Mama Bear Survival

Embarking on a Firearms Journey: Inside the Rose Retreat (Part 1)

Mama Bear Survival

shop the mama bear
prepared lists

You'll also love

tell me more

I'm Emily — a resourceful mom but, if I'm being honest, a terrible prepper. It wasn't until I realized that...

Meet Emily

Rose Retreat Part 1

As I set out on a preparedness journey this year, I quickly realized personal protection and firearms had to be at the forefront.

Even though it was completely new to me, the growing unease about the direction of the world made it feel urgent.

I knew I needed to learn, but had no clue where to start.

Do I just find a class at a local range? What should I know before I go? Will a newbie like me be welcomed or judged? Will I be the only woman? So many questions!

This is part 1 in a 3-part series. Be sure to checkout part 2 and part 3 as well as this podcast episode for more on my beginner experiences & takeaways from the Rose Retreat.*

I spent weeks scrolling, searching, and reaching out to my friends who were a few steps ahead. Nothing resonated.

Then one day, a childhood friend sent me a picture of a gun she thought I might like on Instagram.

And it instantly struck me. I thought, “Wow, this one is different… it’s beautiful.

So, a few clicks later and next thing you know, I’m binge-watching gun videos on YouTube in my kitchen, using my hands to practice grip and handling between stirring the pasta and getting dinner on the table.

Youtube training videos from Rose by SIG SAUER

The video host was 9-time world champion shooter Lena Miculek, who has a real knack for breaking down firearms topics, making them approachable, encouraging and fun. 

Together with SIG SAUER, she created the Rose program to inspire women to take on the responsibility of their own personal safety through education, training, and community.

After watching all of those training videos, I connected with the team at Rose & SIG SAUER to share my excitement for what they’re doing–finally, a gun company that gets women and moms like me! I shared my plans with the Mama Bear Survival book and podcast and was thrilled when they jumped on board to support it as the firearms sponsor!

Within months, I went from never having handled a gun before, to flying down to Florida to begin my firearms journey at the third ever Rose Retreat by SIG SAUER.

To say I was a bit nervous to travel away from home for the first time in years to spend 3 days with 30+ strangers at a gun retreat would be an understatement.

Fortunately, my appetite for adventure and growth overrides my logic, and before I knew it, I was checking into the luxurious resort, The Boca Raton.


Rose Retreat Location: The Boca Raton

I already knew the Rose Retreats were special from seeing the previous events online, but I was still in awe at experiencing it all first hand.

One of the many beautiful settings for dinner & celebration at the Rose Retreat.

The Rose events team is truly top-notch—they think of everything!

Not a single detail is overlooked.

From check-in to meals, training sessions, and parties, everything is sprinkled with ‘Rose magic’ and infused with beautiful details—the decor, custom lighting, signature drinks, photo-worthy meals, and scenic views.

People would walk by our events or sessions with their jaws dropped open, never expecting it was a “gun event.” The ladies on the team curate an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience.

The Schedule & Details

The schedule was jam-packed, starting early in the morning, which was fine with me. I’m used to waking up early and I wanted to cram in as much learning and experience as possible. There was also plenty of scheduled downtime for socializing and relaxation. It felt like a mini vacation + growth conference combined, perfect for moms like me that need to make the most of time away from home!

After check-in and getting a Rose beach bag full of swag and vacation essentials–like I said, they think of everything!–it was off to the welcome party.

Retreat check-in, thoughtful swag & resort essentials, a packed + intentional schedule

Retreat Kick-Off Party

Night one dinner was at The Flamingo Grille where all the attendees were meeting for the first time.

I met women from all corners of the country, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico– ages ranging from the twenties to the eighties! We were all in it together for the next three days. Some, like me, were new to firearms, while others had been shooting for decades.

Fun at the welcome party. Each night is an opportunity to dress up, let loose & connect with other attendees.

I met two women, Cathy and Ashley, who were back for their second retreat. I asked them what made them want to come to another one.

“When I came home after the Chicago retreat, I was a different person,” Ashley shared.

Cathy and Ashley– Rose Retreat alumni

“I had more confidence and gained so much. When this retreat opened, my husband insisted–you’re going!”

“The energy was just electric,” Cathy added. “I wanted to be back with women like that, connecting and learning… there’s nothing like it.”

The great conversation continued over signature craft cocktails like the Raspberry Rose Martini & SIGster Social, followed by an incredible dinner.


The highlight of the night was Lena’s pep talk that set the tone for the whole experience.

“Facing fears and discomforts has opened up my life astronomically,” Lena shared.

“I truly believe fear is a liar and a thief of life–and if you listen to it, it will take it from you.

“So, you just have to do it scared,” she said.

“And once you do it scared, you’ll take another step in another realm of your life, and you’re a little less scared. And that is how Rose came about,” says Lena.

Firearms is my skill set and my knowledge, so if I share it with someone and they face the discomfort and they can feel strong and capable, then they can take that and it impacts all aspects of their life.”

Head over to my day two recap, where we traveled to the range for a day of hands-on sessions in shooting, gun maintenance and cleaning, stop the bleed, and a big surprise!

And be on the lookout for my in-depth review of the Rose handgun & a look at what’s included – a full review & walk through video to come!