Retreats are one of the major bonding activities our community engages in. They are a time for fun, spontaneity, long meals, walks along the beach, and deliberate consideration of issues facing the community. Lisa has gone away twice a year for almost 25 years for our weekend retreats, and she still finds them enjoyable and fresh.
We are just back from our Spring Retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan. After a year of saying "Let's watch RBG", we finally did it! Watching this documentary about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was our winding-down activity on Friday night once we arrived at the rented lake vacation home, and even Don stayed up late to see the end.
After Turkish breakfast on Saturday, Lisa and Sophia introduced us to a poem template and asked us to complete it. We had to fill in the blanks to statements like, "I am from _____( an everyday, ordinary item) and from ______(the name of a product)." When we read them to each other, we were touched by the feelings and the revelation of new information about people who we had lived with for years. How's this for puzzler: "I'm an only child, with a sister and a brother." We knew about the sister, but now there was a newly-discovered brother as well?
Ben led a serious discussion about Growing Community. What were the founding values of the community? Were they still relevant? Which ones do we need to work on again? How could they help us grow the community? How do we pass them on to new community members? We flagged Spirituality and Social Justice as two values to discuss further when we get back home.
Lunch provided an opportunity to play Two Truths and a Lie, or sometimes, Two Lies and a Truth. After lunch, we created a Vision Board from words and pictures we found in magazines that expressed our vision for community. We had the afternoon free to walk to the beach, nap, read, do homework, or hang out. Dinner was an Indian menu, then Nur played two magic games, one of which worked. She was adamant that the other game had succeeded every other time she had played it. Then it was time for Nertz, the highly-competitive card game we have been playing for about 20 years. It is a game that men perform poorly at, but Ben and Don joined in anyway. Even eleven-year-old Sophia has more chance of winning than the men. Monica won the first game; Lisa got her mojo back and won the second game.
We had time on Sunday morning for a business meeting and to hear early indications of who expected to re-up for another year, and who was still uncertain about their plans. We closed with an artistic reflection upon the retreat, our community song and our traditional group photo before packing, cleaning up, and heading back to the big city.