2015 Chapter Retreat FAQ

Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you get ready for the retreat.  And, of course, you can always reach out to your Coaching Corps contact with any other questions you have.  On behalf of the 3,500 kids we plan to serve this fall, thanks for all you do!

Quick Links:
Retreat Agenda
Housing List


The retreat is going to be on the University of California Berkeley (CAL) campus. We’ll be meeting in the University Club, on the top floor of Memorial Stadium!


All guests will be staying in the Foothill Suites Dorms at 2700 Hearst, Berkeley CA, 94720. Check in will start at 11 am on the 7th at the Stern Hall Front Desk.


Suites will be divided by gender and you’ll be in either a 2 or 3 person room, with a fellow leader from your chapter whenever possible.

View room list here.


The retreat officially kicks off at 2 pm sharp but please come to Memorial Stadium at 1 pm to register, meet people, have a snack, toss a Frisbee, and enjoy the company.


Where you go will depend a bit on when you arrive. IF YOU GET TO CAL BEFORE 1 PM you can check into your room at the Stern Hall front desk starting at 11 am.

IF YOU ARRIVE AT CAL AT 1 OR LATER, head straight to Memorial Stadium.

IF YOU ARE DRIVING TO THE RETREAT you’ll park in the lot behind the Foothill Dorms and check in at the Stern front desk and receive a parking pass there. Please arrive at noon so you have time to check in and drop off your things.

FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT you can either take BART (our train system) or a cab/uber. A Cab ride is expensive though, around $70-90, while BART will cost you only $9.25. When taking BART, you’ll need to buy a fare card at the kiosks near the station entrance. From the airport, take either a “Richmond” or “Pittsburg/Bay Point train” (these lines appear red or yellow on the map BUT, the trains are not called by color here so keep an eye/ear out for the names above). Once on the train you’ll ride it about 50 minutes to the Downtown Berkeley stop.

FROM THE OAKLAND AIRPORT you can either BART (our train system)or cab/Uber. A cab ride will probably coast $50-$0 while BART will run you $8.50. To take BART you’ll need to take a connecter to the main train line. It’s easy and this video shows you how that works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBT49a0RYuA&index=2&list=UUXJOE7qbFm8mr_6ZywmzLkQ

Once at the Coliseum BART station take a Richmond Train (line appears orange on the map BUT trains are not called by color so listen for the Richmond Train) for about 30 minutes to the Downtown Berkeley stop.

FROM THE DOWNTOWN BERKELEY STOP it’s about a 1 mile walk to either the dorms (Stern Hall) or Memorial Stadium. Both are on google maps.


Coaching Corps will provide meals starting with dinner on Friday through lunch on Sunday EXCEPT for dinner on Saturday night (so you can explore the city with your friends). Because people are arriving at different times, for early arrivals and late departures, you’ll need money for any extra meals (for example, lunch on Friday).

You will also need money for travel to and from the airport (which will run between $8-10 each way).


Please bring a notepad, pens, and your laptop or IPad as well as your own toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc) for the dorms. For attire, this is not a formal affair and we want you to be comfortable so feel free to wear the same clothes you would wear to class or your leadership team meeting.
Please note it’s about a 1 mile walk from the BART station to the dorms/meeting space so a backpack or suitcase with good wheels is a good idea!


A great question! The most important thing you can do before the retreat is to check in with your fellow leaders. If you are the President or Director of Recruitment from your chapter, please also make sure you touch base with your staff contact.

Have your chapter’s social media login information for all profiles on hand (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Download the apps on your smartphones. If you don’t know your chapter’s social media login information, need help creating a new one for your chapter, or have any questions about social media, please email Charisse at charissec@coachingcorps.org

IF YOU HAVE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS please email Trevor at trevork@coachingcorps asap.


If you have other questions about the retreat please contact Trevor at trevork@coachingcorps.org or call (206) 300-3682.
If you get lost getting to the retreat please contact Danny (510) 461-6911.
If you have any trouble reaching either Trevor or Danny then Gabi will save you, she can be reached at (559) 448-7965.

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Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Benita Vargas-Brown, Volleyball Coach at Hampstead Hill Academy

Benita Vargas-Brown grew up in one of the poorest parts of Baltimore. She always wanted to make a difference in the city, which is why she became a social worker. That same passion eventually led her to coach and mentor kids in sports. Learn more about Benita’s journey in her own words.
How did you become a Coaching Corps coach?
I didn’t go looking for coaching, it found me. I was really stressed with my job and my final semester in undergrad, so my husband said, “You’re really not helping yourself. Why don’t you leave your job, take the semester off, and figure out what you want to do next?” So, I went to a volunteering fair, and that’s when I got to know Coaching Corps. It was destiny: They were looking for a volleyball coach, and I am qualified to coach volleyball. They said they needed a coach for Hampstead Hill Academy, which is literally just a walk away from our home. So, it was really perfect.
Can you tell us more about the challenges that the kids you coach face at school and at home?
When people hear Baltimore, crime and violence are among the usual challenges that come to mind, so it was extra important to keep the kids off the streets. I’ve had to drive some of the girls home so they don’t have to take the bus when it’s dark.
There have also been some differences among the girls. The school is located at Patterson Park, where on one side you have the million-dollar houses, and on the other you have boarded-up houses. So you wind up having kids coming from privileged and underprivileged situations. This created some interesting dynamics within the team that led to some difficult conversations, but we got through it eventually. That’s one of the benefits of team sports. We got this whole learning experience that wound up really positive at the end.
You mentioned something about “interesting team dynamics.” Can you share more about that?
This is actually one of the things I’m proudest [of] about my team. The girls take it upon themselves to address differences within the group. At one point, it became very clear during our practice that something wasn’t right. We were on this championship drive but there was obvious tension within the team. The girls came to me and gathered as a group to talk things through. The fact that they came up with that strategy on their own is really amazing. For me, it meant that we’re doing something right. After that talk, we got back together as a team. I’m so glad we did it because I know for a fact we wouldn’t have won the championship without sorting things out. Everybody makes mistakes. At the end of the day, what’s important is to be there and have each other’s backs.
What changes or improvements did you see in the girls as a result of being on the team?
The most obvious one would be the sense of maturity. To be in a position where you have a responsibility over something, to be able to practice and play, there are expectations. If you didn’t come to practice on Wednesday, you’re not going to play on Thursday: that’s the consequence for skipping practice.  Eventually it wasn’t the consequence that really drove them. It was their commitment.
All my [Coaching Corps] girls who tried out for high school sports made their teams. There are two highly-rated schools in Baltimore, Baltimore Polytechnic institute and Baltimore City College. To get into those schools is every parent’s and kid’s dream. They have great education and high graduation rates, and they don’t tolerate gang-related violence, which creates a safer environment for the kids. Fifteen of the girls from the team got in and played for Poly while 13 went to City. That makes me really happy.
Wow! If there’s one way to describe success and promoting equity, that would be it. With all these experiences, what advice would you give aspiring coaches and mentors for kids?
Show up. You have to be there. You have to be consistent. You can’t cancel on these kids. Over the course of my time, if I know something’s going to come up in my schedule, I plan for an assistant coach to take over. Kids know if you care. You can figure out everything else, there are Youtube videos for that. You just have to show up because these kids expect you to be there for them.
Afterschool Partners


Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida

City of Orlando Athletics

Afterschool Program Partners


JT Dorsey Foundation

Afterschool Program Partners

San Diego

Gompers Preparatory Academy

High Tech High

La Maestra Foundation – Center for Youth Advancement at Generations

The Monarch School

Pro Kids | The First Tee of San Diego

Soccer Kids America

YMCA of San Diego County

Afterschool Program Partners

Los Angeles

A Place Called Home


After School All Stars: Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Club of Venice

Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica

Boys and Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor

Brotherhood Crusade

City of Huntington Park Department of Parks

East Los Angeles Rising Youth Club

Equitas Academy

Girls on the Run of Los Angeles

Girls Play Los Angeles

ICES Education


L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine

Los Angeles Rec and Parks

Major League Baseball Youth Academy

Norwalk La Mirada Unified

P.F. Bresee Foundation

Sloane Stephens Foundation

Street Soccer USA: Los Angeles

Team Prime Time

Variety Boys & Girls Club

Watts Rams

YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles

Afterschool Program Partners


Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta: Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
Afterschool Program Partners


All Dorchester Sports and Leadership

Boston Centers for Youth & Families


Cambridge Community Center

East End House

Oak Square YMCA

Sole Train: Boston Runs Together