January 6-8, Camp Friedenswald hosted over 70 high school students from five churches for our first of four Winter Retreats. So, how did it go? Here are five things you should know about the weekend:
1. We played hard – youth and sponsors passed their time with scavenger hunts, card games, puzzles and hurtling down the hill on tubes and sleds.
2. We learned about nonviolence as a spiritual discipline – Jonathan Brenneman, Mennonite Voluntary Service worker in Elkhart, Indiana shared many stories of resistance against violent systems, from South Africa to Palestine to North Dakota. Jonathan reminded us that we are God’s hands and feet on earth and he offered a Biblical vision of justice and peace that is anything but passive.
3. We worshiped together – We sang camp songs led by Cara Paden, prayed and read Bible stories together. Each youth group had time to discuss some very real issues related to the worship time together. Many youth listed this time spent in youth groups as one of their favorite parts of the retreat!
4. We got cold outside – And then warmed up by the fire. Throughout the weekend, we spent time in the snow. Sledding, tubing, plus our annual Winter Olympics. After every adventure outside, we came in to warm up by the fireplace in the Dining Hall. Which leads me to my final point…
5. We drank a LOT of hot chocolate – Enough said!