Last weekend was a very exhausting and jam-packed, but also was one of the most amazing weekends I’ve had. Last weekend we had our fall NCSC Team West retreat, bringing our regional team over to Fort Collins for the weekend. Unfortunately our California members weren’t able to come out due to the distance, so our team was a big smaller this time, but we made up for our numbers through our accomplishments!
With all of the chaos leading up to the retreat, I was getting nervous about what to expect. In all of the difficulty of locking in a place, I wasn’t able to do all of the busy-work until Thursday night. But through the grace of God I managed to get everything done, with time to spare. I took Friday afternoon off from work to grocery shop and to get everything gathered. Leanne came up early and was a big help as well. We actually got done early enough to watch Batman Begins while we were waiting for everyone to drive in – not bad!
Everyone from New Mexico arrived about 7:30, and we got everyone settled and took them down to everyone’s favorite Fort Collins watering hold – Old Chicago’s! It’s kinda funny because Old C’s was the first place the National Team went when everyone was in town. We had a good team dinner and then we went to Walrus for ice cream. We tried to keep Friday low-key considering we had to be up early the next day for the retreat.
Saturday we got up early (7:30ish) to eat breakfast and head over to the Scotch Pines Clubhouse for our retreat. The clubhouse turned out to be pretty decent. In some ways it was nicer than the space we would of had at Heatheridge – the view was a bit nicer and the rooms were broken out giving people more privacy if they wanted it. They had this ugly red and green carpet, which basically looked like someone laid wrapping paper all over the floor.
There was also this weird sculpture that was hung above the fireplace:
But during one of our breaks team members decided to decorate it (they called it "decorating the Christmas tree") with all of the random stuff that we brought for the retreat – mainly snack food. Here is their work of art:
The retreat was fantastic. We ended up covering everything that we had in the schedule (wow!), and our discussions were engaging and thought-provoking. I am really excited about our plans for our Regional Time at Conference. I think we’ve put together the magic formula to keep students interested, to make them stakeholders in our regional success, and also to make discernment a worthwhile and life-giving process for everyone.
We also got our shirt design and banner figured out, began planning for LA Congress, and actually did our own leadership discernment process. One of my favorite parts was at the end of the day, when one of the members of the Spirit Fire student leadership team at John XXIII joined us. First he asked us some questions about our Conference experiences, and it was really neat to hear the diversity and wealth of experiences that everyone on the regional team has experienced. Afterwards we had a good conversation about Evangelization, FOCUS and what are some things we can recommend to the future National & Regional leadership teams. By the end we were all really tired, but we accomplished so much. I am really happy about this weekend.
That night we went out on the town to celebrate our accomplishments, eating dinner at Hu-Hot Mongolian Grill, then went over to the Drunken Monkey, the new bar down the street. They opened up a few weeks back, and they’ve really cleaned the place up. The bar stools are actually swings hanging from the ceiling, and there’s actually a cage by the door, that I guess you need to dance in order to get out. We had a lot of fun, as you can see below:
Again, we tried not to stay out too late, because we had an even earlier morning on Sunday. We woke up at 6am (ugh) and drove down to Lafayette to go to Mass with Fr. Bob. It was such a nice experience and a very enjoyable Mass, we then went out for our team breakfast (where I had to break out of early) and the team went home. The rest of my Sunday was awesome as well. I planned on going to to Sophia’s (my Goddaughter’s) dedication, which also happened to be in Lafayette. But because of my inability to follow directions (arggh), I ended up being a 1/2 hour late and missing her dedication. I was so bummed out and frustrated with myself. I got to hang out with Sam and Sophie for the rest of the service, and we went back to their house afterwards for a nice lunch and some good times with their family – an awesome Sunday morning!
Needless to say I was tired when I got home, and ended up dosing off watching the Broncos game later on… I was so blessed to have this weekend go so well. In the last few days I got some really nice emails from my regional team members, which really affirmed me in my decision to stay back from DC and do the meeting. I’m thankful that everyone was able to be there, and we had such a productive and fun time.
However I’m still recuperating from this weekend, and I feel sickness knocking on my door. I need a little more rest to fully recuperate, but so far so good
See all of my Team West Retreat Pictures