An Experience to Remember Forever: Senior Retreat

An Experience to Remember Forever: Senior Retreat

Creating a sense of brotherhood is what Trinity is all about, but how does this school go about doing that? One of the strongest ways the brotherhood is formed is through the retreat program that culminates in senior retreat, an experience that most alumni and seniors will remember forever. Trinity’s campus ministry, run by Chris Luken and Mary Emrich, invites all seniors to embark on this journey to really fulfil the previous three retreats. It’s an experience like no other and cements the idea of brotherhood that is talked so much about.  

Senior retreat takes everything from the previous three retreats and breaks them down and really forces seniors to find themselves and God in this spiritual awakening trip. One thing that makes and keeps senior retreat special is its mystery. Seniors are told not to speak about the trip so that the underclassmen can experience the retreat for themselves. Keeping with that tradition, here are some testimonies from the class of 2024 and recent alumni about their personal experience with retreat and why it is so important for seniors to attend.  

“The senior retreat is a huge part of becoming a senior and I didn’t believe anyone when they told me that. I had no clue that I would make such great friends with some of the people I had never even (thought) about talking to, but here we are. Retreat changed my life in ways that have helped my personality and physical being just by talking to someone… the greatest part of it is you’re not alone in your life and the things you go through… you just have to open up and be open to other people and have FAITH.”- Michael “Mikey” Huber ’24 

“My senior retreat experience was nothing but memories I wish I could relive. Going in, I felt like I only knew one-fourth of my group; leaving, I could proudly say that those men have became my brothers. Senior retreat is truly one of the best experiences you get to do at Trinity, and it connects your class together for a lifetime.” -Chandler Newton ’23 

“Trinity retreat was something I initially was not too interested in partaking in. My retreat was just after Christmas break, so I just took it as an addition to the break. I [had] heard only good things about retreat before attending, so I had decently high hopes. But what I got out of it was beyond my expectations. I learned so much about so many people and aspects of my life, and how God works around, with, and in us in our lives. Retreat is something every senior should participate in because it is one of the best experiences in my life. I truly enjoyed it, and I am confident every senior who attends will enjoy it too.”– Drew Hatcher ‘23 

“I think senior retreat is so essential for underclassmen because you don’t truly understand the brotherhood of Trinity until you go. Senior retreat allows you to make bonds with some of your classmates that you’ll carry with you for life, and without retreat, those bonds will never form. With senior retreat, instead of people being group by sport, club, popularity, or academic track, everyone is instead looked at as their own individual person and as a friend instead of just someone that is in your class…Senior retreat has allowed me to carry a relationship with God into college. I feel like in college people can go two directions, toward or away from God, and senior retreat helped me to stay on the path toward God and remember what’s important in life. Because of that experience, I’ve met so many genuine people since then that I know feel the same way and it’s allowed me to form a solid circle at Auburn.” -Jack Corbett ‘23 

“I think that retreat is something that every senior should go on because it allows you to put your pride and ego to the side and realize you are not alone in your struggles. It helps rid the pain of your struggles knowing that you have 30 brothers there to pick you up when you are down.” -Thomas “Trip” Hart ‘24 

“My retreat experience was the best thing I did in my four years at Trinity. I was on the first retreat of the year, so nobody had any idea what we were walking in to. It was truly an amazing time and I got so close with the guys on my retreat. I’d encourage all seniors to take this leap of faith, and give the retreat a chance, because it is one of the best things Trinity offers. You get close with your brothers and even the teachers that lead your retreat. You will make memories and have moments that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Senior retreat at Trinity is truly a special thing. Live the 4th.”  -Tanner Blood ‘22  

“Retreat for me was one of the most gratifying experiences that I was blessed to be able to participate in at Trinity. What retreat offered was not only a chance to grow closer to God and cultivate my faith, but it also offered the chance to further strengthen the bonds I had with my fellow Trinity brothers. Through this four day excursion, I was able to solidify lifelong friendships that have contributed to the person I am today. Furthermore, the myriad of valuable lessons I learned on retreat are lessons that I still carry with me to this day and I continue to share with the world around me as well. Senior retreat, in my opinion, is the moment that, as a Trinity student, you have been building up to. The friends you’ve made, the wisdom you have acquired, the accomplishments you have achieved, and the obstacles you have endured have prepared you for this retreat and by participating, you are putting the capstone on both your senior year and your Trinity career. I cannot recommend this experience enough and if you are on the fence about going, I suggest “take the leap” and try it out. I guarantee, if anything, you will learn something valuable that can help guide you as you take the next big step in your life.” -Tristan Thornsberry ‘20 

“The biggest thing that separates [Trinity] from other schools is the brotherhood within it…I feel that the senior retreat serves as the best example of the expression of this brotherhood. I was given little information about what to expect on this week long journey, but after that week, I realized that Trinity was without a doubt the best option I could’ve chosen. Guys I saw as friends before became guys that I would trust my life with. The retreat was [what] I needed, and it finally gave me the opportunity to comfortably show my Trinity family who I am.” -Mason Kolb ‘23 

“As the director of the senior retreat program since 2002, I have witnessed the powerful impact retreat can have: in the authenticity and vulnerability of stories shared; in tears and shaky voices opening up for the first time; in beautifully honest letters; in exhausted-but-still-giving 100% team leaders; in profound “a-ha” moments of self-realization; in young men recognizing God’s friendship and presence in vivid and profound ways; in alumni sharing how they are “living the 4th” years later; and in so many more, immeasurable “God moments.” Too many to count.” -Mary Emrich, Director of Campus Ministry

“Trinity’s senior retreat program just concluded its 50th year…It is an optional retreat, but 95% of Trinity’s seniors choose to attend. Trinity’s brotherhood and the “Brothers for Life” slogan are fully realized on Senior Retreat. Trinity does a lot of things really well. Our academics and athletics are exceptional, but what we do best is Senior Retreat. If you ask our current senior class or any alumni over the past 50 years, more times than not, their most memorable Trinity experience is Senior Retreat. Live the 4th! Trinity forever!”-Chris Luken H’24, Assistant Campus Minister

Creating a family, a community, a brotherhood: this is what senior retreat helps create. A community of trust, an unbreakable family, and brothers for life. There is a reason many alumni recall senior retreat their favorite memory from Trinity, and these testimonies are examples of how well the program works and why everyone who has the opportunity to go on retreat, should.  

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