Frequently Asked Questions

Logistics & Registration

Registration and fee payment must be completed online and is now closed for 2023. Join our mailing list for more information about empowHER 2024.  The cost is $25 per child (plus $3.16 eventbrite processing fee). The retreat is open to girls in grades 4 through 9.

No, the format is a one-day event which is held on a Saturday

The event is held at the Breslin Student Events Center on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University. The address is 534 Birch Road, East Lansing, MI 48824.

The retreat date is Saturday, April 29, 2023. This year our format is a one-day retreat, Saturday only. Drop-off is between 8:45 – 9:30am. Please return promptly for pick-up no later than 3:15pm. Please visit our website event page for the full schedule.

NOTE: Parents/Guardians must come inside the Breslin Center for both drop-off and pick-up.

Free Parking is available in Breslin Lot 63W, Breslin Lot 126, or Ramp 7 off Harrison Road.  Parents and Participants should enter the Breslin Center at the Gilbert Pavilion doors located at the southeast corner of the Breslin Center. A map of the Breslin gate entrance is available.

At drop-off, parents/guardians MUST accompany participants inside the Gilbert Pavilion doors at the southeast corner of the building to complete check-in by turning in all three registration forms which must be fully filled out and signed. Check-in begins at inside the Hall of History and then parents will escort the participant to their group table and check in with their mentor. (Parents can depart after check in or choose to stay to watch the kick-off and keynote presentation). Parents will pick up participants at the same group table where they were dropped off in the morning. Please ensure that the group table mentor knows you are checking your child out before you leave the building.

No, parents/guardians will not stay with their child during the retreat. Parents/guardians are allowed to stay and watch the kick-off and keynote presentation at the beginning of the event, but will be invited to leave directly following this portion of the event. For the safety of all participants, we cannot allow unsupervised/unapproved adults to stay all day. If you would like to volunteer, you are welcome to do so by signing up here. You may also want to consider returning to attend our parent session from 2:00pm–3:15pm.

Yes, the retreat provides a granola bars and fruit in the morning, a full lunch, as well as snacks throughout the day. If your child has food allergies, we recommend they bring snacks that are safe for their particular allergy or dietary restriction.

If you wish to attend the optional parent session, please register for this when you are registering your child for the event, as it’s included within the child registration form. Visit our events page regarding the parent session schedule. 

To enjoy the benefit of the entire program, it is best if participants can be present for the entire day. However, if circumstances arise and your child must depart early, you must complete the Pick-Up, Drop-Off and Commuter Form and you must inform the registration volunteers at check-in as well as your child’s mentor when you check them in at their group table. If you must pick up your child unexpectedly, you must check-in at the volunteer table – a volunteer will be able to locate your child and bring them to you. You will need to show ID, which must match the parent/guardian documentation we have on file for empowHER. Your child must be signed out with their mentor prior to leaving the building. This is for the safety of your child and all empowHER participants.

In addition to the online registration process, there are three required registration forms [Medical Treatment Authorization Form; Media Release Form; Parent-Guardian Consent Form] and all forms must be fully filled out, signed and handed in during drop-off. Electronic signatures are NOT accepted. Due to University rules, a child will not be allowed to stay at the retreat if a form is missing or unsigned. The registration forms must be printed out and completed, there is not an online or electronic option for completing the forms at this time. If you child must leave the retreat early, an additional form is required called the Pick-Up, Drop-Off and Commuter Form.

NOTE: Parents/Guardians must come inside the Breslin Center for both drop-off and pick-up.

If a parent/guardian is not comfortable signing a media release, this event may not be appropriate for your child. A signed media release form is required for all participants, but stipulations can be made regarding group photos/video versus individual photos/video of your child. We have videographers and photographers taking footage throughout the retreat and it’s possible that news outlets will report on the event as well. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to avoid taking footage of one child with over 500 people moving throughout this large event.

The entire empowHER team, including all mentors and volunteers, are required to pass a criminal background check before being approved to work the event. A group of the empowHER team are trained in CPR and First Aid and will be present for the entirety of the event. An athletic trainer is also present for the entirety of the event. If you wish to review the empowHER participant handbook, it can be found here. The retreat takes place on the campus of Michigan State University and abides by the University’s rules for youth programs. You may review Michigan State University requirements for youth programs here.

Please send any necessary medical items (i.e. inhaler, EpiPen, etc..) and required personal hygiene items. If your child has severe food allergies, we recommend they bring snacks that are safe for their particular allergy or dietary restriction. Other than this, the children do not need to bring anything specific to the event. We will provide a bag, paper, pen, and other gifts. Please do not send a backpack or other large items with your child as space is limited at the group tables.

Please send your child in comfortable clothes and have them dress in layers. An empowHER t-shirt will be given to each attendee at check-in and they we request that they wear the shirt during the event. Participants may wish to wear an undershirt or long-sleeved t-shirt so they can put the t-shirt on over it upon arrival. Participants will be moving throughout the Breslin center to attend sessions in breakout rooms and coming back to join the full group for larger sessions on the main floor of the Breslin Center. Their “home base” will be their table group located on the concourse. Most participants typically wear leggings, active wear (yoga pants, sweats, sweatshirts) and other comfortable type clothes. One break-out session will be yoga, self-defense or some other type of physical activity, so please note that they will be active for this particular instruction. Your child should wear whatever makes them most comfortable.

Yes, there is a wait list located here. If the event is full and your child is still interested in trying to attend, joining the waitlist is a great idea as cancellations may open up additional spots closer to the event. We will contact the waitlist based on a first come, first serve basis meaning those who waitlisted earliest will receive the first opportunity at open spots. If you are offered a waitlist spot, please note that the email notification will come from Eventbrite.

The empowHER Retreat is not offering refunds at this time. If you must cancel after paying for the event, we will use your registration money as a donation to help support the event in future years.

Apply for an empowHER Scholarship!

We have received substantial sponsorship support this year to provide a limited number of complimentary registrations for those whom a registration fee would be a financial burden. To request a scholarship, please email

Event Schedule

The full event schedule is located here and will be updated as sessions and guest speakers are finalized.

Age appropriate sessions are set up based on your child’s school grade. The session schedules are set ahead of time so there is no need for parent/guardians to choose sessions.

Special Arrangements / Accommodations

As part of our mission, we aim to help your child gain the skills to take on challenges in their life as well as embrace their strengths and differences from other children. At the retreat, the girls have the wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with new and unique people. Our hope is that they can make new friends and see things from a new perspective. For this reason, your child may be placed in a table group with future friends rather than girls from the school that she attends. It is normal for the girls to feel a bit apprehensive at first, but rest assured that as soon as they are introduced to their table group, the mentor will make them feel welcome and safe. We have witnessed dozens of new friendships blossom at the event and are confident that your child will leave feeling grateful that they were given this opportunity to move a bit outside their comfort zone.

Yes, we can accommodate most food restrictions. Please include specifics on your child’s registration Eventbrite form. If your child has severe food allergies, we recommend they bring snacks that are safe for their particular allergy or dietary restriction. If you have questions, please email including the name of your child and the parent/guardian contact info including phone number.

Yes, we welcome all individuals who identify as girls. We are committed to being a welcoming space for all. It would be helpful if you could include specifics on your child’s registration Eventbrite form during the registration process. If you have questions or wish to discuss anything with event coordinators, please email including the name of your child and the parent/guardian contact info including phone number.

If your child has special needs due to a disability or medical concerns, include specifics on your child’s Eventbrite registration form. If you have questions or wish to discuss anything with event coordinators, please email including the name of your child and the parent/guardian contact info including phone number.

All groups must contact the empowHER committee ahead of time to arrange for registration. If you have a large group, please contact the empowHER committee at to make these accommodations.

Please note: Groups will still be required to register each girl individually on the online Eventbrite form, and each girl must have all registration forms including parent/guardian signatures on file with empowHER in order to participate.

Still have questions regarding registration or the retreat?