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    Born to be Wild Retreat Goes to the Top of the World

    October 21, 2020

    Born to be Wild is a day-long hiking retreat coordinated by campus minister Fred Mercadante in which student participants were led by a team of peers, stopping along the way to reflect, discuss and pray about how the four elements (water, wind, earth, and fire) help us find God in all things. 

    btbw2.jpgOffered twice in October in order to accommodate smaller group sizes per the Royals Safe Together Plan, the retreats saw four team leaders each deliver witness talks connecting their life experiences to their faith, while also leading small group discussions and group prayers. 

    “The Born to Be Wild Retreat was a great way for students to come together and carry out the University’s mission," said Kerri Rafter ‘21, the director of the team. "The retreat provided students an opportunity to get away from campus, meet new people and engage in conversations about life experiences and faith.” 

    btbw1.jpgBeginning at the shore of Dunmore Reservoir and then trekking through the Dunmore Pine Barrens to the “Top of the World” overlook, the retreatants were invited to recognize in their lives how the four elements symbolize different aspects of their spirituality and religious traditions: water/life, wind/inspiration, earth/humility, and fire/passion. With the aid of traditional prayers on Creation, like those from St. Francis of Assisi, the excursion cultivated a deeper awareness among participants of how God’s Spirit is hidden in plain sight all around us, manifested in all of Creation. 

    “With everything going on in the world right now – the stress and craziness of current events – the Born To Be Wild Retreat presented an opportunity to explore our world in a way that many may have forgotten how to appreciate," said retreatant Dan Coleman ’21. "The introspective trek into ourselves paired with our own walk through the wilderness gave me a much-needed escape from my day to day life, a fonder appreciation for my own spiritual health, and the joyous freedom that nature brings in a time of so much restriction.”

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