BRECKENRIDGE, Colo.-- --
More than 30 Airmen attended the 50th Space Wing Chaplain Office single Airmen’s retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado, May 18 – 20.
The event’s theme was overcoming labels and striving to achieve better self-identity.
“The purpose of the retreat was to give unmarried Airmen the opportunity to foster new relationships, enhance their interpersonal skills and provide time for them to exercise self-care,” said 1st. Lt. Lauren Hughes, chaplain with the 50th Space Wing.
Airmen spent the weekend attending chaplain-taught resiliency classes, staying at a hotel with free food and lodging and exploring Breckinridge.
“The retreat was a lot of fun and it was nice to meet some new people,” said Senior Airman Michael Gibson, unit deployment manager with the 50th Force Support Squadron and event attendee. “The chaplain lessons taught us about ourselves and gave us advice for future relationships.”
The event kicked-off with an icebreaker session in which Airmen introduced themselves and sought signatures from others who filled in categories such as “I am a twin” or “I have a cat.”
“I liked getting to meet others I haven't met yet and making some new friends,” said Amanda Adney, program analyst with the 4th Space Operations Squadron and event attendee. “Being with such a great group of people added to the fun.”
The group spent the evening exploring Breckenridge and filling out a chart to determine their Meyer’s – Briggs Type Indicator personality type.
Airmen gathered to discuss and review their results the next morning.
“Learning our temperament traits was really interesting,” Adney said. “I feel like learning where I fit in the temperament traits helped me see why I feel and think differently than those with different traits.”
Evaluating each other’s personality types led to two resiliency classes which highlighted the power of self-identity, differences in relationships and how to better approach people with different traits. Each attendee wrote on a piece of tape a label they are often given that does not describe themselves, such as “introvert” or “standoffish,” and wore it on their person.
Airmen then split into groups to participate in an escape room scenario downtown. Hughes said this provided an opportunity to put what they learned into practice and help foster group cohesiveness.
“From the icebreaker to the escape room, our activities intentionally created space for the Airmen to engage with each other on personal and intellectual levels,” Hughes said.
The event concluded with a comprehensive review session. Airmen ripped off the tape with the labels they didn’t like and threw it in a trash bin as a symbolic gesture. They were then given a piece of tape to write a label they want.
Airman 1st Class Kalissa Vue, career development apprentice with the 50th FSS and event attendee, who labeled herself as wanting to be inspirational, said she felt a sense of relief discarding her old label and had a great time learning about herself and others.
“This experience definitely helped me develop more as a person and really helped my personality shine more,” Vue said. “It helped me a lot and I believe helped others become more open to things. Everyone came out of their shells and became comfortable with each other.”
Hughes said she plans to continue retreats into the future, the next one is a marriage retreat scheduled for June 8 – 10.
“I do believe the event achieved its goal of forging and strengthening relationships,” she said. “We will be sending surveys to participants and taking the results from that to enhance our retreats in the future.”
For more information about future events, contact the 50th SW Chaplain Office at 567-3705.