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All College Retreat Reflections: Different, but The Same

As I hopped off the one of many vehicles in the Winkler Bible Camp parking lot, I thought to myself, Well, here we go. Yet another thing that has been changed by this pandemic. I mean, the “Red Rock Retreat” had already changed locations and changed its mode of transportation (hence the “many vehicles” in the parking lot), so I wasn’t really surprised when I read the email about dressing for the outdoors so we could all be together at the same time. And yes, there were many, many changes, but they were not all bad. In fact, it was really refreshing to gain a new perspective on an all-college retreat.

As we lined up in four, extremely long, social-distance-style lines on the field where we played our first night game, many of us were wondering just how different this retreat would be. But as the tennis ball was tossed from one person to another, it was clear that no matter how many changes there were to the way things were normally done, nothing could change the building of community that comes with your twenty teammates cheering you on as you run down the field as fast as your I-sit-at-a-desk-all-day legs can carry you.

Though chapel also looked different with ropes set up between cohorts and family units squished together to ensure everyone would fit in one room, I did notice one thing that it allowed us to experience that we would not have experienced had it not been that way – our voices actually filled the whole room. The sound literally bounced off the walls as it travelled from one end of the room to the other, resounding in a never-ending chorus of believers united as one. And that is what this retreat is all about – uniting the student body, together with the staff and faculty, as one, bonding together in the Name of Jesus.

The annual canoe race was another obstacle for StuCo (Student Council) to try to figure out. The little island that canoes usually race around at Red Rock was nowhere to be found, and the lake at Winkler Bible Camp was just not the same size as the one we were used to. However, the added twist of both partners running up and down the hill forced each set of lungs to be gasping for just as much air as years previous – there was no need to worry about that. And in the end, the team that was predicted to win won, the wind that was forecasted to pick up picked up, and the fun that was said to be had was had.

No, the “Red Rock Retreat” was not Red Rock, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t just as spiritually uplifting, just as socially bonding, and just as joyfully encouraging. There were many firesides where life was shared, mealtimes where laughter enveloped the room, and moments where memories were made. The regular events of the all-college retreat still made their way into the weekend, they just took a few different turns in order to get there.

Visit the SBC Facebook page for more pictures of our retreat weekend.

Emma Reimer

Emma is our student blogger for 2020-2021. She is in her second of three years in the BA Christian Studies program with a focus in Worship Arts.

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