By GINNY BIXBY
On Oct. 1 and 2, students from the University of Mary Washington’s Campus Christian Community went on their annual fall retreat. This year, the group traveled to Chesapeake to visit Bergey’s Breadbasket Farm and to Virginia Beach to participate in activities at the 43rd Annual Neptune Festival.
“My favorite part was all the fall activities,” said senior Sammy Buechler. She especially enjoyed exploring the corn maze at Bergey’s Breadbasket, a family owned farm that boasts a bakery, creamery and deli in addition to recreational activities. CCC students also enjoyed visiting goats, cows and other farm animals and operating a corn cob gun.
In addition, students got to attend the Neptune Festival, a popular Virginia destination that includes 40 events and has had an estimated draw of 400,000 attendees over the past three years. In addition, it is home of the International Sand-sculpting Championship.
The CCC students, during their stay, explored the Virginia Beach boardwalk and enjoyed visiting the various craft vendors and restaurants that the festival had to offer. They also spent time at the beach.
“It was nice to be by the ocean,” said senior Jordan Schultz. Buechler echoed this sentiment saying, “I loved walking on the beach. Being close to water makes me feel more connected to God. I enjoy when we do activities surrounding water with our group.”
The retreat culminated in an overnight visit to the Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach. The students found the church and its staff to be very welcoming and hospitable.
“It was great to spend the night in the church and spend quality time together,” Buechler said. The next day, the students attended a service at the Eastern Shore Chapel and got to speak personally with the pastor.
While the students enjoyed all the leisure of the trip, the focus was definitely on their faith. “The past CCC retreats have always given me a chance to take break from school and focus on my faith during our worship Sunday morning,” said senior Shannon Keene.
“I’ve never really appreciated the time it gives me until this most recent trip, with senior year being as crazy as it is. To be able to relax and not worry about the mile long to-do list I have, let me get the chance [sic] to focus on God and remember that He is with me every step of the way.”
Junior Heather West said she found the experience beneficial. “I love spending time with this group of people. I would definitely go again.”
Grace Rice, a sophomore, agreed that the camaraderie of the group was what made the trip especially pleasurable. “I enjoyed the retreat because it gave all of us a chance to take a break from the stress of school and let us focus on enjoying each other's company,” she said.
For some this will be their last fall retreat with CCC. Buechler lamented the fact that this would be her last fall retreat as a student. “I am sad that it is over, but it reminded me to cherish my last year in college with my friends.”