Published: April 14, 2016
Parents of The University students often come to campus to pick up their sons and daughters or see young men and women graduate, but not often to experience a retreat at Chapman Lake.
Twenty students, along with their mothers, spent this past Saturday through Sunday at The University’s retreat center for the tenth annual mother-daughter retreat.
Campus Minister, Cathy Seymour, and Director of Campus Ministries’ Center for Service and Social Justice, Pat Vaccaro, organized the retreat to encourage open dialogue between mother and daughter.
“I think the opportunity for students to spend time with their moms as women themselves, and speak about issues of faith, to how their relationship has gone in the past, how they want it to continue to grow in the future is really the gift of this retreat,” Seymour said.
The arrangement of events is based on the feedback from evaluations that are distributed at the end of every retreat, which is a new initiative Campus Ministries has adopted.
Students and their mothers got a lot closer and tears of joy were shed over the course of 24 hours.
Senior Gabriella DiPasquale called the retreat a “well-oiled machine” that enhanced her relationship with her mother, and would strengthen others ‘relationships with mothers.
“She got to see my two big role models on campus, Cathy Seymour and Pat Vaccaro, come to life from all the stories I told her about,” DiPasquale said.
She, like fellow seniors, felt she gained a lot more from her experience attending as a senior because of how much she has done throughout her time in college.
Among other activities, participants were given time to look at their current relationships, and discuss how they want those relationships to grow in the future. This proved especially helpful for junior and senior students.
Senior Krista Ziegler said the retreat shifted conversations to more as friends than as mother and daughter.
Lila Ziegler, Krista’s mother, appreciated how Krista’s involvement on campus, including through the Office of Campus Ministries, and various retreats over the years, shaped her daughter.
Krista called the weekend “another great experience at Chapman Lake.”
“(It was nice) to spend, what will probably be my last experience there, as an [undergraduate], to spend it with someone I love.”
As the days get nearer to late May, and the lake gets warmer, mothers and daughters can enjoy sitting together at the dock embracing the cool breeze of Chapman Lake.
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