Some of the things people have said about their encounters with Renewal in the Wilderness.
“I don’t face those challenges, especially physical, in each day of my ordinary life; so here I felt the challenges were greater, and they made me experience life much more vividly.” Wesley C.
“Without shelter and protection we rode out the storm. This was a unique experience for most and an educational one. Nature threw us a tough one and as we got up and shook out our stiff joints, we knew that sometimes the act of persevering, of standing your ground against an irresistible force, is all that is prudent and necessary.” Bryan A.
“For me, each of the experiences went beyond anything I could have done on my own…the combination of the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional [experiences] really forced me to look at things in an entirely different way.” Susan T.
“I was very anxious about the trip because I had never done anything like this before. I am one who enjoys sleeping in a bed, taking a shower each day and enjoying the comforts of home. I was also afraid that the physical nature of the trip would be too hard on me… The trip was incredible. I was able to stretch myself physically, emotionally and spiritually in ways that I had never experienced in my life. The physical nature of the trip was hard, yes, but it was not unbearable and the toughness of it only helped to focus my mind.” Stephen C.
“It’s challenging, just to be in the [wilderness], because everything else gets stripped away, and it’s just us and the elements…and it makes such wonderful contrasts.” Lynne S.
“I realize I have made a shift from seeing the wilderness as a hostile environment to one of blissful peace and stillness. It is this peace and stillness that is the core of the trip’s gift.” Carole A.
"Renewal in the Wilderness led me into a place without distractions…It allowed me to acknowledge my limits and needs…the Renewal in the Wilderness trip reminded me of how little we need to be profoundly happy…peaceful and complete." Julie H.
“I thought it would take forty days in the wilderness to affect me the way it did….not six.” Gary B.
“Thank you so much for reminding me once again about the wonders of the wilderness….[and] how much we need nature to inspire and inform us in the world.” Mary W.
“[At times during my Renewal in the Wilderness trip], I was aware of waiting for “something more” to happen. It made me realize how I can harbor these expectations in my everyday life…And in the process of living breathlessly waiting, I miss the lovely, subtle, simple changes and textures of the day. I realized for the first time that when I am not living in the present moment, I don’t appreciate what I have now…Nature has a power to heal that demands nothing from you.” Susan L.
“I have a remarkable, annoying way of not being in the present….but having to deal with the elements and the physical stuff, brings me to the present.” Lynne S.
“Being on the river pulled me away from everything, and it was very different from vacation in that we were in a serene atmosphere…you get into the rhythm of paddling and thinking about what’s going on around you.” Ronald D.
“When I want to feel that sense of centered, grounded, deep, deep stillness, quiet, silence, and peace, I go back to that site on a bluff overlooking the lake where I spent my solo day.” Carole A.
“I didn’t want it to end. I mean, I knew the physical part of the trip had to stop, but what I particularly didn’t want to end was the feeling of wholeness and connection. And so far it hasn’t, even ten months later.” Stephanie P.
“I will ever keep that experience with me and I know I will refer to the challenges when life challenges me.” Wesley C.
“We left the river a different group than we came. More cohesive, better friends, more relaxed, more in tune to our own spirituality, and more willing to listen to that quiet voice within.” Bryan A.
“As I sat in my study yesterday morning, I heard birds singing...I thought to myself, ‘If I was in our tent right now I could hear them [much more] clearly.’ The mornings [on my trip] were so innocent…so beautiful. Whether it was the sound of soft rain hitting the tent or watching the light come through the fabric, they were wonderful.” Carole A.
“I have always been aware of trust, but I think I learned to use it more this trip. Trusting in my fellow group members, and also…the wildness of nature.” Wesley C.
“We developed mutual respect for each other and a very, very strong sense of group. That sense of group carried over to the way we shared tasks in camp, paddled in a brigade of four canoes, and faced formidable challenges…For me, the trip was emotional and cleansing.” Donald R.