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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

GSC hosts students at 12th annual Rainbow Retreat

<st weekend was the 12th annual Rainbow Retreat or, as retreaters more affectionately call it, “Gay Camp.” Hosted by Carelton’s Gender and Sexuality Center, this year’s retreat took 37 students to Camp Pepin for a weekend of discussion and rainbow-themed fun.

The Rainbow Retreat took students away from Carleton for two nights and brought them to a snow-covered camp in Wisconsin, off the Mississippi river. The distance from Carleton’s chaotic daily life gave the group a chance to relax, away from the internet and school work, to connect one-on-one.

The retreat’s focus was on intersecting identities, facilitated by Dr. Rev. Jamie Washington. He spoke about his own intersecting identities (gay, black, religious) and then created open, intimate discussions between pairs and small groups.

 “It was very cathartic for many people,” Daisuke Kawachi ’13 said.

Other activities took students back to their days away at summer camp. While some went sledding and exploring in the snow, others spent hours making friendship bracelets and playing games, all the while tyring to forget about that pile of homework back on campus.

Free time isn’t the only fun to be had on the Rainbow Retreat; GSC associates organized group activities like the Gay-lympics, which included games like “Gay-pardy” (Gay-themed Jeopardy) and the Expired-Condom Toss. Each cabin competed on the first night, battling it out for bragging rights for the rest of the weekend. On the second night, Connor Lane ’13 and Matt Weinstein ’14 emceed the “No-Talent Talent Show” where puppets, bad jokes and poetry took the stage.

Michael McClellan ’13, a GSCA student organizer who planned the retreat said his favorite unplanned moment was “an impromptu dance party that started with a CD from the YMCA camp labeled ‘Dizzance.’ I was so glad to be a part of that spontaneous fun.”

After spending a day speaking frankly about life experiences in regards to identity, there was a sense of freedom in the air, with no judgment.

The Rainbow Retreat was not just for LGBT students. As Hannah Trees ’12 said, “I would highly recommend [going on the retreat] to underclassmen of any and all sexual orientations.” 

Students return to the Rainbow Retreat year after year, each time taking away something different.
Going on the retreat “was the best decision I’ve made in a long time,” Dan McAlister ’13 said.

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