by Jaclyn Mallo (Michigan)
This question was felt last weekend by both alumni and the current students of Summit Semester as nearly forty alumni crowded back into Snow Wolf Lodge for three days to reunite with each other and the place that they once called home for three months. Squeals and laughter were heard throughout the day Friday and at breakfast on Saturday as alumni trickled in.
By Saturday morning, the lodge was exploding with the energy of all of the visitors.
Saturday was spent in many different ways. Some preferred to catch up with old friends inside around the fire, while others preferred to hike the nearby trails that were once right outside their backyard. Other alumni took significant time to get to know some of the current students and just hang out with them throughout the day.
Saturday night festivities included a full Thanksgiving dinner, swing dancing, and stargazing.
Students were very thankful for the alumni this night as they volunteered to take over dish pit duties after dinner. Instead of the six members of dish pit E, somewhere around 20 alumni took turns washing dishes and putting away leftovers, all the while bumping their early 2000’s music through the kitchen speakers.
Church gathering was a little fuller on Sunday as many of the alumni came to Grace Church for worship. It was cool to see conversations happening between church members and visiting alumni who were once part of the church family.
Many good conversations were had over the weekend between current students and the visiting alumni.
Some took place at night in the sports field while looking up at the Colorado sky and watching for shooting stars. Others happened at mealtimes or during games of spicy Uno. Questions such as “what would you have done differently when you were a student?” and “how has semester affected your life since you’ve graduated?” were asked and responded to with thoughtful and encouraging answers. Many students also asked about practical ways to continue living in Godly community once we go home and how to keep the relationships with our new semester friends strong after we all head back to our respective areas of the country. Several of the alumni were invested in building relationships with the current students and giving us as much advice as possible for navigating our last month at Semester and the coming transition back into “the real world”.
We, the current students, are thankful for the time we got to spend with the alumni and are also very thankful for all the encouragement and love they gave to us. Having all but the current 34 students gone now, the lodge seems a much more quiet and homely place, and it is comforting to get back into our usual routine.
However, we cannot wait for next year when we will have the chance to participate in the “home invasion” and cause the new set of students to wonder, “who are these people in our home?”.