Welcome to the 2022 Team blog! To kick things off, we wanted to share a brief recap of our recent retreat weekend in Austin, TX. After a few full days of learning and planning, we left feeling more excited than ever to start this journey together and to grow into our roles as advocates in the fight against sex trafficking.
After our first hellos on Friday, we headed out to The Refuge Ranch for a tour of the grounds and to hear about their mission of rehabilitation and healing. Under a very blue Texas sky, our team soaked up every sight and story, tucking this afternoon into our memories as a reminder of who and what we are riding for.
That night, after setting up our tent (in the backyard… Only to have it collapse later in a wind advisory), we circled up around a bonfire and listened to Grace, Savannah and the Leadership Team share their PTP stories of past summers.
It was a sweet reminder of the community we are entering into—what a privilege it is to be led by this team of women, and all PTP alumni, as we join the fight for a world where people are not for sale!
Saturday morning we packed up for our second team outing of the weekend: Cycleast! With coffee in hand, we circled up to hear from bike experts Hannah and Emily. Their experience and wisdom made for detailed lessons about gears, pedals, changing flats, and more. Simply put, they set us up for success—we are lucky to have folks at Cycleast on speed dial for questions during training and beyond.
Back at the house, we settled into a routine of informational sessions led by the Leadership Team. We covered everything from fundraising, route plans, book club, hub teams, SAG duties, and team dynamic, while also having lots of fun as a team.
Sunday afternoon, Jen Newman, Executive Director at Texas, NCMEC came to share about the preventative work NCMEC is doing in the fight against trafficking. She was a resource for us to ask questions and bounce ideas off of; her openness and depth of knowledge provided a meaningful opportunity to learn and be reminded that trafficking is a big, worthy topic to devote ourselves to.
Some more reflections from the team:
- To get to know faces I have only seen in tiny corners of the screen filled me with a sense of reality - this is really happening. We are biking down the coast. And these are the people I am biking with. In my head I knew that, but it took the retreat for me to believe it. — Bella
- I loved seeing everyone’s full personality and thoughts and self on Sunday morning. — Emma
- I loved how in our fever state we all still got the tent down and everything inside (except the rain fly) and just passed out. Like no questions asked. It just happened. — Bunsri
- I love how Bella wore her bike jersey for half of the retreat. — Addison
- I loved sitting around the fire listening to all the alumni tell their favorite stories, listening to them laugh about the weirdest and best days of their ride. I loved it because I realized that one day we will have our own stories featuring all the incredible women we had only just met. — Claire
We are grateful to have been able to share a weekend together as the 2022 Team, laughing and dreaming with each other. Here’s to the start of another PTP year of learning, advocating, and growing! Thanks for being here to follow along as we fight the injustice of sex trafficking.