Communication, caring, cooperation and commitment. These are the four C’s that make up the main purpose of the adventure retreat.
“We wanted an entry-level retreat,” Stephanie Salinis, campus minister, said. “It is faith based, but it’s not overbearing. No matter where a student is in faith development, they will get something out of it.” The day begins early as the students meet for breakfast and then continue the day with both a low ropes and a high ropes course.
Cabrini started the adventure retreat in the fall of 2011, and since then there’s been one per semester. The retreat takes place at Black Rock Retreat, a retreat facility located in Lancaster County. Although the ropes course may seem more like an obstacle course, the overall objective is to encourage teamwork and leadership.
“It’s something adventurous and it’s a place for people to open up,” said Jennifer Persia, junior elementary and special education major and peer minister. “It attracts people who may not be that faith based.”
Students are only at the retreat for a day. However, a strong sense of support and community is formed. “My favorite part is watching people who don’t know each other get put in a group and begin to trust each other and cheer each other on,” Persia said.
The four C’s are the key ways to succeed on the course. Even though students are placed with other students they may not know that well, they need to be cooperative.
“It’s nice to see the transition and how quickly [the students] stretch and grow,” Father Carl Janicki, director of campus ministry, said. “I think they really do get to stretch and grow and challenge themselves and go one step further than they thought they could.”
The adventure retreat allows the students who participated to push themselves and try to go one step further than they may be comfortable with. And although this experience may be intimidating, an extremely strong sense of support is prevalent throughout the day.
“My favorite part would have to be encouraging someone who felt down after they could not reach their goal and watching them succeeding their goal after giving it one more shot,” Anie Jamgochian, junior English, religious studies and American studies triple major and peer minister, said. “I was so proud and so happy to know they could be proud and not walk away thinking they weren’t capable.”
“Students gain a sense of accomplishment and pride on this retreat,” Salinis said. Salinis even recalls one student who said after they went on the retreat, they “finally felt like they had friends at Cabrini.”
Communication, caring, cooperation and commitment are not only necessities for completing the retreat, but also good ways to overcome daily obstacles. “To be so vulnerable and have so much encouragement from people who were strangers has a real positive effect on the students,” Janicki said.
Because of the positive effect, many students who have been on one retreat will return for another. “The students who return want to go further and challenge themselves and achieve more,” Janicki said. “There’s always something to do different.”
Other Retreats or Immersion Trips by Campus Ministry:
- Search Retreat: TBA (will be held sometime in the Spring semester).
- Peanut Butter & Jelly: Oct. 19, Nov. 2, Dec. 7. All events will be held at 6 p.m. in the Wolfington Center
- Faith, Love, X-ploration (FLX): Oct. 16, Nov. 5, Nov. 20, Dec. 5. All events will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Library Conference Room.
- Project Appalachia in West Virginia and New Orleans immersion trip: Spring Break 2013.
- Find out more at Campus Ministry’s website.