Students Gain Environmental Insights after SuperNatural RetreatMay 24, 2013

When it comes to reflecting on how you can make God’s good world a better place, sometimes you need to spend a little time in it.

This was the idea behind the recent SuperNatural Christians Retreat. Bill Kriege, assistant director of campus ministry, along with nine students, spent four days in the Michigan woods, among nature and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And along the way, they saw the impact they are currently making on the planet and what the future holds for sustainability.

“For three days we saw more bald eagles than humans,” Krige said. “The goal was for students to look at their relationship with the Earth, and how it falls in line with their Christian faith. It’s got a real specific goal, but the outcomes have always been different. We seek transformation: Is it going to be just a “wow” moment during the week or is it something that they’re going to weave into the fabric of their souls?”

The trip was divided into three sections. In the first part of the trip, the students were given a tour of an Iowa landfill. Kriege said the tour was to show the students the effect they and others were having on the planet. The next part of the trip was for the students to spend time away from their everyday life and commune with each other and with nature.

It was here, sometime between the hours-long portaging canoes through the Sylvania Wilderness, the campfires, daily prayers and reflections that the students began to get to know each other and bond.

Hilde McKee, ’16, Lincoln, Neb., said this was a great way to know people she had already met and a great way to reflect on her life.

“I liked it a lot because it wasn’t super in-your-face,” she said. “It was relaxed and more about self-reflection. We became more grateful for all of the things we had.”

The final leg of the journey was a trip to a wind farm in Cerro Gordo, Iowa, where the students were shown the future of sustainability.

Christian Lamb, ’14, Guthrie, Okla., said he already tries to minimize his environmental impact, but seeing first-hand how humans are having an impact on the environment was eye opening.

“This has been one of the best experiences that I’ve had at Rockhurst, for sure, and I’ve had a lot,” Lamb said.

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