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Austin Scholars Host Upperclassman Retreat

Cole Cameron

On the weekend of October 15-17, 2021, members of Austin Scholars came together and embarked on a spiritual retreat.

The Austin Scholars is a Living Learning Community, or LLC, on campus dedicated to campus ministry and community service. They focus on leadership through service. I, as a junior, had the opportunity to go on an Austin Scholars retreat with fellow upperclassmen. 

The retreat was in the White Mountains, where we would reflect on our journey in life thus far. We left on Friday, October 15th to go on a 2.5 hour drive to our destination. As we got there, we had pizza and came together for reflection. We reflected on our journey and what it means for us to be present at this moment intime. We had some free time, so we got to know each other better.

The next day, we woke up early for a fun Saturday morning. The day started at 9 am, in which we had breakfast. It was delicious. On late Saturday morning, we went for a walk on a nearby trail. We reflected on where we see ourselves in the future and what we need to do to get there. When we got back, it was time for lunch. Turkey and ham sandwiches were on the menu. After that, we had free time to do whatever we wanted. I chose to go on a hike with some friends that I met that weekend. It was a long and difficult hike uphill, but with perseverance, we got through it. Getting back from the hike, we reflected on the Augustin Examen, which is a guide on how we see ourselves on our journey and our inner feelings while being at the retreat. Needless to say, it got emotional. That evening, we ate Father Ray’s famous lasagna. It was delicious. You need to eat his lasagna at least once. After that, we had mass and did a value exercise. The values exercise challenged us to prioritize certain aspects of our lives over others. After that, it was more free time where we played games and got to know each other better.

On Sunday morning, it was time to go home. After breakfast, we packed up and left Jefferson. I was able to get one last view of the beautiful New Hampshire mountainside. There are no words able to describe such beautiful scenery. The brisk air touched my skin as I just took in the autumn-colored landscape. Country Roads played on the van’s speakers. It was a beautiful, emotional, and fun trip. 

Going on these retreats helped me bond with my friends, and enabled me to make new ones as well. If you ever decide to join Austin Scholars, or if you are already a member, I recommend taking advantage of the opportunities to go on group retreats.