The Importance of the Family Retreat to Me

by Madalyn Graves


The Family Retreat at Camp Lakeview has been going on since I was a baby. Each year I can look forward to the peace and serenity that comes with going to camp for a weekend. During this weekend I can forget about my problems outside of camp and focus on my relationship with God and with my family. At the Family Retreat while we do have fun ziplining, arts and crafting, and shooting arrows there is a heavy focus on worship.

This retreat gives me a chance to reconnect with my family after being away at college in Chicago. With my family, church family, and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church family we have fun and also grow in our faith. We have focused times during Saturday night bonfire and Sunday morning worship. During those times we talk with our families and go deeper into our faiths.

What I find so amazing about this retreat is that it is open to all families. Families with kids in college and families with toddlers and everything in between come to this retreat. All of them are at different places in their faith, and this retreat is a good way to just sit down and talk about that without the ticking clock of the real world.

What gets me coming back year after year, while, yes, is the halting of my outside problems, is the little moments. Moments like Saturday morning pancakes, taking my friend’s money that he posted on the target at archery, games of gaga ball played in the dead of night, and singing songs like Sanctuary.

At Camp Lakeview with the still lake water, fresh air, and the silence of the forest I know that there is no need to rush. Any problems I have get swept to the side for the weekend. This is not a time for worry and fear. Instead it is a time for having fun and rejoicing in what God has done for us. And this is why I come back year after year. Even now that I am all the way in Chicago.