August 25, 2018 – Barton College’s second Honors Retreat took place on Saturday. The purpose of this exciting event for first year honors students was to capture the spirit of the co-curricular activities of the Honors Program, which include service, culture, and community. Student leaders of the event Brooke Lonergan and Jonathan Moss, both sophomores, described the purpose of the honors retreat. Brooke stated, “this event was meant to build friendship between first year honors students, creating a healthy learning atmosphere for their college careers.” Jonathan stated, “The event will help first years to get a snippet of what the honors program is all about: volunteer work, service, and education.”
The whole event emphasized working with the community to accomplish certain goals. One such goal was to strategize and work in groups to build a boat out of cardboard for fellow upper class men honors students to try and race. This event provided an opportunity for the first year honors students to get to know one another and other upper classmen.
The students were visited by speaker Bobby Harrell, executive pastor at Wave Church, who reflected on times served at disaster relief centers. While Harrell was at these centers, he focused on doing little jobs that although felt insignificant to him, greatly impacted the locals he was helping. Harrell felt that his service changed him more than it changed the people he was working with.
First year honors students also packaged meals with the Rise against Hunger organization, a service project that is linked to the VOC 111 class that focuses on giving back to the community around Barton. First year honors student Logan Clarke said, “This event has been great! My favorite part has been being able to give back through service and being able to know the people you’re going to be working with in the honors program for the next four years. The honors program is helping me build strong relationships. And with service, it is helping me grow as an individual.” In total the students successfully packaged 10,152 meals.
The event concluded with honors students enjoying pizza and popsicles on center campus, where there were yard games and live music from the band BC Boyz, led by Cam Loseke and Bryan Creasy. Overall, Brooke and Jonathan stated, “The most important part of this event was to show that the honors program isn’t just a degree but is a community and support group.”
By Callie Burnette