The comprehensive list of Regional Retreats currently scheduled and open for registration (did you hear? Registration is OPEN!) can be found on the OCF Events page right here.
To tell you a little more about what Regional Retreats are and why you should go, I’d like to introduce to you your very own Regional Student Leader! If you’re unsure in which region you live, check out this handy-dandy map right here!
Red – Northwest
Dark Blue – Southwest
Yellow – Mountain
Light Blue – Midwest
Dark Green – South
Pink – Great Lakes
Orange – Southeast
Light Green – Mid-Atlantic
Purple – Northeast
Please get in contact with your RSL–they’re here for you and built to make your life awesome.
If you’ve attended a Regional Retreat and have a story you’d like to share, I’d LOVE to feature it on the blog. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll set you up.
Without further ado–here are your RSLs, and their thoughts on Regional Retreats!
1. So, what exactly is a Regional Retreat? Like, what happens?
A Regional Retreat is an event that brings Orthodox college students (and those inquiring about the Faith) together for a wholesome weekend of discussion, fellowship, service, and worship. Students of all jurisdictions come from around the entire region to meet friends, offer work for the Glory of God through a service project, and most importantly worship together as the body of Christ.
– Niko Wilk, Southeast Regional Student Leader
You should go because it is such a NEEDED break from your school work. Also, it is a good way to be spiritually renewed and regain your energy for the rest of the semester. Another bonus is that you get to meet some incredible people who are going through similar life experiences as you, and I mean, who doesn’t like more Orthodox Christian friends?
– Rachel Howanetz, Mid-Atlantic Regional Student Leader
3. What makes regional retreats special, unique? Why are they different from my regular OCF chapter meeting?
So you can find an Orthodox spouse!!!!!! HAHA jk Ben don’t put that in the blog.
If there’s one piece of advice I have to offer, it is not to let your college OCF chapter become your only experience with Orthodoxy in college. Retreats such as this one can introduce you to the wide world of OCF that exists outside of your comfort zone at school. Boris Pasternak once wrote that unshared happiness is not happiness – and I think to a certain extent the same can be said for one’s faith life. Come to the Midwest regional retreat to take a breather from school, meet new friends, and rejuvenate your faith life.
– Nicole Petrow, Midwest Regional Student Leader
4. What was the best regional retreat you’ve ever attended? What made it so good?
The best retreat I ever attended was in Syracuse, NY. The speakers were really great, but what made it meaningful for me was the priest’s advice of how to deal with a very difficult professor who tested my own faith. I came back equipped with the right tools of patience and prayer, plus all the ethnic dances were quite a workout and a lot of fun!
– Sypridoula Fotinis, Northeast Regional Student Leader
5. Okay, in 1-6 words, why will your regional retreat be the best in the country?
Incredible retreat center and awesome speakers! LITURGICAL. ARTS. Need I say more? We have a nature walk! Because Christ is at the center! It’s in the mountains of Colorado. Faith, Friends, and Fun! Abbot Tryphon will be speaking! It brings us love at home. TEXAS.
Even as a Regional Student Leader, I haven’t been to one yet. This will be the first retreat in the Northwest Region. Planning it has been a blessing to realize that I can do things that scare me when I’m with Christ.
– David Munkres, Northwest Regional Student Leader
7. Funniest story ever from a regional retreat–go!
[This one time at the OCF retreat, (please omit this section) NOPE!] Our group sat around a table and a waitress asks us if we would like desert. Then the priest says, “Orange whip? Orange whip?” quoting the Blues Brothers. I immediately began cracking up, then we look around and realize that no one understood the reference but us.
– Spiro Morris, Great Lakes Regional Student Leader
8. Why did you want to become a Regional Student Leader and start organizing these retreats?
I wanted to become a Regional Student Leader because when I started college, I didn’t have any Orthodox friends on campus, there was no OCF chapter on campus, and the closest church was 45 minutes away and a lot of the time, the road was closed so I couldn’t make it over in the winter. I decided to start a chapter at my university and it is finally almost in place!
I didn’t know about the Mountain Regional Retreat until two months after it had taken place. I knew that I really could have benefited from attending this retreat and that is a very large reason why I because a regional leader…to help get the word out about the regional retreat and let other OCF students know the benefits from attending.
– Quinn Marquadt, Mountain Regional Student Leader
9. Okay, what if I can’t make it on the weekend it’s scheduled? Are there other things for me to do?
On this particular weekend the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco is also having their annual fall young adult retreat. That will be held at the Monastery in Dunlap, CA. Otherwise, definitely contact me to see how you can get involved, whether it be at a local chapter, or remotely! There are always opportunities for you to grow in Christ– and I encourage you to take these opportunities. You will be so happy you did.
– Markayla Stroubakis, Southwest Regional Student Leader
GET INVOLVED! YOU’RE NEVER TOO COOL FOR JESUS AND FREE PIZZA.