I can say that the experience really exceeded our expectations. Of course, the Camp Capers accommodations were perfect. Most individuals and couples without such a large group stayed in the hotel like rooms. Those of us with larger groups stayed in the camper’s cabins where even my eighty-year-old parents felt comfortable. The food was quite wholesome and excellent. Most importantly, the activities on Saturday really hooked us in. For the cooks, there was baking of the communion host. For the artists, there was a really cool session on Icon painting. The Icon that Zemfira and Jolie made still hangs on our walls. Of course, there was the river and all the outdoor activities in the later afternoon. Most importantly, we got to spend time and get to know all of the St. Phillip’s family in a casual and easy-going setting. We had time to sit around and really learn about all the special people who make up the congregation. Without that first Retreat, I don’t think that we would have become so comfortable so quickly at St. Phillip’s. To top it off we were there when the Core Vocations were adopted so felt very much a part of that process. In summary, the Retreat in 2015 was really central to drawing us into the church.
All year long we looked forward to the upcoming Retreat in 2016. When the day came around in the Spring, we were not disappointed. Although, we didn’t have quite as large a contingent from my family, the second year was every bit as interesting as the first. The Saturday activity included a meditation session and a creative “doodling” class which my girls found fascinating. Angelina of course had to get in the river and try her hand at the ROPES course. By now, we were secure in our church friendships so there was plenty of time to really get to know everyone even better. Both years, our only complaint about the Retreat was that it only lasted two nights. We left each year feeling like we become closer to all of the St. Phillip’s family.
It is so special to have a place nearby like Camp Capers where we can meet for such Retreats. I hope to strongly encourage all members of St. Phillip’s to come out and join us this Fall. The activities and fellowship blend together to form a very special time. As I said, the Annual Retreats have been the high points of our time at St. Phillips. We hope to see you there in September!
- The Ashley McAllen Family