A Report on Camp Constitution’s 1st Annual Ladies Retreat by Kathleen LaBonte LoFaro

Camp Constitution’s 1st Annual Women’s Retreat was held October 2-4, 2020, in the beautiful and quiet 135-acre woodland setting of the Singing Hills Christian Camp in Plainfield, N.H.   It was a weekend full of glorious fall foliage delight for the eyes, and sunshine to warm 15 women’s hearts, but nothing lifted the spirits and bonded our souls in friendship more than the fellowship and prayer sessions, artistic and life skill preservation activities, and breaking bread together where we closed the distance of acquaintance, close friends, and honored guests, and became family…sisters.  Deuteronomy 12:7 “And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.”

We all felt blessed to have found our way to this extraordinary event, and we were completely joyful and delighted in all that had been so carefully planned for us by four talented active Christian patriotic “friends” of Camp Constitution:  Edith Craft, who led us in devotionals; Kathy Mickle and Roberta Stewart, who organized delightful arts and crafts activities, with a vision that we continue the “no-sew” small blanket as a community service project; and Maura Shurtleff for teaching her secrets in creating a beautiful holiday wreath.   From those four main organizers, Keiko Bernardi jumped in with morning exercises before breakfast; Catherine White took us out on the shooting range to try our skills with a rifle and Nancy Copeland with the air gun, with everyone successful under their tutelage.  Catherine also lend her artistic side leading us in stories and songs around the nightly campfire; and Bonnie Manchester, a public education teacher, gave an hour presentation on her life journey from a car accident that almost took her life, to current state of public education, and why many parents are making the decision to homeschool.

All in attendance were gifted one way or another, and shared their giftedness without hesitation, but the cherry on the top of this most delightful weekend, was keynote speaker Barbara from Harlem, a Minister and Author of “Escaping the Racism of Low Expectations,” and her daughter Bebe Diamond.  Together they have launched a radio show called “Our Urban Story” where they discuss political issues and concerns about the state of America.   We look forward to continue annually what we were calling the “Christian warrior ladies” retreat – Children of God, Women of Faith, Warriors for Christ, and growing in many more friendships and memories together.   Next year’s Ladies Retreat will take place October 1-3 at Singing Hills.