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Students spend J-Term empowering spirit, mind, body

Huntington, Ind.-As a part of an off-campus January Term experience, 20 Huntington University students traveled to DeSoto, Mo., and stayed at Camp Neotez to participate in a retreat designed to restore the mind, body and spirit. While students didn't retreat from the cold weather, they did have the opportunity to spend 12 days with no computer, no cell phone, beautiful scenery and the familiar faces of Huntington peers.

The trip was part of a January Term course called "Empowering Your Spirit, Mind and Body: An Off-Campus Experience in "Strength Training" for the Complete Person," taught by Dr. Matthew Ruiz, assistant professor of exercise science.

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The students were involved in various activities throughout the day designed to challenge the way they viewed physical education or to challenge them spiritually. Around 7 a.m., students would begin the day with a morning run/walk. The remainder of the day was a mix of book discussions, individual quiet time, physical activity sessions, meals and free time.

HU students Katie Crandall and Amanda Meyers played an interesting role in this January Term experience. As part of an internship opportunity, Crandall and Meyers were given the responsibility of planning and organizing the daily book discussions as well as the afternoon and evening physical activity sessions.

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"The evening physical activity sessions were my favorite because we were able to practically apply our classroom teachings and see how our peers responded to those ideas," said Crandall, a senior exercise science major from Anderson, Ind.

One of the many lessons learned on this trip was that things don't always go according to plan. Crandall and Meyers saw that planning activities and lessons can sometimes end in unexpected ways. Toward the end of the trip, the women organized a scavenger hunt for teams of four students that had four different stations. The goal of one of the stations was to find oranges hidden in a corn field. This task was a little bit easier said then done. It took the teams hours of searching to find the oranges. All the while, people were freezing cold and wet from the nearby creek.

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"After two and a half hours of hunting, needless to say the activity didn't exactly go as planned!" Crandall said. "But it was still fun and everyone had great attitudes."

January Term is a unique experience offered to Huntington students because it is generally more laid back and gives students an opportunity to try something a bit different.

Katie Crandall
"This trip was wonderful, and if it is planned again in a few years, I would highly encourage HU students to take this course. It truly was a mind, body and spiritual up-lift," concluded Crandall.