DIVE Recap – Part Two

dive-recap-logoThis is the second part in a multi-part series that seeks to debrief both myself and my readers concerning H20 Student Ministries’ Fall Retreat, DIVE ’08.

Saturday morning came quickly, and after breakfast (rather successful, since it was pretty much cold cereal and fruit) we had a few of our guys grab some shovels from the dump truck that got stuck in the snow and clear paths for us to get from the cabin to the meeting building, from the cabin to the other meeting building, from that second building to the parking lot, and from the motel unit my wife and daughter slept in to the cabin. That put us a little bit behind schedule, so we pressed on, streamlining a couple of things and dove into discussion right after a little team building.

The first couple of talk times centered around what sex is, how God intends sex to be used, and some interaction on some of the physical consequences of sex (STD’s pregnancy, etc.). After some break time, we got back together for some small group discussion on male and female perspectives. What do guys think about sex? What do guys think about girls? What do girls think about guys? About sex? Then we shared those thoughts as a group to let our teens see what sort of stereotypes were floating around, and to dispel some of the myths that were prevalent as well.

After that was lunch. Grilled cheese and soup. We were a little bit low on bread since we had to prepare a lot more mountain pies the previous night (due to the fact that not many teens ate dinner before coming), but God still provided, and we actually had a couple of sandwiches left over (quickly devoured by one student).

From there we broke off into our guy and girl groups to discuss gender-sensitive issues. The girls discussed things like modesty, and what guys really think when it comes to sex. The guys spent time talking about masturbation and pornography. Speaking for the guys, it was a quiet discussion. There were a couple of guys that spoke up to add to the discussion, but in a room full of around a dozen guys, it was a pretty small percentage that added. Not entirely unexpected, but a tad disappointing. After all of that and a small break, we segued into a discussion on dating. What should Christians do within a dating relationship? Is dating addressed in Scripture? All those questions and more. This, more guys opened up about. Especially since two of the guys in the circle were thinking about their girlfriends who were across the camp in the girls group.

We gave the group the rest of the afternoon off. Lots of playing in the snow. Snowball fights, digging, wrestling, guys running around the cabin in their boxers (no girls were anywhere near the cabin during this time). Seriously, we got back to the cabin, the guys realized the girls were nowhere near done, and the first thing I heard was “I’m gonna run around in just my boxers!” Then two of them decided to go jump into the snow. All 3 feet of it. Then straight back to the shower.

The weekend moved slowly again all morning. By the afternoon, the group was in desperate need of an opportunity to blow off steam, so the snow games were right on target. The mood began to pick up, and my inner wrestling with the question “Was holding the retreat a bad move on our part, or has Satan just been attacking us?” lessened some.

Lessons to Remember, but not necessarily covered in this post:

  • Make sure that students are informed that they will have to pull their own weight for the course of the weekend before you leave the church parking lot, and again once you get to your destination.
  • Always pack extra bread.
  • Make sure you bring a Sharpie marker to mark cups with.
  • Appoint a leader (not you if you are running or planning the bulk of the retreat) to supervise food planning, purchasing and distribution.
  • If guys want to run around in their boxers, let them. Just make sure to keep an eye out for female students and leaders.


Other Posts in This Series