Be Free {Girls’ Retreat}

This past weekend was my last girls’ retreat with my teen girls. Oh my gracious, how are they seniors already?!

my girlsI know I keep writing about “oh my goodness, they are growing up so fast” every time I talk about my girls this year, but it’s just that I know this is my last year with them. And come May, they will be all be graduating on me. I’m so glad that we got to spend this weekend together. I love these sweet souls!

laura jean and rachLaura Jean was our speaker this weekend. It was the first time I had seen her since she was the youth intern for the kids I mentor two years ago. I loved getting to know her back then and it was SO good to catch with her! She and I share some of the same passions and our conversations were a definite answer to some of my recent prayers. I love moments like that when God speaks through His people. πŸ™‚

be free collageThe theme of the weekend was “Be Free” so at one point the girls wrote down things that they need to be free from. Then we went outside and threw eggs filled with paint at the canvas they had written on. It ended up being a beautiful piece of art. πŸ™‚

be free artAll the girls with the canvas!

the great steak knife rescueWe started heading to bed around 1am the first night we were there. I was getting ready for bed when one of my girls came running in the room telling me that Sara had gotten locked in the bathroom and couldn’t get out. I went to check out the situation and sure enough, when you twisted the door knob, the latch bolt wouldn’t retract like it’s supposed to. Sara is a little bit claustrophobic so time was of the essence. I needed a flat-head screwdriver, but knew there wouldn’t be one around. So instead I ran down to the kitchen and looked for a regular dinner knife. There was none to be found. So I grabbed the only thing that I thought might work – a super sharp steak knife. I nearly cut my finger off trying to rescue her, but after enough maneuveringΒ of the latch bolt, I finally got it open! She was so relieved! Hence the photos you see above. πŸ™‚ Also, we joke a lot about that last photo because you can see the steak knife so clearly and taken out of context, it’s kind of a terrifying photo. πŸ˜‰ What’s even more funny is that one of the other girls didn’t hear about this happening and managed to lock herself in the same bathroom the next night. I rescued her the same way and felt pretty awesome about it. πŸ˜‰Β #beast #macgyver

bee rock - be freeEarly on Saturday morning before the girls got up, myself and two of the other chaperones hiked up and down Bee Rock (at Camp Wyldewood which is where we were) to write out the words “BE FREE” in rocks where the girls could see it from the top of the mountain. This is a shot of it from the top! It turned out great! πŸ™‚

bee rock singingThe girls singing praise songs at the top of Bee Rock.

Normally our girls’ retreats are held at a place in Alabama, but this year we went to Camp Wyldewood in Arkansas. I actually went to camp there for 6 years and was a counselor there for 2 years. It was SO good to be back. There will always be a special place in my heart for Wyldewood. πŸ™‚

rach and girlsMe with some of the girls at the top of Bee Rock

girlsAll of us! πŸ™‚

sunriseSunrise on the last morning. It was absolutely gorgeous. πŸ™‚

I always love spending time with my girls, but this past weekend was the best girls’ retreat we’ve had. The location was a wonderful bonus, but really it was the conversations we had that made it so great. I love my girls and I love seeing the ladies that they are growing into. πŸ™‚

– Have you ever had to rescue someone using unusual or unorthodox means?
– Have you been hiking recently? All the hiking this weekend reminded me just how much I love it and miss it!
– Did you grow up going to a camp or retreats? Did you have a favorite year?
Love Rach


33 responses to “Be Free {Girls’ Retreat}

  1. Sounds like a beautiful weekend, one that was uplifting and inspiring. Also, I am so impressed with your knife skills- way to go!

    • It really was a wonderful weekend! And thanks! I was pretty impressed with myself. At one point when I was trying to get the door open my inner monologue was saying “oh my goodness… this isn’t working… she is going to be stuck in there and have a panic attack and I can’t get her out… no! don’t think that! just keep trying…” haha! So I’m glad it worked out! πŸ˜‰

  2. I need to get out and start hiking again. The weather has been nice and cool, perfect for a long hike! It looks like you had a great retreat, minus the door situation! LOL

  3. Sounds like you had a great time, and that sunrise is beautiful.

  4. What a fun weekend! It sounds like you guys had a really great time. πŸ™‚

    That is hilarious about the bathroom situation….And that it happened TWICE! Poor girls!

    • Oh my goodness, I know! The first time I had a couple of moments of “uh oh… I’m not sure if I can get her out…” but when the second girl got stuck in there the next night I was like “oh no big deal, I got this.” πŸ˜‰

  5. What a wonderful theme! πŸ™‚ And that hug is just so precious, I’m sure it was emotional! So good that you were around!

  6. Way to go girl!!! I know who to call if I lock myself in a room. Wow! I can’t believe its your last retreat! I need to do the exercise yall did with throwing eggs at the canvas!

  7. The bathroom story reminded me of when my brother got locked in my Memere’s bathroom as a little boy. He was probably 5 and I was 7… I was crying from the outside, begging my grandparents to help him, convinced my brother would be hurt. Matthew, on the other hand, was singing and dancing from the inside. Ha, ha! He thought it was so fun!!
    You were definitely the hero of the night, for sure! πŸ™‚
    This whole weekend sounds absolutely amazing, special, and inspirational! Those girls are so blessed to have you!!!

    • Haha! It’s funny how different kids take situations like that so differently! I’m glad your brother was okay and that you guys were able to rescue him. πŸ™‚ My little sister got locked in a bathroom when she was maybe 11ish or so? We had just gotten back to the States that very day (from China) and we were all pretty jet lagged. Anyway, she went to go take a bath so naturally she locked the door. Well, 30 minutes later my older sister Holly needed her hair brush out of the bathroom and started knocking on the door and Abby didn’t answer. Holly thought Abby was just ignoring her so she ran out into the living room and was all “Mooooom! Abby won’t let me get my hair brush!” and then our mom went to knock on the door and when Abby didn’t answer, it was like ALL FAMILY PANIC. My grandparents, parents, and siblings all swarmed around while we tried to figure out a way to get Abby out of the bathroom. We beat on the door and shouted and there was no response. I can only imagine how my parents must have been feeling at the time. They ended up taking the door handle off the door and when we walked in she was laying in the tub with the water all the way up to her CHIN. If it had been any deeper she would’ve drowned (or hopefully woken up). She didn’t wake up until my mom shook her. Crazy jetlag! Aaanyway, that’s the end of my locked-in-the-bathroom stories. All have a happy ending! πŸ˜‰

  8. I haven’t gone hiking in FAR TOO LONG!! This is making me MISS IT even more. What a great retreat, and I LOVE your idea for getting her out of the bathroom!! Atta girl.

    • Hahahaha! Oh Brittany. You saying that you haven’t been hiking in “far too long” makes me laugh. Not at you, but just at the perception of the situation. In my mind, you go hiking ALL THE TIME because I see it on your blog often (and not that long ago). In my mind, I used to go hiking all the time, but it has been MONTHS since the last time I went so that’s a “long time”. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, yes! Get back out there! Hike! It’s the perfect weather for it (at least here)! πŸ™‚

  9. You go girl!! Super resourceful, and the knife picture is on;y a little creepy πŸ˜‰

  10. i can’t believe it’s been a year since the last retreat! man, time has flown by!

  11. So fun! I used to lead a group of girls like that. And so glad you saved that poor girl out of the bathroom, I would totally be freaking! πŸ™‚

  12. I love that you saved multiple people from sleeping in a bathroom. With a knife (you saved them with a knife, not they were sleeping in the bathroom with a knife. You know.). Looks like you gals had a blast!

  13. looks like an absolutely gorgeous retreat, and such a good story that you risked your finger to save a girl from the bathroom. that picture of the knife in the air with you two hugging is going to make you laugh for years to come πŸ™‚

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  15. I love the story of your daring steak knife rescue! This look like it was such a nice peaceful weekend with just the girls! There is something about being out in nature and away from the hustle and bustle that just creates the perfect opportunity to get close with God. πŸ™‚ On Oct 21, 2014 9:31 AM, “” wrote:

    > Rach @ This Italian Family posted: “This past weekend was my last > girls’ retreat with my teen girls. Oh my gracious, how are they seniors > already?! I know I keep writing about “oh my goodness, they are growing up > so fast” every time I talk about my girls this year, but it’s just that I > kno”

  16. i want to go on this retreat!
    and oh my gosh, the steak knife! hahahhahaha

  17. This makes my heart happy…it looks like such a fun last retreat for you guys πŸ™‚ I literally laughed out loud at the last picture of you rescuing Sara from the bathroom…I didn’t notice the knife the first time I looked, but once you mentioned it…hilarious! I would have panicked so hardcore if I was in her situation…I’m SO claustrophobic! Good for you for being able to get her out. And that sunrise…amazing.

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