HSI organized European Summer Retreat 2017 in Poland

People from 22 different countries made their way to the Lighthouse Center® Poland (LCP) to attend the European Summer Retreat (ESR17) organized by the Holosophic Society International (HSI), which took place from 29 July to 6 August.

The pathway at the entrance was embellished with huge, colorful paper flowers, which warmly welcomed the arriving guests. Many months before, the volunteers had been busy preparing the site and getting ready for the big event.

As in the European Summer Retreat 2016 (ESR16), the daily program consisted of various activities to choose from, like landscaping, collecting firewood and gardening in the fresh air.
There were also a variety of workshops and charitable activities offered in the big barn and the activity tent.
Besides that, many helping hands were required to prepare the large amounts of food and ensure a smooth operation of the retreat.
Based on the idea of supporting people in improving their personal situation by acquiring certain skills, some charitable activities took place again this year. The school principal and some teachers with their families joined the herbal salt class while the mothers of the Mother-Child-Home in Pobiedna were sewing their own backpacks.
There was also a seminar on “detachment”, which was offered on two days during the retreat.
Besides the activities and daily meditation, there was plenty of time for socializing in a relaxed atmosphere. At mealtimes, a wide range of culinary highlights was offered in the dining tent. The favorable weather conditions invited the participants to enjoy their meals outdoors. As in previous years, the Chai Point with its delicious spicy tea (Chai), cookies and sweets turned out to be one of the most popular spots.

The hay collection had already become an annual tradition and was joined by almost 100 people on Wednesday morning. As it is a rather large area, many helping hands are required. Groups of six or seven people were collecting the dried hay using a big canvas.

Despite the hard work, the volunteers enjoyed the cheery atmosphere and the weather conditions seemed just perfect. At the end of the day, all the hay had been removed from the ground, which was a remarkable achievement!

The preparations for the farewell party started on Saturday afternoon. Tables and chairs were moved around and everything was decorated with colorful flowers that had been prepared during the week. At the same time, a meeting with the younger participants was held to discuss future charity projects and the collaboration across national borders.

The farewell party began in the late afternoon with a sumptuous buffet followed by various performances. Everybody was in a cheerful mood, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and time with each other. The event came to an abrupt end when the drifting clouds darkened and it suddenly started to rain. While some people went back to their accommodation, a remaining group squeezed under a small roof and continued to sing, dance and play music until the late evening hours.

On Sunday morning it was time to say goodbye. The visitors left the LCP grounds with plenty of unforgettable memories, looking forward to seeing each other again next year!