Kahuku, HI- Have you ever spent three days and two nights at a five star rated hotel with three gourmet buffet meals per day free of charge? One-hour of free snorkeling equipment rental per day? Free tennis equipment rental and use of tennis courts? Free Whale watching from pristine beaches? Surfing? Watched Daily turtle migrations and feedings? Received a massage by the oceanfront with the waves crashing on the beach nearby? Watched beautiful sunrises and sunsets from poolside and ocean front balconies? For many a deal like this is just a dream except for twenty couples from "Team Signal."
The demographics of the couples consisted of a wide range of ranks from CW3 to PFC with varying lengths of marriage from a few months to over thirty years. These twenty couples recently participated in a Strong Bonds Marriage retreat held on the world famous North Shore at the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii. The retreat started with registration and the first of many gourmet meals to be had. After lunch the couples sat through their first session of the retreat on "Communication ." This session was taught by the 311th Signal Command Chaplain , Chaplain (COL) Powers. After the first session on communication the couples received their room packets and were able to check in to their first class accommodations. Many of the couples could not wait to "get back" to their rooms to retire for the evening.
The first day of the retreat culminated with a five star gourmet dinner that consisted of crispy salad, pasta salad, freshly baked rolls, sliced sirloin beef, roasted prime rib, chicken testa rossa, char grilled ahi , broccoli polonaise, asparagus, rice and a desert bar full of all different kinds of sweets. After dinner the couples were on their own to explore the resort and to make plans for the following afternoons activity. The next day started with a delicious buffet breakfast that consisted of fresh fruit, juices, hot-waffles, bacon, omelets made to order, pastries, cereal, rice, coffee, and much more.
The morning session was taught by CH (COL) Hill from the 94th AAMDC. He showed a clip from a video cassette recorder that had it been contracted by the resort it would have cost more per day than the cost to purchase a brand new VCR. The morning session was followed by lunch and a free afternoon of leisure. Many couples took advantage of all of the amenities of such a great property. Some couples explored the world famous North Shore with trips to the nearby shrimp trucks, Polynesian cultural center, Pipeline, and Sharks Cove. Every retreat there are always those couples that cannot stand to be away from their children so they go home and pick them up or are constantly on the phone checking on them. The evenings meal consisted of a traditional Hawaiian meal that you would find at a Luau. It was delicious.
The next morning started with another breakfast before the couples sat through their last session on "How to Have a Fair Fight." CH Powers taught this session. He really does a great job of captivating his audience by including a lot of great stories from his experiences of conducting relationship counseling. The retreat wrapped up with an AAR that provided the support staff with recommendations of how to make the Strong Bonds Retreats better. The support staff consisted of SFC Jenkins and PFC Hammersley from the 311th Signal Command and SSG McGarvey from the 516th Signal Brigade.