Unfortunately I have no pictures to prove that I attended said retreat, but my muscles and sense of tiredness would attest to it.
On Friday night, we all met at the church (all 17 youth and five adults), packed up and drove out to Winkler Bible Camp, which is near, you'll never guess . . . Winkler. Once there we had a session then all piled outside for some s'mores around a campfire, along with a rousing game of B-sk-ice-ball (Basketball on a very slippery ice rink - I stayed huddled around the fire with a few sane youth discussing the probabilities of two people in a room having the same birthday . . . there was other topics discussed, but that's the one I remember best, not because it was necessarily interesting but because there was some very definite numbers being tossed around.) Afterwards, we returned to warmer areas and played board games. I retired at 1:00, though some youth stayed awake until 5am.
On Saturday, I had the pleasure of waking the girls at 8:30 (water splashed on anyone not moving quick enough) for breakfast at 9. Afterwards we had a session, a retreat of silence, lunch then free time outside. During free time I helped to set up for the group game. This required walking all over the camp in very deep snow (think thigh deep), finding places to hide "food" and "water" stickers. The group game was called "survive" or something like that, and involved a lot of running and tackling people - not necessarily because we were suppose to tackle but because as you reached out to tag them they tripped in the deep snow taking you down with them. The day was a very pleasant temperature, which made it nice to be outside, though that did mean we got very wet. After the group game, we all trouped back inside, tired and wet, where we dried off and chatted, and played some more games before dinner. After dinner, we had a third session, a talent show (there are a lot of musically talented youth in this group), and then an hour of broomball to finish the evening (yes I played . . . well I participated, I'm not sure you can call shuffling after the ball as playing, though I did manage to hit the ball a couple times, never in the correct direction, but at least I didn't sit on the sidelines . . . I think my feet would have frozen inside my shoes if I had because the temperature was beginning to drop and my boots were soaking wet.) Afterwards, we sat around and chatted. I turned in at 12:30, though some of the youth stayed up until 4:30am.
On Sunday, I again was privileged to serenade the girls awake with a rousing, and slightly off-key, rendition of "Good morning to you!" We ate breakfast at 9:45 (I was starving, considering I normally eat at 7am on Sundays), had a long session, ate lunch, packed up and went home.
All in all the retreat went well. No one died, no one suffered any serious injuries (one guy attempted to stop a sled with his face and was rewarded with a pretty good snow burn), and everyone appeared to be friends at the end of it. I came home tired and maybe just a little bit grumpy (Rachel took off not too long after I got home, she said she was going dancing but . . . I'm not too sure that was the only reason). Anyway I survived the retreat and lived to tell the tale. I hope that you all had a fabulous week and am looking forward to more postings to meet the 154.5 posting challenge.