Fall Retreat Tradition

Sept. 14-16

Just over 100 Oxford students, faculty, staff and their families gathered in north Georgia for Oxford’s annual fall retreat.

For more than 35 years, part of the Oxford College community has spent the weekend at Athens Y Camp tucked in between Lake Rabun and Tallulah Falls. Each year brings guest speakers with engaging topics for students, along with games, swimming, and plenty of free time.

Led by renowned storyteller Andy Irwin, the theme for this year’s retreat was “Being the Hero/Heroine in Your Own Journey.” Irwin has been artist in residence at Oxford since 1991.

“What a treat to have Andy Irwin leading the morning program,” says Oxford College Chaplain Lyn Pace, who coordinates the fall retreat. “He brought his wealth of storytelling experience to keep students engaged and telling their own stories.”

After sharing his stories with
retreat participants, Irwin encouraged
them to share their own with the group.

Lake Pearson at Athens Y Camp

Throughout the retreat, organizers planned icebreaker activities for participants to meet each other. They gathered at the lodge on Friday night for introductions followed by s’mores around the campfire.

The lodge at Athens Y Camp, decorated with signs bearing the names of former campers, served as a meeting place for students. The lodge and nearby Lake Pearson provided a relaxing backdrop as participants collaborated on projects or engaged in fun activities.

Adventure seekers took a day hike
in the Panther Creek area.

On Saturday night, attendees headed over to the camp gym for a barn dance led by contra and square dance caller Seth Tepfer. By day, Tepfer serves on the Oxford College Information Technology team.

This year, Oxford faculty provided live music for the barn dance tradition. The trio contained math professors Mike Rogers on banjo and Karen Rogers on violin, along with history professor David Leinweber on guitar.