Independent Living Retreat

A fun and safe weekend where young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can learn, experience, and achieve

Tentative 2020 Date:

Friday, July 24th, 12 Noon – Sunday July 26th, 12 Noon

Tony and I were excited for Justin to participate in the Sunshine Social Club's ILR.


We weren't sure Justin would be comfortable with the idea, since he did not enjoy his Camp experience. Thanks to Justin's friend Alex K. and his mom Nancy, who encouraged Justin and assured him he would enjoy the retreat.

Justin enjoyed all the retreat had to offer. Okay, maybe he didn't enjoy dancing in front of everyone ;).


Justin had so much fun, he immediately told us he wanted to go again the next time. Justin says he liked making new friends at the retreat.


We're trying to help Justin be more independent and believe the ILR was a huge step forward.




Angie & Tony Reid 


How many times do you get the opportunity to try living on a college campus among a small group of your contemporaries? 


This is your chance to try living in an apartment and be a roommate for a weekend.

The Independent Living Retreat is a weekend, campus based event designed to provide attendees an occasion to try out living independently in apartment style housing.  


We will provide experiences for education, exploring new hobbies, exercise, self awareness, social gatherings, and volunteering.



  • 24/7 nurse with group at all times

  • Coordinated and led by a Sunshine Board Member. The 2020 Sunshine Board member is Ryan Stewart

  • Background checked staff


  • Modern apartment style housing on Butler Campus

  • Planned community outings

  • Active schedule with a variety of learning and leisure activities


  • Provides young adults an opportunity to experience independence within a supervised setting

  • Prepares young adults who wish to begin a successful transition from high school or home setting to a more independent life


  • Ages 21 - 35 years old**

  • Primary diagnosis of a developmental disability or cognitive challenge (Downs Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, etc.)

  • Largely independent in mobility and the basic daily living skills, including toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing and eating*

  • Free of physically aggressive or threatening behaviors (hitting, kicking, biting, pinching, scratching, yelling, etc.)

  • Free of medical conditions that require RN assistance

  • Wish to begin the transition from home to a more independent life

* We provide verbal prompts and reminders, but campers must be able to manage these activities independently on a consistent basis.

**Individual outside this age range may apply and exceptions may be made on an individual basis

How to Apply ...

Download application and media release, complete and return via USPS mail to the address on the application. We do not accept faxed or e-mailed applications.

If application is accepted, you will receive communication from the Sunshine Social Club with further instructions on payment and deadlines.

Please email us with any questions:

Ryan Stewart

We're hiring! Volunteers needed too...

The Independent Retreat pays a stipend of $225 to work the weekend.

Interested? Download the volunteer application and nondisclosure agreement the return via email.





4025 East Whitestown Parkway, Lebanon, IN 46052

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