Once upon a time I decided to apply for a student facilitator position within a brand new retreat program and it was one of the best decisions EVER! I feel so blessed to have been part of such an amazing (and successful!) retreat. Honestly, I don’t think we ever anticipated scuID to go this well. My expectations were literally blown out of the water, far above the high ropes course 😉
We started the retreat with lots of excitement and enthusiasm! You could clearly tell that the jitters were there as stereotypical introductions took place. Once we were finally loaded on the bus and on our way, my fellow facilitators and I got to work on what was evidently the most important task of the retreat: assigning code names.
Our first day entailed lots of ice breakers (the kind that are actually FUN!), talks, and small group meetings. One of the best things I heard participants say was the realization they were around people like them. My first year at Santa Clara had definitely already proven that to me, but it was really refreshing to hear that. For me, it was like a reaffirmation that I was in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. Recently, I decided to disaffiliate from my sorority. It was a very hard decision for me to make, and afterwards, I felt that I had taken steps backward in terms of my involvement. But this retreat, my fellow facilitators, and all of the participants showed me that I was taking the proper steps forward and moving in the right direction. They were a shining example of family in a dark time of discernment. Without these people, I’m not sure I could have gone on to make the right decision for myself.
Sharing personal trials was another part of the retreat that made it so special. It was unique, though, because they were trials that we all shared: fear of classes, anxiety over acceptance, worrying about adjusting. The bonds that were created by simply being Broncos were fortified by our honesty and openness. They were also fortified by s’mores, lots of laughter, and other random things, but that’s beside the point. I was truly amazed by the small yet strong community that was built among these freshmen over the days of the retreat (I mean, hoisting each other over a 12 foot wall can definitely work some magic).
I keep on telling everyone (literally anyone who asks gets an earful) how phenomenal this group was. They did more than impress us with their natural knack for leadership. For me, they were a reminder that we are all human. We all have lots of emotions, lots of fears, lots of insecurities, and lots of hopes and dreams, too. We all feel them. We are all affected by them. And we all believe in them. So what, right? We’re all human then? Didn’t we know that already? Well, yes. But going above and beyond that mutual bond is accepting the challenge of being there for one another when our humanity can be overbearing. I believe that we are all capable of it; this group especially. It was an awesome experience getting to see them all grow as individuals and as a unit over the retreat and I cannot wait to see where Fall quarter takes them! scuID 2013, you did good.
PS, about the title, “scuID” always got auto-corrected to “squid,” so we just deemed it that. 🙂