Hamline University Women's Leadership Retreat

This past weekend, I was able to attend the Hamline Women’s Leadership Retreat that was organized and facilitated by the SALD (Student Activities and Leadership Development) office. At first, I really didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it sounded interesting and the application was due soon. During the retreat and after it was over, I was really glad that I had the opportunity to go and experience what it was. 

The first day, we got on the bus and drove to Camp Edenwood in Eden Prairie, about twenty minutes from Hamline. It was a super nice facility and an exciting place to get to. There were about 20 people there in total, including students, facilitators and faculty volunteers. After some lunch, icebreakers and name games, we got to work. There were a lot of activities where we looked at female leadership through the lenses of media and our own views. We also got to do fun crafts, such as decorating the journals we would use over the weekend and making cross-stitch squares relating to international women’s day, feminism and reproductive justice (that was my favorite part!). We also did activities like writing poems about where we were from, reflecting on the things we talked about and just plain having fun with each other. I knew a few girls from choir and my classes, but the majority of them were new to me. Getting to meet everyone was super fun and getting to discuss issues that I was passionate about was interesting when we talked about them in a group with different viewpoints.

After we woke up from our night in the cabins, we ate breakfast and continued with a few more things. Before we knew it, it was time to go back to Hamline. Even though it had only been a day or two, I had gotten very close to many of the members of the group. After opening up about difficult topics and commiserating on issues we all collectively face as women, I gained a lot of friends and adult peers from many departments on campus. Some of these departments included Residential Life, SALD and the Women’s Resource Center. We decided it would be a good idea to continue our conversation with reunions later on in the semester, and us getting to come next year and repeat the experience. Going on the Women’s Retreat was something that I’ll never forget, and plan on continuing every year at Hamline.