Spring Hill College’s SHAPe retreat occurred this past weekend March 29-31.
SHAPe stands for Spring Hill Awakening Program and is offered each semester. Awakening retreats are common at Jesuit institutions and provides students the opportunity to reflect on their relationship with God and others. The purpose of the SHAPe retreat is to allow students the opportunity to share stories and experiences, reflect, meet new people and engage in fun activities with each other.
First time retreatant, sophomore Annie Bonis said, “I went to become a part of a community of great people who all share the common goal of wanting to grow together and by themselves.”
Seniors Dot Brown and Rob Stewart attended many SHAPe retreats prior and were selected as the female and male rectors for the spring retreat. Brown explained that the SHAPe retreat is led by students for students and is open to all religious and non-religious affiliations. To be on staff or a rector of the retreat, participation as a retreatant is necessary. Stewart said, “The most beneficial part of being a rector was watching the way Dot and I’s efforts lead to others sharing in this shared experience that we value so much.”
The goal is to meet people and listen to stories of all origins to foster connections that might not be possible outside of retreats such as SHAPe. Brown said, “What I love most about SHAPe is the fact that it doesn’t matter if you’re in Greek Life or you don’t live on campus or what year you are, people from all over campus are connected in the SHAPe community.”
Seniors Hannah Harvey and Victoria Tanner have each attended seven SHAPe retreats and both served on staff for this retreat. Harvey said, “Being on staff is super fun because you get to help set up the weekend and ensure that retreatants have as good of an experience as you had during your first SHAPe if not better.”
Tanner, nervous about the upcoming graduation said, “It was at this moment that I realized that I am graduating soon and it made me reflect on how much the Spring Hill community means to me. I highly advise for everyone who has the opportunity to go on SHAPe to take it. Just being around the community is very beneficial to me, because it makes me realize that I am not the only one struggling through something.”
Contact Colleen Lee, the Campus Minister for Service and Retreats, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to get involved in upcoming retreats.