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Third Form Retreat Connects Students to Nature

Kelly Slonaker

Third Form students, Sacristans, and faculty chaperones travelled to Lover’s Leap State Park in New Milford on Wednesday, October 13, for the annual Third Form Retreat. The retreat, led by Sacristans and faculty, offers an opportunity for Third Form students to reflect on their first few weeks of school and set goals for the year and the rest of their time at Canterbury. Students and faculty advisors discussed challenges they have met so far this year and the people and resources at Canterbury that students may turn to for guidance.

The Sacristans, many of whom had been on the retreat during their first year at the School, were charged with leading the Third Formers to stations across the wooded park and to various overlooks of Lake Lillinonah. They helped ask questions and facilitate discussions amongst the Third Form class. Connor Wohlfahrt ’25 shared, “The retreat was a great experience for me, my group, the Sacristans, and everyone involved. I went into it thinking I wouldn’t have fun, but, in the end, I had a really great time and learned more about the people around me. I’m thankful Canterbury gave us the opportunity to go!”

Director of Campus Ministry Devon McCormick felt the importance of this retreat, both on the Third Form and on herself: “This year's Third Form retreat might have been my favorite yet in my time at Canterbury. It was amazing to see how quickly the Third Form students entered into “retreat mode,” and how willing they were to go with the flow and be fully present in the moment.” She continued, “They had the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with themselves and with one another in nature. Friendships were strengthened and forged, and connections with faculty and Sacristans were created—it really was a beautiful bonding experience for everyone involved and one that I think will reverberate throughout their time at Canterbury!”

The retreat concluded with time for reflection in the Chapel of Our Lady, where students were invited to share their experience with faculty and their peers. Retreats are an important Canterbury tradition; one is held annually for each Form and allows students time to connect with themselves, each other, and the world around them.