Monday, March 2, 2009

Memorable retreat moments

Last weekend, I went with the the PROMISE group to a fantastic retreat and outward bound experience at the Rocky Gap state park in Western Maryland. This is the post I put up on the PROMISE blog.

The PROMISE retreat was an amazing experience for me- awesome new friends, the great outdoors, and time for introspection. Quick countdown of my most memorable moments of this weekend.

1. The hilarious and most interesting introductions in the ballroom on Friday evening. I thought it was a great idea to not give us name tags and have us learn names. Initially, all I could remember was the interesting bit of information people added to their introductions but soon I got to know their names.

2. Taboo!! It got us all together. We could forget about our grad school worries while we immersed ourselves in the game.
3. At the fire station. (I already shared this at the retreat) Denise Ashman said something that I will take along with me into my everyday life. When I couldn't get a fire started, I was upset. Denise mentioned how some times there are things greater than we are. Like fire, that has been around much longer than we have. So when we try our best and things don't work out, we should be humble and accept it. I am going to remember this when my research experiments fail and instead of getting angry with myself and feeling dejected, I will accept the situation, humbly and keep trying.
4. Olympic moment at the water station. Daryl asked each of us about our Olympic moment- a moment in our lives when we achieved something for ourselves. It was a great question- we got to hear about every ones special moments and it made me realize what mine was.

5. The team building experience with the Polar Bears at the Shelter station. It was empowering to see that we could build a shelter together out of twigs, and leaves. Also, later on when we were asked to think about our team dynamics, I realized how wonderfully we worked together and how much I learned from the experience. I now know where I fit in a team situation and what I need to work on. It was an eye opening experience for me.

6. The skits were so creative- I don't think any of us will forget any of the air crashes, the girl rabbit, and poor Sanjit who caught on 'fire' (the fire act was hilarious) and was eaten by the polar bear.

7. The campfire- the campers, the marshmallows catching fire, sticks without marshmallows poking the fire, and songs in different languages.

8. Word Blur- in the game room :D
9. Hike in the snow. Newly equipped with outdoor survival skills, five of us set out for a walk to the dam and bridge on the other side of the Lake.

10. And last all the amazing new friends. They share the same graduate life I do, with its highs and lows. It was great meeting them all and I hope we keep in touch.

A very huge thank you to the PROMISE team for organizing this special weekend. I hope this event will continue in the coming years.


Merwyn said...

This camp looks like soo much fun. It reminds of the DYC camps in Bombay. Loved all the pics. Everyone working together, learning and having fun. And that outdoor shelter looks so cool! Awesome stuff!!

Kamalika said...

want to know ur olympic moment!