Dumbarton Retreat Children Activities

June 3, 2023 Dumbarton UMC Annual Retreat

For the first weekend of June, Dumbartonians repair to West River for our annual retreat.  On Saturday, we typically recharge our batteries with classes, swimming, boating, and other activities, meals in the dining hall, a Saturday evening talent show, and an optional overnight stay in the Lodge or a cabin on campus.  On Sunday, weather permitting, we celebrate Pentecost in an outdoor worship service by the shore, with remote participation available by Zoom.  We organize rides/carpools for those who want or need them.

Dumbarton’s 2022 Retreat: “Connection & Exploration”

In 2022. we offered opportunities for a balm to our souls and fun communal activities.  All retreaters chose what they wanted to do, with up to 3 interactive intergenerational creative arts sessions — two 1-hour morning sessions and one after lunch – made available.  Children, youth, adults, and older adults were welcome at any session to get creative and have some fun together!

Session Options:

  • Making Bird Houses– Walter Schmidt provided materials, tools, and guidance for small groups to build bird houses
  • Photography Nature Walk– Jeehye Pak guided photographers (with BYO phones or cameras) in taking photos of nature’s variety and beauty.  Participants wondered at God’s creation from behind a lens.
  • Drumming for Fun, Community, and Uplift– Cheryl Conway & Melany Burrill provided drums and guidance for participants to create rousing or pensive rhythms together. They experienced the fun & uplift of communal drumming!  All ages were welcome, with no prior experience needed.
  • Creating Sigils to Foster Your AspirationsBethany Quinn explained that sigils are symbols you create from letters or words that are meaningful to you.  Since at least the Neolithic era, they have been used to signal to others and/or to further an aspiration.  In fact, the Christian fish symbol, the ichthys, was derived from a sigil.  People create sigils as a way to plant a desired outcome into their subconscious, as a sort of prayer.  Bethany helped participants create and decorate their own sigils.
  • Playing with PoetryNancy Holland & Elaine Friebele helped young and old explore their inner poet and have fun.  They read a few poems together and, together, wrote some poems.  No pressure, and lots of “Aha!” moments.
  • Walking MeditationNeal Christie helped participants step back from daily noise and busy-ness and immerse themselves in intentionally quiet meditation.  Participants came back together after a time of quiet meditation to share, and then end in an extended moment of silence.
  • Art & the Dove — Billy Friebele, an art professor and prize-winning sculptor in his own right, helped participants tap into their creativity and use it to explore our connection to the natural world. Exploring the themes of peace and spirituality through the image of the dove, participants learned to combine materials and make unique artworks.
  • Pentecost Banner Community Project– Participants worked together to create a fabric-mosaic tongues-of-fire banner for our Pentecost celebration.