SigEp Blog

Fall Retreat and White Water Madness

By Colin Walls ’16

This year’s fall retreat saw a trip to Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania for whitewater rafting. After an early departure Saturday morning, the day was spent on traditional retreat activities and sports. Didactic encounters went especially well this year, and the new Sigmas did a great job offering new perspectives to the circles. After an important and lengthy goal setting session, we continued our traditional activities outdoors. Following a long period of brotherly bonding, we returned to the cabins. Some brave brothers ventured to McDonalds in the bustling metropolis that is Uniontown, Pennsylvania at 2 am. After a successful raid of their chicken nugget supply, these brothers rejoined the rest of the group and spent a little time relaxing before getting some sleep. The next day started early and was complimented by a fantastic breakfast next to the river. Soon after, we were given life jackets, helmets, and instruction on how to whitewater raft and were quickly brought down to the river. In squads of four or five, brothers were given rafts to pilot without guides. This proved to be difficult for some rafts (Chung’s) and easy for others. Many rocks were avoided, but many more weren’t, and plenty of brothers tested their swimming abilities. The trip consisted of around 8 miles of river with a lunch break in the middle. We were lucky to get a picture perfect day and the trees were the best they would look all fall. The brothers tackled several class four rapids with help from the stalwart raft guides that we had chosen. At the end of the trip, everyone had had a full afternoon and the raft guide’s mediocre jokes were just the way to finish the day. After a bus ride back to the village, brothers split up and headed back to Washington. In all the weekend was a tremendous success, and it set the bar high for retreats to come.