Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Annual Fall Retreat
Please join us at this year’s ALL PARISH FALL RETREAT October 25 – 27, 2019 at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, NH. This is a special time in our parish life, when we are able to focus on our relationships with one another as we eat, worship, sing, and play together over the course of the weekend. We try to make the weekend fun and affordable for all. Please register by September 10th to reserve your spot. If you are willing to help with any of the weekend activities, described below, please let Cathy and Steve Burns know!
This year’s theme is REDEEMER WORSHIPS TOGETHER. This weekend together allows all of us to step away from our routines and spend time in nature and with your parish family. The weekend offers separate Saturday morning and afternoon programs for adults, teens, and elementary-aged children, as well as time for play, song, and worship together. There is also the opportunity to spend time in small groups serving various areas of interest.
Arrival. Most participants arrive sometime on Friday evening, after dinner. The camp will not be providing us dinner that night. So please plan to eat ahead of time. When you do arrive, we will gather at the Doran Center for social time and a fun activity. Please bring some snacks and/or a beverage to share. Soft drinks, beer, and wine are acceptable.
On Saturday morning, there are programs for all ages. The camp staff will lead teens (12 +) on a challenge course, which will include team building and low ropes. Claire Geruson will lead a children’s program while adults meet with Isaac Everett who will lead a program entitled How we Worship: Tools for Exploring the Work of Liturgy. Isaac is the Executive Director of the Charles River Episcopal Co-Housing Endeavor (CRECHE), a nonprofit organization that creates inter-generational, mixed-income intentional communities in collaboration with Episcopal parishes. He is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, where he studied Ritual Theory and Criticism and lives in Boston with his wife in an intentional community. He spends his spare time making music, coaching weightlifters, and playing nerdy board games.
Teens. Our teens (12 years old and up) are invited to make a choice between doing the ropes course with camp staff OR joining the adult conversation around worship. Teens will be asked to sign up for the ropes course in advance. More information will follow on this.
After lunch on Saturday, there will be plenty of time to relax, take a walk, play some games, or have some quiet time. Lance Conrad has agreed to lead the afternoon intergenerational games and activities. Thank you, Lance! If you like to fish, bring your rod along, and join other anglers on the waterfront.
Before dinner on Saturday, we will have a social hour for adults and movies and/or quiet games for children. On Saturday evening, we are bringing back Minute to Win It! This fun activity is for all ages and proves to be quite competitive and fun! The games are fun and very engaging! This is followed by a Camp Fire with singing and s’mores.
Additionally, the Racial Equity Action Group (REAG) will present a workshop on dismantling racism and bias. More on that will follow. This will include a possible reading prior to the retreat to discuss together.
Sunday morning is dedicated to worship preparation and Eucharist. The youth have, in the past, accepted the challenge to act out the Gospel and we are hoping they will do this again this year. The weekend ends after lunch on Sunday. (Note: on the registration form, we ask whether you plan to leave before this final meal, so the kitchen does not prepare too much food.)
This program goes along nicely with our worship exploration this fall. Please come and participate in this interesting and helpful program. We are looking forward to it!
Download the registration form:
Please remember to register by Tuesday, September 10th, if possible. We need to give the camp our guaranteed registration numbers by Friday of that week so that they will hold the cabins and lodge rooms we have reserved.
Steve and I hope you can join us! Following are some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have questions not covered, please feel free to reach out to us.
Cathy and Steve Burns
What is the venue like?
The Barbara C Harris Camp and Conference Center is owned by the Diocese of Massachusetts. It is a lovely facility, about an hour and a half away from Lexington. The camp is only about 16 years old, so the cabins and facilities are in good shape, with running water and heat. The lodge rooms are clean and quite basic, but have private bathrooms. The adult cabins have four single beds and a bath. Unfortunately, we have only four this year. The regular cabins hold 8-12 people. People may be put together, but families are not split up. Please let us know if there is someone with whom you would like to share a cabin.
Is there a lot of walking to get from place to place?
Most of the group activities are located in the Doran Center, a function hall near the lake, a 5-10 minute walk down a dirt road from the Dining Hall. We will have a car or golf cart available for anyone who needs assistance. It is a good idea to wear sturdy footwear.
What about meals?
Meals are served buffet-style, and we eat at large tables. The kitchen does a great job of meeting dietary needs and requests, so be sure to mention any restrictions or special needs on your registration form. One of the great aspects of the weekend is to “mix it up” from meal to meal and spend time with a variety of folks. Some families prefer to sit together, while others like to spread themselves around. Redeemer has a section of the dining hall reserved, so you will be eating with only our group.
Is there Wi-Fi?
Cell service is spotty and Wi-Fi is weak. Do not count on Wi-Fi access.
Do I have to participate in everything?
You may join in everything or nothing! Most people attend the Saturday morning program, Sunday worship, and meals. Saturday afternoon is really free time. We offer a few activities for those who wish to participate, but many people choose to “do their own thing”.
What does it cost?
The prices are listed on the registration form. The camp charges us per person based on your choice of lodging. Prices include two nights and five meals. There are no discounts for a single night, or for only four meals Unfortunately, the cost is the same for teens (12 and over) as for adults. We offer a discounted family cap for families staying in the regular cabins to help make the retreat accessible to families. We want to make sure that cost is not a deterrent and that everyone has an opportunity to come, so there is confidential financial assistance available – see the registration form for details.
What about if I can only come for the day on Saturday?
We will try to help facilitate carpools for anyone who would like to come for the day on Saturday. Worship starts at 9 am and you are welcome to stay until 6 PM. Lunch is included. The charge is $40 for day visitors.
Where should I eat on Friday night on my way to the camp?
Some folks stop at Joey’s Diner, located on Route101A in Amherst, NH. There are more choices near the highway, less as you approach the camp.