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Leaders retreat to Shaver Lake

The leadership class packed four vehicles with enough food, drink and snow gear to survive a harsh, cold winter. With chains and four-wheel drive, the groups made their way up the icy roads to Shaver Lake for the annual winter retreat, Feb. 18-20.

After many months of hard and strenuous planning for the Night of the Stars, the winter retreat is a well-needed and earned rest for the student leadership team. With the stress of winter formal behind them, all the students needed to worry about was keeping warm for the next three days.

?It was fun relaxing and just hanging with everybody,? Scott Orcutt, ?09, said. ?The snowball fight was awesome.?

Snow fell continuously for two days, only ceasing to let the sun welcome the class back down the hill. The cabin was full of music, movies, fun, and even some Olympics for Ericlee Gilmore, leadership adviser.

The class stays in Bible teacher, Scott Falk?s, family cabin during the retreat. For the past several years, the cabin has been a perfect location and is appreciated every year when the class resides there.

While the girls reserve the warmer second story for themselves, the guys resort to spend the minimal sleep hours in the freezing basement.

?It was freezing in the basement,? Brandon Cain, ?06, said. ?All the cold air would never leave, it just congregated down there while all the heat rose to upstairs. The first night we were freezing until we finally feel asleep in agony. But actually it was okay because I was sleeping next to the wall heater.?

Some of the more memorable activities for the class were the all-nighter games, snow, food and fellowship with friends.

?The best part of retreat for me was hanging out with everyone and getting to know everyone better,? Natalie McCallum, ?09, said. ?Playing Apples to Apples and sledding was really fun. I am looking forward to next year, for sure.?

Sunday afternoon was reserved as an official snow-day. Sledding races and runs could be seen all around the cabin. A favorite event was the ?Olympic bobsledding? organized with the help of fresh powder snow, toboggans and Gilmore?s stopwatch.

?The wind in my beanie and the snow in my face was exhilarating,? Brian Kaiser, ?07, said. ?The rush you get flying down the icy hill made racing a lot more fun. I didn?t win any races but it was still a lot of fun.?

The winter retreat is full of excitement and leaves lasting memories for all in leadership. It is always anticipated to and will continue to be a tradition enjoyed by the leadership members.

?The best part of retreat was sledding with Megan [Witters, ?07] and Jen [Vanden Hoek, ?06],? Aliza Ford, ?07, said. ?It was fun just being together and hanging out with everyone.?

For more information on the winter retreat, contact Gilmore at [email protected].

Brianna Stobbe also contributed to this article.

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