GILFORD — The Patriot Resilient Leader Institute (PRLI) and the Manchester branch of Veteran & First Responder Healthcare (VFR) have officially partnered to advance and improve the quality of life for veterans, first responders and their families.

The organizations share a goal: Assist veterans and first responders in healing, through facilitated peer-to-peer counseling and outdoor experiential learning activities.

Beginning in October, PRLI and VFR will work together to run retreats that will help veterans and first responders, and, in some cases, their spouses, children or caregivers.

The partnership’s inaugural retreat will take place Oct. 25-27 at the Gunstock Inn and Resort in Gilford and will be an “Armor Up” retreat for first responders.

It is designed to help first responders (members of law enforcement, firefighters, corrections officers and emergency medical personnel) enhance their professional performance, prioritize their physical and emotional health, and foster self-care in those around them.

It will include workshops on topics like physical and emotional wellness, behavioral health awareness, self-care practices and the engagement/support of others.

In addition to the workshops, the retreat will feature challenging sports activities like rock climbing, an introduction to scuba diving and hiking in the Lakes Region.

PRLI runs the Camp Resilience retreats for veterans in the Lakes Region that provide the veterans with facilitated peer-to-peer counseling, life skills workshops and outdoor experiential learning/sports activities.

All the retreat activities are designed to help the veterans recover their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Some retreats focus on specific issues such as post-traumatic stress, equine assisted learning, couples therapy and military sexual trauma.

Other Camp Resilience retreats are more general in nature with life skills workshops that would benefit any veteran.

Outdoor activities vary by season but include hiking, kayaking, sailing on Lake Winnipesaukee, snowshoeing and skiing.

Except for the equine assisted learning retreats, which are run in partnership with the UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Goffstown, all Camp Resilience retreats are based in Gilford in partnership with the Gunstock Inn and Resort.

VFR is a veteran owned, operated and founded company that was established to provide a safe and inviting environment in which to help veterans and first responders overcome the debilitating effects of substance abuse and mental health issues stemming from trauma and stigma.

More information on PRLI and Camp Resilience is available at More information on VFR is available at