“Rooted” was the theme of the overnight retreat held at Southwind, a Young Life camp
located in the Ocala National Forest. According to Bible teacher and retreat coordinator Scott Stuart, the theme stemmed from Colossians 2:6-7…Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Through worship and devotion, students learned what Paul meant in this verse – he was writing to a body of believers and encouraging them to stay grounded in their faith. Real life examples of things around us that are rooted were given to the students – General Sherman, a 2500 year old tree; Pando, a super organism that takes up 107 acres in an Aspen grove in Utah, with roots that are all interlocked; the Nile River, which spans 11 different countries throughout the dessert but greenery is seen all along the river.
A goal of the retreat was unity, breaking down walls and barriers. Mr. Stuart sees the middle school as one body of 6th through 8th grade students, and this event strengthens the body. Fellowship was experienced through recreation and meals and in worship, with music provided by FPCO’s middle school youth coordinator, Steve Eastwood. Mr. Stuart saw evidence all around him that the goals of the retreat were achieved: all new students fully embraced, faculty engaged with the students in all aspects of the two-day retreat, and 6th, 7th and 8th grade students sitting together during meals, playing Ultimate Frisbee and encouraging each other on the Ropes Course.