It’s Over!- Team Training Retreat 2016

        It is 12:47 pm on Saturday and I am sitting here in eerie quietness at Isaiah 40. The last of the Teams was picked up at 11am and now 2 of the committee members and myself are the only ones left as we wait for the last loads of laundry to come out of the dryer.   

  My goodness, what a week! Up every day at 5am to be back at the Retreat by 7:30 as everyone was waking up, then returning home each night and simply crawling into bed my mind awhirl with the events of the day just passed.    All the Team Members did a fantastic job. They are truly a special crew, but then I seem to say that every year! And three of Day Camp Committee members gave so much of their time to be present as well as the overnight supervisors, and other support staff throughout the week. 

  Each day a number of workshop leaders plus our Worship Leader and an evening speaker joined us so that most meals were set for 23 or more people. Thus my “base” was always the kitchen as I toggled between answering the flood of messages coming via email and text, as well as organising meal prep and cooking.   Yes, the week is always exhausting but also so so uplifting and totally worthwhile.   

We experienced at least one miracle when, at the eleventh hour, news came that Elysha had passed her French exam and could join her Team travelling to New Brunswick. Since the news came on Friday morning and the Team had tickets on the 5pm train there was a flurry of activity as Jillian tried, unsuccessfully, to book a third ticket (the train was full) and then cancelled the two tickets and booked three by bus!!! Since Elysha had left in tears the evening before, sure that she would not become a Team Member, her family returned with her last evening and we held a tiny commissioning service just for her, before the Team left for the bus station.   

  The big Commissioning Service, Thursday Evening, was very special with a great turnout of friends and families filling Lennox Hall to capacity.  As I write, Team 3 has already reached its destination on a First Nation outside Regina, Teams 4&6 are in the air enroute to Saskatoon, Team 5 is still on the bus to Bathurst, New Brunswick (a gruelling 19 hour trip), Team 2 is on a bus to Toronto, and Team 1 should by now have reached their nearby destination of Two Mountains (an outlying suburb of Montreal).   

  So soon the last load of laundry can be folded, a final check made to see that all the lights are off and windows closed and then Wil and I will squelch our way home through heavy rain, to begin the long process of dealing with a huge pile of paper work which inevitably follows the Retreat.   

 Before we head out I thought I would share a recipe from the week but first it probably would be wise to convert it down to six servings from 24!!    So here you go…

  Brown Rice & Feta Salad

  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 1 eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplants
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 3 Tbsps. ajvar (available at Middle Eastern Grocers
  • )¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. chilli flakes
  • 6 mint sprigs
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large lettuce
  • 8 oz. Feta Cheese
  • ¼ cup black olives

Cook rice and leave to cool. Dice eggplants and fry for 10 minutes in a little oil then add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes.Combine ajvar, lemon juice, and the rest of the olive oil, chilli flakes, and mint in a large bowl. Season to taste. Mix in the rice and tomatoes.
Line platters with lettuce and top with the rice and tomato mixture, the eggplant, cheese and olives. Serves 6.

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