Lila Miller, A&E Editor
On the Labor Day weekend of Sept. 1-3, Armstrong’s International Student Organization (ISO) is hosting a camping retreat to St. Simon’s Island, Ga. St. Simon’s Island is the largest barrier island within a cluster of islands that makes up the Golden Isles.
International students and students who have previously participated in a study abroad program are encouraged to apply. However, current students may also apply if availability remains open.
The event’s registration fee was originally $93 but has been reduced to $50 as ISO has agreed to pay for half of the cost of the fee. The registration fees include cabin housing, all meals and transportation to and from St. Simon’s Island. The deadline to apply and register for the camping retreat is Aug. 28.
Participating students of the event will be residing in the Aldergate youth cabins at Epworth by the Sea, facilities used by Armstrong for past events.
The group will be accompanied by the Director of International Education, Dr. Mertz-Weigel and International Student Services Program Coordinator, Sara Nobles. Team Leaders ISO President Samuel Sanya and Vice President Kaushal Patel will be leading students in games, exercises and workshops.
Program participants will be able to enjoy camping in the cabins, creating camp fires, field games and a scavenger hunt, swimming, icebreakers, team building exercises and leisure time to explore St. Simon’s Island.
An important aspect of the retreat is to facilitate team building exercises and student bonding. Group events will help students build skills, understand conflict styles, successfully navigate interpersonal relations and understand different cultural and societal norms.
Members of ISO and their team of executives include students from western Europe, Wales, India, Nigeria, Kenya, Jamaica and Vietnam. The main purpose of the retreat is fostering community between students.
The retreat will give students an opportunity to get out of Savannah and make friends. Students will engage in viewing different perspectives while meeting people from various backgrounds, including race, class, gender, sexuality and those who are not able-bodied. Worthy of note is that Epworth by the Sea’s recreation centers are entirely handicap accessible.
“Icebreakers are always fun, we [ISO] put in a lot of work to share useful information for students during their time in the U.S. as well as back in their home country.” Nobles said.
The itinerary for the retreat is broken into one day segments throughout the duration of the three day stay and is available via Armstrong’s ISO page.
ISO will also be offering events throughout the fall semester including club meetings, cultural celebrations, International Cafe, International Day of Peace, International Education Week, Taste of the World and Discover Belize. More information will become available as the dates approach.
The informal mission statement of ISO is to aid “current international students and domestic students [to] come together to celebrate their unique heritages… no matter where you are from, you will find family and friendship at Armstrong!” ISO also promotes “diversity, acceptance and friendship.”
For more information on ISO, please visit their office on campus in Gamble Hall in room 110, or add their group “Armstrong International Student Organization” on Facebook.