Camp Casey’s tranquil beaches, wide prairies and dense forests provide a powerful yet serene backdrop for contemplation and prayer. Those who visit Casey often leave with a deeper connection to God and a better understanding of themselves. Deb Nondorf, Minister of Christian Community Formation at Seattle Pacific University, has seen this first hand during the spiritual retreats she coordinates for female SPU students and faculty.
“These are spiritual retreats which offer contemplative experiences for participants,” Nondorf said. “Camp Casey is far enough away from the city to really dis-engage from the usual demands. And, yet, it is close enough that it is not a burden for participants to have to get to.”
The Alumni House at Camp Casey provides the perfect location for the retreat because it is small enough that the women can convene in the living room. They can also gather around the large dining room table for art and reflection activities. The nearby fort and lighthouse offer opportunities for exploration, and the natural beauty is accessible to everyone, Nondorf explained.
“This is really special for the students who have typically been on retreats in the barracks, and they are astounded with the beauty of the Alumni House and how spacious it is,” Nondorf said.
Cooking meals in the Alumni House kitchen provides Nondorf with another opportunity to help participants create a meaningful experience at the retreat.
“Our Saturday night dinners are a highlight for most people. We break in to three groups: cook, clean up, and ambiance. The different setups by the ambiance team have made for extraordinary experiences,” she said.
Camp Casey’s beauty and seclusion provide the women with a perfect backdrop for silence and contemplation. “The women are glad they came because they are able to totally immerse themselves in the retreat experience: separating from their normal routines and truly finding sacred space to encounter God in meaningful ways,” she said.