Our Mission

Surprise Farm Retreat Center offers educational programs in the surround of nature, organic farming, and heritage sites.

 

The experience of being in place, with creative intentional community, encourages well-being.

 

Our Mission includes learning from each other about meaning and purpose, in workshops and around the fire-pit.

 

We seek a caring and sustainable interaction between human nature and Nature, inviting Nature to heal us.

What We Do

Surprise Farm Retreat Center (SFRC) is an educational organization offering workshops, seminars, and discussion groups on the relationships between nature, culture, community, self, and well-being.

With educators from the Center, and in collaboration with others, we seek to provide meaningful and effective service to individuals and society. Programs (activities, workshops and events) provide experiential education with the following attributes:

  • The physical surround will provide entrance for philosophical ideas and meaning-making regarding our current existence in place.

  • An educational structure will provide service for people of all backgrounds and interests,

    • to explore our place in nature, discuss our backgrounds, relationship and ideas; and

    • to co-create activities, art, rituals and healing in a community of common values and experiences.

  • While offering our workshops, we will keep the idea of sustainable experience design in mind.  We strive to co-create sustainable (environmental, social and economic) experiences that have lasting positive impact on individual and social well-being (Sustainable Community Development).

SFRC Board of Directors and Officers:

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Ute Jamrozy, Ph.D.
Co-Founder

Founder and Director of SFRC, Ute Jamrozy holds a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and has over 20 years of academic experience in Sustainable Tourism and Marketing. In San Diego, she added Integrative Psychology and organic farming to her fields of interest. With SFRC, she hopes to implement sustainable experience design-- in retreats and workshops that offer lasting transformations to the individual, and positive impacts for human-environment relationships. Ute brings unbridled passion for the mission of the retreat center to our board and all she does. 

Don Eulert, Ph.D.
Co-Founder

For 40 years, Don Eulert served as a Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego—where he urged candidates to fit psychology to the history of ideas, and to global and ethical concerns.  Founder of the Center for Integrative Psychology which has participated in many projects which include obtaining a U.S. Education grant that afforded Native Americans to become mental health professionals; bringing experts in the field of psychology to present to a community of curious folks; and providing community and mentorship to graduate students pursuing their doctoral degrees. His books of poetry include haiku and translations of Romanian poetry.  His collection Ritual and Healing won a 2014 San Diego Book Award.  Now with the Retreat Center, he presents and guides workshops for integration and enactment of Self, with the help of nature.

Butterfly on a Flower
Leana Bulay
Board Member

Leana Bulay, SFRC Programs Committee, graduated from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Sciences with an emphasis in Conservation Biology. She boasts two decades with non-profits and governmental agencies in environmental conservation and education; most recently Leana is a leader at San Dieguito River Park and works in trail development and nature interpretation and education. “I grew up in the area, and the Retreat grounds hold a special place in my heart.” She helps establish workshop series, nature preserve, and interpretive materials for SFRC.

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Thad Camlin, Psy.D.
Board Member

Thaddeus Camlin, SFRC Programs Committee, works as a psychologist specializing in self-empowering treatment for addictive problems.  His clinical training emphasized integrative methodology, which led to his involvement in SFRC.  “Experiential retreats that foster connection to community and environment are an exciting opportunity to participate in.” Thad brings thoughtful, kind contemplation to his work at the retreat center.

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Ken Gill
Board Member

Ken Gill, SFRC Marketing Committee, has a diverse background. Music: 52 years as a professional musician: touring, writing, recording, and teaching. Art: Studied art at Northern Arizona University and Mesa College. VP of Clairemont Art Guild for several years. Art in various local galleries. Created a new art form using sustainable plant materials. Business: Thirty years in business, primarily electronics. Go figure.“I see in the SFRC a chance to bring nature, art, music, farming, and personal growth together in a safe, welcoming, beautiful and sustainable place with a group of dedicated and conscious people.”

Wedding Ritual
Heriberto (Beto) Escamilla Morales, Ph.D.
Board Member

Beto Escamilla, SFRC Programs Committee, conducts Clinical Psychology program development, interviewing, and focus groups. “Originally from Los Ebanos, a small ranch near Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. My grandparents and parents were farmers. I would say that by nature I am a dreamer, frequently getting lost in my imagination. But, I have been blessed with great teachers and a wife who has taught me about faith and helped me appreciate intimacy. I believe that our children are forgetting how to dream and how to plant.  I see the Retreat Center as an opportunity to share some of my experience and to pass along an appreciation for these natural human abilities.”

Dramatic Sunset over the Mountains
John Colby (JC) Eulert
Board Member

John Colby executes the office of Treasurer for the non-profit corporation. And as Vice President of SFRC Operations, J.C. designs and heads construction of Retreat Center facilities and infrastructure. With decades of inhabitation in this climate niche, he brings commitment and care to the shared experience of place.

On the Trail
Nicole M. Karst, Psy.D., LVN
Board Member

Nicole M. Karst is the President and Founder of Hiking Meditations Inc. Over the course of 17 years of working in the health and mental fields, Nicole discovered the healing potential of spending time in green spaces. Her career started as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman where her training afforded the opportunity to sleep under the stars and navigate the earth. As Nicole's career progressed into nursing and then forensic psychology she discovered that there is no such thing as separation between mind, body, biosphere, and community. When we pull these elements apart we create suffering. Nicole joined Surprise Farm Retreat Center-- with service on the Communications Committee-- to help protect the planet by helping connect people to it and to one another.

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Leslie Ziegenhorn, Ph.D.
Board Member

For over two decades since completing her doctorate, Leslie Ziegenhorn has explored contemplative and ceremonial practices through study, retreats, and travel, weaving relevant elements into her career as a Clinical Psychologist. Although much of her professional life is devoted to private practice, Leslie holds faculty positions at UCSD School of Medicine and is on the Steering Committee for the Center for Integrative Psychology. For the Surprise Farm Retreat Center she serves as the Director for Community Relations, Partnerships, and Grants. 

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Jacques Sapier, Esq.
Board Member

Jacques Sapier, attorney at law, serves on the SFRC Board for Business Operations. In practice for 40 years, former Registered Investment Advisor with U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Jacques has conducted hundreds of seminars throughout San Diego County for tax and financial planning needs. He and his partner operate Vineyard Grant James next door, committed to community enterprise.