2015 SLCA High School Retreat
by Adam Mumpower
By God’s grace, I entered into my 16th year here at SouthLake back in August. And each of those years, the Lord has allowed me to have leadership responsibilities for SLCA’s annual high school retreat.
I often think about the first high school retreat I attended while here at SouthLake. We had about 22 students (9th and 10th grade only at the time) on one bus with extra seats. Those are sweet memories, and many of the students that were on that bus are now 30 years old and are some of my dearest friends.
Fast forward to 2015…on September 21, we had four 56-passenger charter buses pull out of SouthLake and head for Windy Gap Retreat Center in Weaverville, NC (not to mention another 35 parents driving in cars). By now, you have probably heard about this retreat. I must confess…this trip is one of the major highlights of my year…EVERY YEAR!
This year, our retreat speaker was Rev. Paul Patrick. Paul is the RUF Campus Minister at Erskine College. Paul spoke to our students on “The Seven Deadly Sins.” His presentation of the Scriptures was clear, direct, easy to follow, and challenging for all of our students and our teachers. His proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the foundation for every aspect of his teaching. Each chapel was opened by our worship leader, Daniel Renstrom. Daniel is the worship leader at First Baptist Church in Durham, NC. The band also included guitarist, Patrick Downing, and drummer, Mike Passaro. Daniel, Patrick, and Mike have lead worship on this retreat for over 10 years.
After each chapel, students were engaged in small group meetings that were led by the SLCA teachers. The small group studies helped students connect the message of Paul’s sermon to day to day life. Our SLCA teachers do a great job facilitating these groups each year.
Now back to the 35 parents (for which I am extremely grateful). Each year, a group of parents come on this trip to serve, and that is exactly what they do. These parents get up early and stay up late just to prepare food for everyone on the retreat. They also serve the food and clean up from meals. They are busy working in the Sippin’ Parlor (concessions) as well, and do a great job cleaning the campus before leaving. Parents Dawn Rikard and Laura Bansek headed up the group of parents, and they all simply did an amazing job.
The Student Council (headed up by teachers Danielle Handlogten and Sheila Wright) also did an incredible job. The student council was involved in planning many of the events and competitions. The planning started back in May 2015. The council also led several skits while at the retreat. In fact, many teachers (thanks to Laureen Nelson) were also involved in these skits! There was even a video appearance made my Interim Head Master, Dave Rowles!
Now if you have heard about this retreat, I’m sure you have also heard about the class competitions! That’s right…each class acted as its own team and competed against the other classes in order to be named Windy Gap Champions! This year, each class competed in 47 different competitions ranging from Uno and Connect-4 all the way to Flag-Football and Dodge Ball. But this year, we had something happen for the very first time…the Juniors and Seniors were tied going into the final competition: Tug-of-War!
The crazy thing is that even after Tug-of-War, the juniors and seniors were still tied (the reason why is that the Junior Guys won for the guys’ tug-of-war and the Senior Girls won for the girls’ tug-of-war). So for the first time ever, we had to have a playoff! The Student Council decided the final event…have one co-ed (3 guys and 3 girls on each team) Tug-of-War, winner take all. You might have heard…the SENIORS “pulled” it out (no pun intended) and were declared Windy Gap Champions!
Be sure to ask the students and teachers about their time at Windy Gap. We are already looking forward to next year!