Tim Sloffer happened upon the Ranch last year while he was applying for a Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant from the Lilly Endowment, a program that began in 1987 as a way to help Indiana elementary and secondary educators renew their commitment to teaching. To give you an idea of the scope of this program, the foundation awarded 103 grants, each totaling $12,000 for 2022. And, what’s amazing about this grant is that teachers can apply to be covered for all kinds of experiences that will enhance the their understanding of themselves and the world at large: studying foreign language, natural resources, photography, chess, quilting, zoology—the list is endless. If you can write it up to show that it will expand and improve you as a person and as a teacher, it’s considered.
With zero background in yoga, but a desire to learn how to take better care of himself, Tim Googled “wellness retreats” and found the Feathered Pipe Ranch. After looking through the summer schedule, he realized that he could spend five weeks participating in five totally different workshops covering wellness from many angles—and so the grant was written and awarded.
In this conversation, we explore Tim’s upbringing in the small town of Huntertown, Indiana, the road that led him to following in his mom’s footsteps as a teacher, his journey through college as a teen parent, and the challenges and joys of raising three kids.
He reflects on his time at the Ranch, what he learned from each retreat, the growth moments that invited him out of his comfort zone and the ways that he settled into the rhythm of life as a long-termer. On Tim’s last night, we presented him with a cake and celebrated the time he spent with us on Bear Creek Road, and today we get a window into how the lessons of last summer have trickled into his everyday life.
Lilly Endowment Fund
Support the show