5 days to play their way towards confidence,
communication, and courageous creativity

What It Is

Kids in the Spotlight (KITS) is an evidence-based 5-day performing arts retreat experience that facilitates phenomenal breakthroughs for children, youth, and their families. Created and run by counselor and Developmental Psychology MA Denise Goldbeck, KITS uses the performing arts as a vehicle for awe-inspiring development.
Over the course of five unforgettable days, children and youth of all ages create and perform in a musical production. Along the way, they learn to communicate, respect themselves and others, express themselves confidently, overcome challenges, and heal from difficult experiences. By the end, each child has taken a fun, inspiring, and transformative journey.

How It Works

KITS is hosted at venues across the world, with 7 programs held each year at the Haven Institute on Gabriola Island, B.C.

Parents or guardians attend the opening session on the first evening of the program, as well as the performance on the last evening (the program ends at noon the following day). Parents or guardians care for their children outside of session times.

Older children have evening sessions; younger children generally do not. For programs on Gabriola Island, children stay at The Haven with a parent or guardian.

To register, please email

Activities that Build Confidence & Communication

The group creates a child-led culture through playing games and creating the show. Children are cast according to which roles will benefit them the most. You leaders support the performers, helping them to develop self-confidence and social skills. Fun is had by all!

KITS Kids Gain:

• Self-awareness
• Increased confidence
• Increased poise
• Greater social understanding
• Increased social interaction skills
• Leadership ability
• Enhanced family relationships
• Improved academic performance
• Increased ability to hold attention
• Sense of belonging
• Understanding of one’s own development
• Ability to participate in small and large groups

LAUNCH: Taking the next step

LAUNCH is a leadership program for youth, aged 13 to twenty-something, who help facilitate the KITS program. When your KITS kid is old enough, this could be the next step on their journey of development

Location & Schedule

The Haven

Denise Goldbeck has been leading Kids in the Spotlight at the Haven since 1987. The Haven Institute is an accredited educational training center that offers courses in personal and professional development, focusing on communication, relationships, and self-understanding.

Families may rent a cabin at the resort for the five days while the program runs. Various other services are offered to guests, such as a pool and gymnasium. Please visit for more information.

The program takes place in the Phoenix Auditorium, a spacious facility perfect for energetic and theatrical nature of the program . . .



KITS is held at the Haven in March and in July each year, as well as at different times at different venues across the world. Please stay in touch to learn when new venues and times may be available.


Upcoming Dates

JULY 10-15, 2022

JULY 16-21, 2022

JULY 23-28, 2022

JULY 30 – AUGUST 4, 2022

AUGUST 6-11, 2022




Don’t miss the opportunity to be at this special inaugural program! We’ll be tobogganing, skating, snowshoeing, and of course skiing! As a special treat, we are having a dark sky event where Starguides give a tour of the Milky Way first under a dome and then under the clear Albertan sky. Then we’ll enjoy hot chocolate and S’mores around a campfire.

Upcoming Dates

March 23 – 27, 2020

To register, please email

Montreal, Quebec

We are very excited to be coming for the first time to Montreal with the program being held  in Wesley United Church.

This program will be a day program with optional day care for children to be either dropped off early or picked up later so that working parents can enrol their children. There will be a small extra fee associated with the day care option.

Since it is our first time in Montreal we want to craft the program to suit your culture and what would be a fit for you and your families. There are some parts of the program that cannot be adjusted too much, but we want to be flexible to customize the program to your community. This program will belong to you and your families and especially to the young leaders who begin to take it over for themselves, so we want to accommodate your needs as much as possible.

Upcoming Dates

March 02 – 06, 2020

To register, please email

Haiwen, China

Our programs have been a great success in China. This year will be our second year running Launch and KITS back to back. Our leadership program is attended by approximately 40 youth ranging in age from 13 to 21. Immediately following the leadership program, the leaders apply their skills to a lively group of youngsters ranging in age from 4 to 13. We are all ensconced in a luxurious resort near Shenzhen which also features fabulous food! In typical, dauntless KITS style, the language and cultural barriers evaporate as we share, learn and grow together.

We have many talented translators, youth leaders with amazing English skills and awesome adult interns keen to learn how KITS unfolds. We are supported by the intrepid Haiwen team, ever at our beck and call. We all pull together to make the China programs outstanding and memorable!!

Upcoming Dates

August 19th – 23rd 2019

To register, please email

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Kids in the Spotlight