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Acadia Auto Auctions and a House in The Woods

  • December 2, 2016
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The House in the Woods Military & Family Retreat’s Mission is to create a therapeutic, recreational, and educational retreat for our nation’s U.S. armed forces and their families, using outdoor wilderness activities in Maine and natural habitats to help participants share common challenges related to their service and sacrifice in protecting our nation’s freedom and democratic ideals.

History & Background

The House in the Woods, Inc, A Military and Family Retreat received 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit business status on July 16, 2009 to provide a free educational, therapeutic, and recreational retreat in a safe and nurturing milieu to our nation’s military, veterans, and military families.  Our mission is to bring together and honor our nation’s heroes, U.S. service members who have served on active duty in defense of our American heritage—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and their families.

Utilizing the natural healing powers of Maine’s outdoor heritage, Maine Registered Master Guide Paul C. House will offer one- to five-day outdoor programs to bring together small groups of active military, veterans, and their family members to relax, share, bond, and deal with the stress, loss, grief, and other emotions which can haunt the grieving soul.  House in the Woods, Inc. shares with its participants canoeing, kayaking, hiking, hunting, fishing, nature tours, campfires, swimming, wildlife identification and spotting, and other natural eastern Maine resource “treasures” God has given our beautiful state to enjoy. Whether participants are sitting under the countless stars on a cloudless summer night or reflecting on their reflections in the glass-like stillness of a Maine pond during a 4am summer sunrise, there is a therapy in realizing one’s enduring place in eternity.

As participants face the outdoor challenges presented by Mother Nature herself, they will derive a sense of accomplishment, find through exercise a release of stress, and have the opportunity to talk and share with one another laughter, memories, sorrow, service, and pride, among many other common bonds.

The seed for House in the Woods Military and Family Retreat began almost immediately in Paul and Deanna’s hearts after being notified that their youngest son, Joel, had had been killed by a roadside bomb in Taji, Iraq while serving in Operational Iraqi Freedom on June 23, 2007.  Soon after, the House family began learning of the healing power in survivors coming together to share their grief. Soldiers and friends of their son, Joel, traveled from Ft. Hood, TX to Lee, ME to share in Joel’s funeral.

Later that day, these “brothers” shared memories at the House’s family camp on Silver Lake. They swam, kayaked, roasted marshmallows over a campfire, and were eventually even able to laugh and tell jokes despite the enormous pain in their hearts.

Surrounded by nature and “family”, battle-hardened soldiers were able to put aside the facade of emotional impenetrability to express the buried emotions of sorrow, grief, guilt, and pain.

The House family traveled to a memorial service at Ft. Hood, TX later that month, and once again found themselves coming together, sharing with military friends who were struggling with their own personal scars surrounding war. These moments brought times of tears and times of laughter.

These moments were critical steps in the long road to healing. It was through these impromptu gatherings that Paul began to envision a program which could help families and military coping with the inner demons of war and with the loss of loved ones who had served in war.

Six months later, on November 30, 2007, lightning struck twice in the small town of Lee, Maine.  Sgt. Blair Emery was killed by a roadside bomb while serving our nation in the U.S. Army.  With the community to comfort and support them through the grieving process, Bill & Quie began to heal and eventually came to realize the power of connecting with others who had experienced similar tragedies.

Together Paul & Bill began the leg work necessary to create a first-class program that would heal the sons and daughters of America who were had returned from war and needed a quiet place of rest.

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