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OVERVIEW

On the weekend of September 30, we will have a parish-wide retreat in the Piney Woods of The Episcopal Diocese of Texas’ Camp Allen (2 hours southeast of Waco). The retreat offers an opportunity for us to rest, play, learn, and pray together over a weekend at camp!

This retreat is for all ages, which means that there is programming and activities for children and adults. The time away will primarily about rest and connection, with talks centered on the invitation to enter into God’s rest.

Registration closed on Sunday, September 4.

CLICK TO LEARN MORE:

Two registration options available:

    • FULL REGISTRATION: This option includes lodging in the bunkhouses and all meals. Choose full registration even if you only plan to stay for 1 of 2 nights or plan to participate in weekend events & meals but will be lodging off-site.
    • DAYTRIPPER: This option is for those who plan to drive down to Camp Allen for Saturday only. This option includes meals for Saturday only, no lodging.

FULL REGISTRATION, ADULT: $150

FULL REGISTRATION, CHILD/YOUTH: $30

DAYTRIPPER, ADULT: $50

DAYTRIPPER, CHILD/YOUTH: $20

1. Campsite 4 Bunkhouses

Our retreat will be held at Camp Allen’s Campsite 4, which has 4 bunkhouses. Each bunkhouse has 2 bunkrooms (6 bunkbeds each, 12 beds) and shared bathroom and showers. These bunkhouses are newly built with air conditioning in each room. You must provide your own linens/sleeping bags/pillows. When registering, you can request a bunk mate if you want to stay with a buddy!

Campsite 4 Bunkhouse Floor Plan

2. Camp Allen Private Rooms (no longer available, all rooms filled as of June 29)

In addition to the bunkhouses there are a limited number of private bunkrooms (2 bunk beds each with private bathroom) at Campsite 4 and Camp Allen hotel rooms with 2 queen beds (at $100 additional registration cost). Because these rooms are limited, they are not guaranteed at registration. Instead, you can indicate your preference at registration and follow-up confirmation will be provided if room is available with priority given to registrants with special need of the space (e.g., young families, mobility disabilities).

3. Navasota Hotel Rooms

Navasota is a 20-minute drive from Camp Allen. A block of rooms (2 queens/room) has been been reserved under “St. Alban’s” at Navasota Best Western for an additional charge of $143.99+tax/night, which registrants will pay directly to hotel. You can book one of these rooms by calling 936-870-4100. Book by August 30th for special pricing.

Two important notes on off-site lodging:

  1. Cost of hotel room is in addition to the registration fee. You pay the hotel directly for this additional cost.
  2. Must also register “full registration” for the retreat to participate in the Friday–Sunday retreat.

There are additional hotels within a 20-25 minute drive of Camp Allen, including:

• Navasota Comfort Inn & Suites

• Navasota P.A. Smith Hotel

• Hempstead Prairie View Americas Best Value Inn & Suites

• Hempstead Summit Inn

Nursery

Nursery care will be available for children 3 and under on Saturday from 9:00–noon & 1:00–3:00 PM. You must indicate your interest in making use of the nursery when registering to assure  sufficient nursery space and coverage. Please note, at this time we have limited nursery availability.

Programming

We will have our three main retreat sessions on Saturday. During each session, there will be children’s programming running concurrently for ages 4–tween. Youth are invited to join us in the adult sessions or serve as a children’s ministry helper.

In addition to the sessions, there are a number of child-friendly activities at Camp Allen available during free time, including: an outdoor pool, petting zoo, lawn games, walking trails, crafts, basketball court, horse trail or arena rides (add’l fee).

Bunkhouse Policy 

Overview:

You will see a number of housing options when you register, but most participants will stay in one of the bunkhouses. The bunk rooms share a bathroom and shower room. The bathrooms have individual stalls with locks. The showers are across from bathrooms through an entryway with curtained showers. We adhere to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas’s Safeguarding God’s Children policies.

Policy :

  • All families with a child/children 12 and under who wish to stay in the bunkhouse will stay in a family bunkhouse.
  • Bunkrooms will be shared by families (say, one family unit with one adult + mixed gender children sharing a room with another family made up of two adults + children). This setup allows for parents to stay with their children without dividing up by gender, it also avoids the issue of separating a child overnight from their parent if single-parent or only one parent attends retreat.
  • Youth (ages 13+) may stay in an adult bunkhouse of same gender (at the parents’ discretion). Any teen in an adult bunkhouse will have at least 1 safeguarded adult in the shared bunk room.

In the family bunkhouses:

    • There will be set times by gender for adults to shower (solo or with child/children). These times will be posted and shared. 
    • All clothing changes are to be made in bathroom stalls or during scheduled gendered shower slot.
    • Children should never be alone in bunkhouse without a parent present.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 30

    6:00–6:45 PM: Check in & get settled in bunkhouses
    7:00–7:45 PM: Dinner
    8:00–8:30 PM: Welcome
    9:00–9:15 PM: Compline (optional)

SATURDAY, OCT. 1

    7:30–8:00 AM: Morning Prayer (optional)
    8:00–8:45 AM: Breakfast & daytripper check in

9:00 AM–noon: Nursery open (3 and under)

    9:00–9:45 AM: Session 1 (Adult/Children)
    10:00 AM–noon: Free time w/optional activities
    11:45 AM–Noon: Noonday Prayer (optional)
    Noon–12:45 PM: Lunch

1:00–3:00 PM: Nursery open (3 and under)

    1:00–1:45 PM: Session 2 (Adult/Children)
    2:00–6:00 PM: Free time w/optional activities
    5:30–6:00 PM: Evening Prayer (optional)
    6:00–6:45 PM: Dinner
    7:00–7:45 PM: Session 3 (Adult/Children)
    7:45–8:30 PM: Contemplative activity (optional)
    9:00–9:15 PM: Compline (optional)

SUNDAY

    8:00–8:45 AM: Breakfast
    9:00–10:15 AM: Worship Service at Camp Allen Chapel
    10:30 AM: Pack up and head back to Waco

Camp Allen is a year-round facility located about an hour northwest of Houston. With over 1,000 acres, the camp hosts everything from summer camp to spiritual retreats and conferences. 

We will be staying at Campsite 4 and using the Bishop Doyle Center for meals and retreat sessions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Camp Allen is full of options during free time, including swimming at the pool, going for a hike, taking a trip to the petting zoo (how cool!), mountain biking, horseback riding (add’l fee), trail runs, lawn games, horseshoes, sand volleyball, basketball, fishing (bring your own gear), lounging on the dock, reading in an adirondack chair, craft time, nap time, and more!

Some of you may have stayed at Camp Allen before and received catered meals from Camp Allen’s main lodge. Our retreat will be different in terms of meals as we will be preparing food and eating together at the Bishop Doyle Center/Campsite 4. 

When you register, you will have the option to serve on a meal prep & serve or on a clean-up team. We will be eating the usual camp staples (baked pasta, taco bar, fruit, granola bars, sandwiches, etc.). You are welcome to bring your own snacks as well, but we should have more than enough food to keep us happy and energized! 

If you have a food allergy/restriction, no worries! We will have a place for you to indicate these dietary needs when you register.

In the adult/non-family bunkhouses, bunkhouses are divided up by gender. Youth (13+) may stay in the adult bunkhouses with parental permission. We will abide by our family bunkhouse policy in the family bunkhouses:

Bunkhouse Policy 

Overview:

You will see a number of housing options when you register, but most participants will stay in one of the bunkhouses. The bunk rooms share a bathroom and shower room. The bathrooms have individual stalls with locks. The showers are across from bathrooms through an entryway with curtained showers. We adhere to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas’s Safeguarding God’s Children policies.

Policy :
  • All families with a child/children 12 and under who wish to stay in the bunkhouse will stay in a family bunkhouse.
  • Bunkrooms will be shared by families (say, one family unit with one adult + mixed gender children sharing a room with another family made up of two adults + children). This setup allows for parents to stay with their children without dividing up by gender, it also avoids the issue of separating a child overnight from their parent if single-parent or only one parent attends retreat.
  • Youth (ages 13+) may stay in an adult bunkhouse of same gender (at the parents’ discretion). Any teen in an adult bunkhouse will have at least 1 safeguarded adult in the shared bunk room.
In the family bunkhouses:
    • There will be set times by gender for adults to shower (solo or with child/children). These times will be posted and shared. 
    • All clothing changes are to be made in bathroom stalls or during scheduled gendered shower slot.
    • Children should never be alone in bunkhouse without a parent present.

Because we have a limited number of more private lodging options at Camp Allen (Campsite 4 private rooms & Camp Allen hotel rooms), we are unable to guarantee preferred lodging. Priority for these rooms will be given to special need and promptness of registration (e.g., more likely to receive if registering earlier in the summer).

Preferred lodging will begin to be assigned by mid-July at the latest. If you do not receive your preferred lodging option and the bunkhouse option or off-site hotel option is not desired, you may cancel your registration.

We do not want cost to be a barrier to participation! When you register, there will be a place to indicate if you need a scholarship to help cover the cost of registration. You will be able to indicate your amount of financial need. This cost will be covered by the rector’s discretionary fund.

The goal is to make the retreat as financially doable as possible. To help achieve that end, the retreat speakers will be in-house and thus add no additional cost for retreat programming. We also are providing our own meals, which keeps the costs low (catered meals would easily double the cost of the retreat).

The adult registration fees took the cost for the Bishop Doyle Center & Campsite 4, plus food and materials for the retreat and divided it up by our best guess at registrants. That number was then lowered $35 or so per registrant to keep the cost down. The church will be subsidizing that difference (if you are interested in helping cover that additional cost, please reach out to Nancy Bennett, Business Manager: nancy@stalbanswaco.org).

For children/youth registration, the cost will cover additional meals and the cost of staffing the nursery for Saturday.

A more detailed packing list will be provided in the weeks before the retreat, but here is a list of the kinds of things you may want to pack:

  • Bedding, pillow, & towel (if staying at Campsite 4)
  • Toiletries
  • Hiking/tennis shoes
  • Bug spray & sunscreen
  • Lounging around clothes
  • Activewear
  • Bible & Book of Common Prayer
  • Journal
  • Swimsuit/swim trunks and pool towel
  • Novel, book of poetry, and/or sketch book
  • Special snacks
  • Favorite card game