBTQ+ Safe Zone trained and trauma-informed. An open and affirming experience will be provided. All are welcome!


About the Facilitator


Kristen Counts (she/her/hers) is an expert in leading guided meditation, breathwork, and other mindfulness practices. She completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training through the Center for Mindfulness at The University of Massachusetts Memorial Health, one of the nation’s top research centers in mindfulness. At that point in her career, Kristen began to establish her own mindfulness-based practices.


As a certified instructor in MBSR for Teens (MBSR-T), she has focused her work in self-regulation for children and adolescents. She was a mindfulness and meditation leader and instructor to faculty and students at Culver Academies (a boarding high school) in Culver, Indiana for four years. Last summer was Kristen’s third year of leading guided meditation for Culver Summer Schools and Camps (9-17 year olds). She has also led meditation groups for teens and adults at her local public library and a pediatrician’s office. Kristen has most recently begun to lead Artful Meditation which are held in small galleries in the Plymouth, Indiana area.


Students of Kristen have reported improvements in their sleep and their ability to manage daily stress. Some have also reported improvement in relationships and academic/athletic performance.


A testimony from Dr. Noemi Adame (board certified pediatrician, holistic wellness expert, and owner of Culver Pediatrics Center):

“In the Spring of 2023, I hired Kristen Counts to lead a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) workshop at my clinic. She specifically led a guided meditation and breathwork exercise for a group of community members. I hired her based on my knowledge of Kristen’s MBSR for teens certification from a reputable center and I was already familiar with her work through meditative free writing classes that I took from her at our local library. She was also my children’s MBSR leader, and they spoke highly of her work.”

Retreat Schedule

The retreat will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 27.

Registration Details

To register for the retreat, email Kristen or call her at (574) 933-1161.

Please register early, as the group size will not exceed twelve participants. Early Bird registration is $125. After May 1, registration for the retreat is $150. If needed, please inquire about options for financial accessibility.

A parent or guardian will also need to sign a consent form.


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.


GilChrist Retreat Center

Three Rivers , MI 56265 Day Rd