Campus organization plans retreat for female students



Focus 4 Women’s retreat will be hosted at Woodleaf Retreat in Challenge, CA.

A Focus 4 Women has scheduled a women’s retreat event for female Cosumnes River College students at Woodleaf in Challenge, CA.

A Focus 4 Women, an organization at CRC responsible for last semester’s “First me, Then You: Relationship Building” women’s conference, has planned a two-night retreat for female students on March 10-11 in which students and faculty will focus on self-care, self-love and self-healing.

“My goal is to empower our women,” said Jacqueline Mathis, an Extended Opportunity Programs and Services counselor and the head of this project. “Women, I believe, get their strength from other women.”

The retreat is for female students only and the only expense for students is a $10 refundable deposit, due at registration. The trip includes overnight lodging, all meals and snacks and bus transportation from CRC. The overnight trip will also include team-building activities, motivational speakers and is about giving these women a chance to relax and get away, said Mathis.

Some team building activities that will be offered during the event include an obstacle and ropes course, both of which are meant to induce challenges and team-building experiences for visitors.

Jeanne Edman, research coordinator and psychology professor at CRC, has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the event and will be giving motivational speeches about body image. Another speaker, Lee Lipton, will provide lessons for the students about balance in their personal life, as well as lessons in meditation.

The goal is to gather a party of 150 students to sign up for the retreat, said Mathis.

Diana Atkins, 77, a sociology major, said she’s going to the Women’s Retreat because she “needs to relax” and wants to “establish new friendships.”

“We can leave backpacks at home. We can leave the books at home and just relax,” said Atkins. “We can laugh and sing and eat together. It will just be a nice sense of communion and community.”

Kelly Melanson, a 20-year-old management information systems major signed up to attend the retreat, said she was inspired to attend the event by guest speaker Ruthie Bolton, a former professional women’s basketball player, and the speech and group discussion at the Focus 4 Women continuation of the “First me, Then You: Relationship Building” conference last semester.

Melanson said she really felt like she was a part of the CRC women’s community because of the event.

“Going to this women’s retreat will help me feel more confident in my strength and ability as a woman,” said Melanson. “I also need to take pride in what makes me a woman and how having more intimate female friendships can help me learn about myself and others, and how we can support each other as a community of women at CRC.”

Because of the success of the Women’s Conference events last semester, Mathis and the Focus 4 Women organization have been trying to create more events for female students at CRC.

“We want to have something for our female students every semester,” said Mathis. “We don’t want to do something just in the fall. We want something ongoing, all the time.”
Students can sign up for the retreat in the EOPS office located at L-106. The deadline was originally set for Feb. 1 but has been extended to Feb. 17.