November Spiritual Que(e)ry Retreat
December 06, 2018
Members of Spiritual Que(e)ry, a student-run club focused on the intersection between spirituality, religion, gender, and sexuality, recently embarked on an overnight retreat to Camp Adams in Mollala, Oregon. The group stayed in a small cabin nestled in the forest. Upon arriving, everyone helped set up the cabin, all while chatting and getting to know one another better. However, in a space like Camp Adams, it is impossible to stay indoors. After introductions and icebreakers, the group leaders handed out lists of questions regarding spirituality, faith, gender, and sexuality, and everyone headed outside to take advantage of the gorgeous scenery and to go for a walk wherever the path took them. They passed by places such as the whispering tree and the chapel as they mindfully discussed many of the proposed questions. It was a very meditative and peaceful walk.
When it started to get dark, everyone pitched in to make a pasta dinner, ultimately making way too much food! While eating as much as possible, many shared stories about their religious backgrounds and sexual orientations, as well as the experiences they have faced while in college, everyone finding common threads in the stories of others. After dinner then came the art project. Armed with bags full of paint, old magazines, colored paper, markers, small stones, ribbons, and so on, everyone endeavored to create something that they felt connected to or expressed their faith journey. Each art piece was unique, and everyone had a blast creating something personally meaningful.
When everyone was satisfied with their art projects, the group moved to the campfire. Yet even after putting great effort into starting a fire, the logs just wouldn’t take; ultimately, the group ended up laughing and heading back to make their s’mores in the oven in the cabin. Back in the warmth of the cabin, surrounded by friends new and old, the s’mores tasted just as delicious as they might have if made over a campfire. After playing a few games and talking the rest of the night away, everyone got tucked into their bunks and fell fast asleep.
The next morning, everyone awoke early to get a good breakfast and pack everything up. Yet there was still time for one more activity. The group huddled in a circle outside, talking about what they were grateful for, ending the retreat with hopeful and positive thoughts. Then, bestowed with mementos to remember the weekend by, the members hopped in the van, feeling much more relaxed about the week ahead. While driving away, everyone said goodbye to Camp Adams, thinking ahead to the retreat for next year.
Katie McFarlane: co-president of Spiritual Que(e)ry