Parent’s and Family Weekend at the Manor of Hope

By Friday morning the feeling of excitement was palpable. The guys were put their final touches on event preparation including organizing the game room, setting up the field day activities and getting their common spaces in order. Once the tent was pitched it was time to relax and look with pride on all their efforts. Residents talked enthusiastically about the parents and siblings who were set to arrive and share in all of their progress. For some, it would be a reunion years in the making.

The weather was perfect as the first cars pulled up. There were many smiles, hugs and introductions. At 3:00 the group gathered for a talk with Patti Anne McAndrews, founder of Adolescent Advocates. It was a opportunity for families to understand the hard work their sons had been doing each week in outpatient treatment. After the talk residents took their loved ones on a tour the manor and the grounds. The guys were able to showcase their efforts the new horseshoe pits and fire ring, the renovations in game room and the enhancements made to their common living spaces. After the tour was off to Peppers in King of Prussia for an epic family meal. The group filled the restaurant’s private room and dined on Italian favorites. Afterward, everyone travelled back to the Manor for s’mores and stories around a blazing bonfire.

Saturday morning gave families a chance to tour the residents’ places of work. Triston showed off 1st Avenue Woodworking in Royersford while Parker’s parents explored Artisan Bookcases. Max led a group to Half Hill Farm where they met the horses, chickens and famous farm dog Gunnie. The tiered, organic garden the guys had worked so hard to build and maintain was in full bloom.

By noon the barbecue back at the Manor was on. The passing showers didn’t dampen the fun as the group competed in ping pong, ladderball, horseshoes and many other classic backyard past times. Chef Paul kept everyone delighted with his expertly smoked meats and delicious sides. Partners and friends of the Manor stopped by to celebrate the community. There was plenty of time throughout the day for families to reconnect and for new relationships to be built. As evening approached everyone prepared to take on the escape rooms of Expedition Escape in King of Prussia. Split between the facility’s two most challenging rooms, the groups used teamwork and ingenuity to solve the many puzzles put before them. Both teams made it out before the buzzer. There was much laughter and celebration as the groups spilled out into the lobby. After goodbyes and goodnights everyone headed back to rest.

On Sunday each family had the choice of kayaking or attending church service. The river crew, guided by Manor of Hope partner Kevin, completed the famous canal loop. They shared good conversation and observed the turtles, birds and foliage that fill the region. Those who attended church enjoyed a nice reflection on the journey that brought them there that morning.

After the morning activities all met up at Nook & Krannies Kafe in Phoenixville for a father’s day brunch. Conversation flowed over delicious eggs and pancakes. After a group portrait it was time for long hugs and goodbyes. As each family drove away it was clear that the weekend had been one filled with love and hope. The residents reminisced positively and with pride about all they had experienced with their families. They then headed to get a work out in; an effort to balance all the bountiful and delicious food that had been enjoyed.