On the weekend of July 19-21, 16 young men participated in the Summer Spiritual Retreat held at Norman B. Barr Camp in Williams Bay, Wis. The weekend was a good opportunity for the boys to enjoy time away from the city, to reflect on their personal journeys, to connect with one another and to enjoy the beauty of Lake Geneva.

Throughout the weekend, retreatants were asked to think about how they got in their own way, how they had conflict with others, and how they wanted to impact the world.

The theme for the weekend was “Step into the Arena.” Each young man was asked to think about the conflicts in their lives. Were they in control of those conflicts, or did those conflicts control them? The retreat staff used the narrative theory about the conflicts of man to create the retreat sessions (i.e. man vs. man, man vs. self, man vs. nature, man vs. world or society and man vs. God or supernatural).

Boy with craft

Throughout the weekend, retreatants were asked to think about how they got in their own way, how they had conflict with others, and how they wanted to impact the world. In one session, they made masks with the inside representing what they felt in conflict and the outside representing what they were presenting to the world. As a representation of conflict with nature, they meditated on obstacles they have overcome and then took turns climbing a rock wall.

Young men with masks

The retreat concluded with some time overlooking the lake—each retreatant took time to reflect on something they appreciated or would take away from the weekend.

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