WATCH: Annual Campus Ministry retreat englightens students in nature

On the weekend of the Sept. 28, a group of SLU students left for a weekend of fellowship and reflection in nature. The retreat, led by the Marguerite and Pruellage campus minister, Patrick Cousins, was a rewarding experience. Two of my friends convinced me to sign up for the retreat. I decided to just take time off from the busy life of school and allow myself some alone time. The 2012 Nature Retreat took place at Saint Louis University’s Reis Biological Station in the eastern Ozarks. The clear lakes were just part of the beautiful scenery. At the station, there were nice cozy cabins and a great campfire. Instead of using the cabins, we decided to either sleep out under the stars or in tents that we had brought with us. Retreatants bonded in numerous ways while eating the delicious food cooked by Don Highberger. We sang songs around the campfire while devouring s’mores. On Saturday morning, we went canoeing. “The most breathtaking [thing] about this trip was how the nature surrounding us was so relaxing, so pure,” Cami Kasmerchak, sophomore, said. The trees were changing into magnificent autumn colors and the water in the lake was so still and clear. The guided reflections, the fresh air of nature and friends around me helped me to realize that I have been lacking in my appreciation of God’s creation. In attending college in a city, it is difficult to appreciate the nature around us. This retreat is definitely a rewarding and worthwhile experience. One becomes closer with new friends, and more importantly, becomes one with God’s creation.
Check out a video blog of the retreat: