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    Hikers Take a Step Back During Retreat

    October 29, 2019

    The Office of Campus Ministries’ Born to be Wild Retreat (BTBW) is a daylong hike up Mt. Tammany at the Delaware Water Gap. This retreat, designed by campus minister Fred Mercadante, is led by a team of students who stop numerous times during the trek in order to reflect with participants on different themes of faith that parallel elements of the hike. For instance, on the way up students reflect on the pun “In We God Trusts,” which invites participants to consider their role as God’s instruments in the world. 

    At the summit, students take part in Falling Upward, a challenge to students to see themselves as stewards of creation and to recognize that “performing” and “achieving” are not really what it means to be on top. The retreat concludes back the bottom by a waterfall with an invitation to understand and internalize what the Hebrew tradition means by “Shalom.”

    Grace Watko, a graduate student in the Kania School of Management, had this to say about her experience of the October 2019 BTBW retreat: “Having never been on an outdoor retreat before, I had no idea what to expect from Born to Be Wild. It ended up being such a unique experience where I was able to take a step back from the stress of schoolwork and take the time to connect with myself, my fellow retreatants, and nature. I'm so happy that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and reflect on my faith while surrounded by breathtaking views.”

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