Reflection on Confirmation Retreat
August 30, 2018
By Karen Scott
My seventh-grade daughter and I started in a mother-daughter Life Group when she was in fourth grade. We were a group of strangers placed together, and we are now friends with an untouchable bond. During our two years together, we celebrated together, mourned together, did life together, and we still do. If a girl needs support or encouragement, the other girls step right in and pull her up. Same for the moms–if one mom needed a hand, other moms stepped up and helped, no questions asked. As a group, we have stayed together, and now the girls are in Life Group together, with a few more girls, going through Confirmation together.
This past weekend, we went on the parent-child Confirmation retreat. My daughter’s excitement was building all week. I worried about the retreat and whether my daughter would get the same experience as my son did on his Confirmation retreat with Mt. Bethel. When we arrived Friday night at Camp Glisson, there was a presence there that felt like we left our burdens at the gate and arrived with open hearts and minds. Mothers and daughters slowly began arriving and excitement built as you could hear the girls in the adjoining cabin, laughing, giggling, and hugging as if they hadn’t seen in other in years. After the final group arrived, we headed to worship. Each worship we experienced had great music and an even better message. Messages delivered to parents and students by the amazing Student Ministry staff (although staff seems like a cold and impersonal word to describe Elley, Zack, Elise, Gaylyn, Kim, Joshua, and Patricia) helped enrich the kids and help friendships grow after our weekend together. We all appreciate the staff members who gave up their weekends with their families to join a group of rowdy girls and boys and their parents for a weekend.
This weekend, our original small group grew closer and got even bigger as we added more awesome moms to go through life together with. New friendships were formed. As a parent, the most valuable lesson I learned this weekend is that I am not alone, I have a pretty amazing daughter and a great support team! The best way to sum up the weekend is with a song we sang at worship: “Oh the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine. I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give Yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”
Was I exhausted? Yes! Did I leave with a deeper love and understanding of God? Yes! Did my daughter get as much from the retreat with me being there? I think she did. Best part of the weekend? The simple acts of kindness we witnessed everywhere you looked: the way the girls encouraged one another to “climb higher” on the alpine tower when they wanted to come down, the girls helping their friend on crutches, the hugs, the tears and the exhaustion all made the weekend a weekend that I will never forget. Thanks again to the staff that made it all happen!