frequently asked questions.
What is valo looking for in youth?
We look for youth who are open to new experiences and people, inspired to connect with others and themselves, and eager to be creative and experiment in a group setting.
How do you apply?
Valo's process has three steps. First, email us and let us know you are interested in our program. Next, we will set up a time to connect with you in person to get to know you a bit, answer your questions, and explain the application requirement. Finally, after you have sent in all materials, we will be in touch within a month to let you know if and when we can place you in a group.
What is the makeup of each group?
Each group includes 8-10 youth in grades 10-12, who stay together as a cohort, guided by two adult guides. We look to balance teens from different grades, schools, and interests; we look to honor autonomy and embrace diversity. There are currently three distinct valo groups.
What is the time commitment?
Youth commit to attend weekend retreats once every month for a year. Retreats begin after school on Friday and wrap up mid-afternoon on Sunday. Valo recognizes that a youth may miss part or all of a retreat for other commitments, but the expectation is they attend most.
We hope that youth stay involved and attend retreats through their time in high school, but the minimum commitment is one year.
How do you get to and from retreats and where are they held?
Guides arrange meeting places that are convenient for your family. From there, guides drive everyone to the retreat sites.
Retreats take place in private homes that valo rents in southern and midcoast Maine.
What is the cost?
Valo is funded by an anonymous philanthropist who requests that youth and their families bear no cost to participate. Food, transportation, lodging, and activity supplies are all included. The only request is a commitment to be actively engaged in monthly retreats.