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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

Right before Easter break, I experienced a trip that is always something I look forward to. I went to Mt. Irenaeus with dance team!

For those who don’t know, here at St. Bonaventure, going to the Mountain is a common way for your club or sports team to host an outside of school team bonding activity.

The Mountain is a beautiful cabin on many acres of land located in Friendship, NY. This is home to many of the friars who work here at our university along with other ministry staff. Here at the Mountain, they not only have their home, but they also have a beautiful chapel sitting at the top of the Mountain and other cabins, a garden and a pond filling the surrounding land.

Once we arrived to the Mountain, we got comfortable and took a few minutes to form a circle and just introduce everybody. We usually say our name, grade and hometown, but this time we started off by doing “Rose, Bud, Thorn”. For those who don’t know, you go around sharing three different things about your day or something that recently happened to you. Your rose is a highlight of your day, the thorn is something that may have bothered or annoyed you and your bud is something you’re looking forward to. This was a fun and easy way to share about our days and just have a simple strategy to debrief as a group.

After taking some time to talk with each other and play ice breaker games, we then split off into two groups. One group helped prepare the dinner that we were having and the other group went and explored outside. I was in the group that went outside. My friends and I took a walk around the property and even got to experience feeding birds by hand. I know that everyone who got the chance to feed the birds thought this was the coolest experience yet! We simply just took some bird seeds and extended our arms out for a while. Slowly but surely, little birds would fly over and eat straight from your hands. This was so interesting to experience because usually you don’t ever feed wild birds by hand.

After spending about a half an hour outside, we all gathered back inside to sit down and enjoy a nice dinner. For dinner, the inside group helped make some spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread and cookies for dessert. We all said grace and found our seats and enjoyed this meal together as a team or as I would like to say, a family. The meal we all shared was put together very nicely by the group who worked together, so, in return, the group who spent time outside decided to return the favor by help clean up the kitchen.

One of my friends, Riley, and I decided to take on the duty of washing dishes while others dried them and helped put them away. I don’t know why but for some reason this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I don’t know who got more of a bath, us or the dishes. Honestly it was probably because we could not properly work the sprayer in the sink each time we went to rinse the dishes. Oh well, it was a way for us all to just be silly and share some laughs and smiles with each other.

Once we all finished dinner, we decided to end our night at the Mountain by spending time in the chapel up at the top of the property. This beautiful chapel is so peaceful and calm, and you truly feel like this is a safe space. We did meditation for a few minutes to calm down and relax. We then did activities that required us all to work together, but silently. This time is just really a great time to gather your thoughts and just take a break from reality.

When you are here you can take as much take as you need to simply just breathe. There are no worries about school, what you have planned after college, conflicts with any relationships or anything else occurring in the world around you.

I really loved taking this trip to the Mountain with the dance team. Each time I go my experience seems to be better and better. The dance team has a special place in my heart because everybody is so kind and welcoming and so uniquely different – it amazes me.

It’s so special to be able to come from completely different backgrounds and share this 1 little thing in common.

Amanda Ippolito is a new member of Her Campus at the St. Bonaventure University chapter. She is very excited to share her writing with everyone and enjoys writing about topics that relate to pop culture, journal topics, and personal experiences. Amanda is from a very small town, Silver Creek, NY. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her dog Bella. She also loves to listen to music, go thrifting, cook, browse Pinterest, and go to concerts. When not out and about you can find Amanda working or listening to music. Amanda’s music taste varies from artists like Stevie Nicks and Lana Del Rey all the way to Kendrick Lamar and Deftones. Beyond Her Campus, Amanda is her class’ treasurer and is involved in the school’s dance team, student government association, and college democrats.