Thursday, September 28, 2023

Reflection: CCA Annual Retreat and Educational Symposium in Minneapolis

Editor's Note: Christine Clinton was kind enough to write a reflection on our 2023 Annual Retreat and Educational Symposium. This retreat is so very important to all our families, and adults like Christine, who wait all year for the last weekend in June when the CCA community comes together to relax and spend time with one another. Next year, we will be in Baltimore, MD, from June 28 - 30th, 2024. Keep an eye on our social media channels and website for more details.

By Christine Clinton

This year, the Children’s Craniofacial Association held their 33rd Annual Family Retreat and Educational Symposium in Minneapolis, MN from June 22nd - June 25th, 2023. I had never been to Minneapolis prior to the retreat, so I was very eager, and very excited, to be able to attend another retreat with CCA.

This was my eleventh retreat with CCA, so I was especially happy to be able to attend. Places of interest that I made sure to visit while I was there was the Minneapolis Queen River Boat Cruise, which my friend Bernice and I did on Friday afternoon, and the Basilica of St. Mary Church. I went to the Basilica on Sunday afternoon. We also went to the famed Mall of America too!

Some of the highlights of the retreat that I especially enjoyed was the educational symposiums. Bernice and I attended two of the symposiums, before I even got my retreat bag to see what special goodies CCA had for us. After a day of symposium sessions.Thursday night was the retreat kickoff and entertainment. We had fun watching the magician and enjoying some snacks.

On Friday, we had a welcome breakfast, and then Bernice and I went on the river cruise. After we got back to the hotel from the river cruise, we were able to enjoy the carnival celebration; that was fun, I was able to catch up with my friends from CCA, and meet new families who were there as well. Friday night was family night, with the hometown raffle baskets. It was so fun to see what everyone brought for their raffle baskets. The bag that Bernice and I put together, another friend had won, so that was awesome to see.

On Saturday we had breakfast again, and then there was a talent show, such great talent. After the talent show, we were able to relax a bit, before the dinner/dance. To me, the dinner/dance is a very fun night, but it is also a little sad, because it is the last night we are all together before everyone goes their own way to go home. I enjoyed great food, spending time with lots of my friends, awesome music, taking lots of pictures, and dancing the night away.

Sunday morning, we had our farewell breakfast, took more pictures, and said our goodbyes until next year. I always thoroughly enjoy every retreat with CCA, but for some reason, the retreat in Minneapolis was much more special for me. For me, the weekend of the retreats is the one weekend that I look forward to all year long, and the one weekend that I thoroughly and truly enjoy. I feel normal when I am on these retreats, and I feel like I can be myself. It is a true blessing to be able to be with others who understand the struggles of life.

Thank you to the Children’s Craniofacial Association for all that you do for families and individuals with craniofacial differences

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome and encourage all readers to post feedback, however, we reserve the right to remove any comments that are deemed offensive or unrelated to the topic of discussion. Thank you for understanding and for helping us to foster a healthy environment for the families that we serve.