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CHS Junior - Student Columnist
By Stephanie Madden

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

Retreat into the Wilderness

I hope everyone had a great week, as the sun is finally coming out we can all either tan or turn red, and outdoor activities are becoming more available. Exciting events are coming up this week including Philip Armsí birthday! As well as celebration, peaceful existence is one of the goals I try to achieve.

My recent retreat experience was a good way to get away from the regular life schedule for a little while and experience something new. This time I did not have to camp, but stay in a cabin, which is a lot more protection from the outdoors than a tent. Like the paths in life we are sometimes faced with, there were lot of paths in the camp leading to different groups of cabins which I often mixed up, although I somehow did not end up lost in the woods. Good thing too, or they would have had to send a search party out to save me, and I would not last a day in the woods.

The retreat was all about finding yourself and making a connection with your faith, and Iím not sure if everyone experienced that, but we all came out of it with some kind of experience.

The most important part of the time we had was learning to sit still and silence the thoughts that are going on in my mind. I apparently have a very busy head because I had random ideas popping up all the time when we were supposed to be quietly meditating. We sang, we sat in adoration, and we had group discussions all the while keeping up with the hectic schedule that was set.

The fun part about group discussion is when there are small groups put together that donít know each other and even have different viewpoints. It becomes less about discussion and more about either arguing or keeping your mouth shut, because a brawl at a Church retreat is probably not the best way to go.

I know we all enjoyed the time periods we got in between activities to go back to our cabin and talk about outside events or sleep. Sleep is was a very important part of our experience because it kept us refreshed and ready for learning, although sometimes thatís not what the leaders would have liked us to be doing. The scenery around our camp was incredible and the best meditation time may have been sitting on a dock by the lake with some good friends and watching the fish and the water. It was especially entertaining to watch a group of people try to canoe, because at one point I did witness one of the canoes tipping over.

We only had a few days to try to soak up what we had learned at the retreat, but there was a lot of time to relax. It was almost like going to the spa, because a lot of us had the chance to do some mental cleanups in our head and think things through in the wilderness. I know I enjoyed my experience at the retreat because I did get to clear my head and put a lot of things into perspective. Sometimes thinking and meditating is more about finding peace in our lives and spending time on ourselves. After all, everyone just wants peace and quiet sometimes, and this was just the weekend to achieve it.


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   Last Update:  April 30, 2008