Students in Dr. Ken Clapp’s “Putting it all together for a great college experience and a life well-lived” First-Year Seminar (FYS) traveled to Jonas Ridge, N.C. (near Linville) for a class retreat away from campus in the beautiful North Carolina mountains.
Dr. Clapp noted that the retreat was planned around the topic of the course and class goals. The first session was designed to help students get to know one another better and thus be able to have a greater appreciation for the diverse viewpoints and perspectives being experienced in the seminar. An underlying purpose of this session was getting the students to think about who they are as individuals as a part of something bigger and to reflect on ways they need to work on improving themselves.
One of the sessions had to do with practical application of some of principles of the lifeline planning the students have been working on in which they chart their goals for various stages and points in their lives and determine the financial ramifications and how they can plan to meet the financial requirements for those goals and do so consistent with their values.
The final session included reflection on what they have learned about themselves and thoughts about how things such as being free of the distraction of their cell phones speaks to important aspects of life such as developing meaningful relationships.
As Madi Bumgarner observed “Dr. Clapp took our FYS on an overnight retreat to a cabin he built located in Jonas Ridge, NC. We participated in class discussions and took a hike to the top of Hawksbill Mountain (overlooking Linville Gorge, with views of Grandfather Mountain, Morganton and Mt. Mitchell )as a group Sunday morning. This was a very enjoyable trip and it allowed the class to grow closer together in our friendships, while earning a deeper understanding of the point of our FYS class. Dr. Clapp made sure that we were extremely comfortable with one another and allowed us to enjoy ourselves throughout the whole trip.”
Zavion Hamilton noted that “the trip …. opened up my eyes. It gave us the opportunity to experience what it is like without a phone for once. Being a part of the retreat and far away was a stress relief. I learned that it is important to get to know the people around you, and bond in a positive way. I really loved it, and I would totally do it all over again.”
Kaitlyn Wright recalled the trip this way: “For our Freshman retreat we took a trip to a cabin in the mountains built by Dr. Clapp himself. During our time there we experienced time to learn more subject information on the topic of our class with real world examples of how not all investments involve something that you cannot see unlike the cabin that you could see. We also got time to get to know our fellow classmates more through bonding and even a hike to see the beautiful landscape that was around us. Taking the time to travel up to the mountains was a very refreshing and rewarding experience to take a break from schoolwork and just spend time with the people in class. I am really glad I got to experience this trip with people that I get to grow and learn within the next three years. “
Matthew Fowler said: “I found my First Year Seminar retreat to be very beneficial for me. But at first I was hesitant on if I wanted to go. It was out of my comfort zone to go to a cabin with a bunch of people I barely knew with no cell service. I quickly bonded with these people though. Not having cell service made me have real conversations with my fellow classmates. We even went on a nice hike that overlooked the Linville Gorge. At the end of the retreat I found out that I enjoyed it and would do it again if the opportunity presented itself.”
Other students from the course who traveled were Faith Benton, Zachary Bryant, Abigayle Lemirande, Mia Mercer, Megan Turbyfill, and class Teaching Fellow Sam Young.