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Our Retreat Brought Renewal and Hope for Better Days Ahead Essay

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Nine teenage girls and their leaders crammed on outdated bench seats as the smell of various sack dinners and chocolate filled the borrowed short bus. Vinyl seats cracking, teenage girls laughing and the makeshift radio blasting we followed behind the boys in their SUV to Woodland Park. The brisk March wind rattled the old windows of our little white and blue, borrowed bus. Miles of twisting roads and pine trees that seemed to pierce the low floating clouds lead us to our retreat house. Gravel crunched beneath our tires, hitting the sides of our bus, creating a rumble under our feet as we pulled up the drive.
Great gray boulders outlined planters along the front of the patio and knotted wood planking covered every side of the house. Two
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Afterwards, solemn hearts slowly trudged along the staircases to our respective rooms.
Moods lightened as the girls soaked their feet in the master bath tub before lights out. Goldfish, M&Ms and Sour Patch Kids became ammo as we slingshot them across the bathroom to each other using hair ties. Secrets and random thoughts were whispered under the glow of flashlights until we could no longer keep our eyes open after lights out. A comfortable silence fell over the house as we all finally drifted off.
Groggy faces slowly made appearances as the heavenly aroma of bacon and waffles coaxed us from our dreams before the sun had even crested the mountain ridges, the following morning. Dream catchers of various sizes fluttered in the pine scented wind on the deck after breakfast. Teams ran through the trees on a scavenger hunt, breaking the silence as sunlight streamed through the pine needles. In the afternoon, colorful rays of light poured through the stained glass window as small groups bonded over boxes of tissues and shared memories of our middle school youth group.
Another intense round of sardines had us piling into hidden cabinets and coat closets. Playful banter between the more egocentric members of our teams kept the games interesting as we all tried to beat each other in games of tag and “never have I ever.”
During solitude we snuck off to the balcony with a view of Pike’s Peak. Cloudless skies and chirping birds surrounded us as we sat
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