Getting lost during a hike, roasting s’mores over a bonfire, and viewing the movie The Blair Witch Project were all part of the Student Association’s goal to build leadership skills at the GWitch Project student retreat this weekend at Hemlock Overlook Park in Virginia.
On the first day of the retreat, the group watched the movie that inspired the trip and snacked on s’mores. The next day, the group set out for a hike to the nearby marina for a day filled with activities such as kayaking, archery and a ropes course.
About 45 minutes into the hike, one of the facilitators from the camp informed the group that they were heading the wrong way and then things began to unravel. Matt Kernkraut, SA vice president of Student Activities, announced that it was just a ploy to get an authentic lost in the woods feel and was met with laughter from the group.
The hike continued interspersed with different communication-building and teamwork games that gave everyone a chance to work together – sometimes without the use of their eyes or voices.
Jason Anthony of the Student Activities Center and co-organizer of the event captured all the activities on film throughout the retreat.
The day ended with a fire in the mess hall, some more s’mores, and a bus ride back to the District. Everyone said they were tired but in high spirits.
The retreat was a great way to get out of the city, enjoy the fall foliage and meet other student leaders on campus, said Nicole Aguirre, vice president of the Student Alumni Society.
Shane Klein, special programming coordinator of the Student Activities Center, said many people diligently worked planning the retreat.
The men and women on this trip worked together to make it really successful, Klein said. They are a good group, and GWitch was fun because of their enthusiasm.
Anthony and Kernkraut said they were pleased with the event.
All the students really enjoyed themselves, Anthony said. It offered them a chance to get to know other students around campus who they wouldn’t normally get to know. We may plan another retreat for the spring because this one was so successful.
This retreat served as an excellent way for student leaders to come together in a non-traditional way to build their teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills by getting out of the fourth floor of the Marvin Center, Kernkraut said. Student leaders gained perspective on their role in the (GW) community and had a good time doing it.