Our middle school, confirmation, and high school weekend retreats provide time away from the predictable rhythms of daily life and its stresses as the youth relax into the slower pace of retreat life. During this time, the youth deepen their relationship with themselves, with each other, and with their faith through meaningful and spirit-filled play, discussions, and Christian practices such as asking for and offering forgiveness to one another (which always seems to become necessary when you spend a few days together!).
The retreats are a highlight for many youth group members. They describe the retreat centers we visit as follows:
The Craigville retreat center is on Cape Cod. Our Confirmation class and our high school youth group retreat here once a year to spend a fun and meaningful weekend together. At Craigville we are very active. We usually stay in one large house with a spacious living area for our in-depth reflections. All our meals are prepared by the retreat center, so we walk to the dining hall often. The food is always great and recently they installed an “all you can eat” soft serve ice cream machine. Our house is a quick walk from the beach, and no matter the weather, we always find time to play by the water. There are usually a couple brave souls who go swimming, even during the fall and winter months. Craigville is one of the places where we become closer to each other. We play hard and rest together.
Bluewater Farm is located in Andover, NH, a two-hour drive from the church. Our Confirmation class and our high school youth group each spend a weekend at Bluewater Farm once a year. We stay in a beautiful log cabin. During the winter, we bring warm clothes and play on the frozen lake, sit outside by the fire, and go sledding. Our weekends provide much-needed rest and play. We also take time to discuss and reflect on our faith and our lives together. At the end of the weekend, everyone is much closer and happy they went on the retreat.
Grotonwood Conference Center is in Groton, MA, about an hour’s drive from Wellesley. With a large indoor gym, an outdoor fire pit on the beach for a late night camp fire, and a large meeting room for our discussions and reflections, Grotonwood Conference Center is the perfect retreat spot for our 7-8th grade youth group.