Sophomores in search of spiritual growth and a break from the hubbub of school have an opportunity to find exactly that, thanks to Baylor Spiritual Life.
This week, registration opened for the fourth annual Baylor Second Year Retreat, a 3-day trip scheduled for March 28 – 30 that is open to to all sophomore students.
For $120, students can travel to Camp Eagle in Rock Springs to “hike, kayak, relax and refresh,” Student Life wrote in an email sent to the sophomore class.
Retreat coordinator Ray Small, a graduate student from Austin, said the trip will focus on teaching students to practice the Sabbath as a means of finding peace in the midst of stress caused by school and life.
Small said the Sabbath is a part of Christian life that tends to be overlooked by most students. Many Christians “do not understand busyness as a sin, or problematic,” Small said.
“Biblically, keeping the Sabbath is on the same list as not murdering,” he said. “If we’re very busy, we have no problem with working everyday; but if we’re very angry, we do have a problem with murdering. We just don’t value rest like God does.”
Georgetown sophomore Evan Edwards, who has never attended a retreat as a participant, said he is looking forward to the emphasis of peace that is being placed at the sophomore retreat.
“School is just stressful, and I’m working for the first time while being in college, so the stress just builds up,” he said. “God commands that we have that Sabbath time. The school allowing us the opportunity to do that in a separate place from everything else is just great.”
Small said the department originally planned the retreat for last semester, but was rescheduled for several reasons, including scheduling conflicts with football season.
“Students were spending their weekends at football games,” he said. “We felt like if we’re going to be teaching rest as Sabbath or refreshment, we shouldn’t take up another weekend.”
Evans said this change in scheduling will likely work in his and other students’ favors.
“Being able to do it towards the end of the semester, right before finals, is going to be really good to get my heart right and set my mind on the Lord before jumping into finals and everything else I’m doing this summer,” Evans said.
The trip will be sponsored by Spiritual Formation, which is a department within Spiritual Life that focuses on making spirituality practical through events like retreats and outreach programs.
The Second Year Retreat is one of several retreats offered by the department that are organized by classification. Small said this age separation is important to the missions of each retreat.
“Each class is, in general, addressing a different theme,” he said. “Freshmen are addressing a whole new world. That’s not what a senior needs. We do feel like an 18-year-old is definitely in a different place than a 22-year-old.”
Edwards, who served as a student leader at last semester’s freshman retreat, said he sees the benefit of organizing the retreats by classification.
“The purpose of the freshman retreat is to be loud, crazy, meet people and get really involved at Baylor” he said. “The sophomore retreat has a different dynamic than that. I think it’s good that they divide everyone up.”
Small said he hopes students “gain perspective of their place in this world with God,” while on the retreat.
“The main purpose of the retreat is to get students to put school, relationships – anything that is stressful – in its place and understand that God commands them to rest and reflect,” Small said. “They can look forward to not having those pressures.”
Students interested in finding out more about the Second Year Retreat, or other retreats offered by Spiritual Life, can contact Ray Small and Ray_Small@baylor.edu. Registration will remain open until March 14.