During the last weekend of September, Summit Northwest Ministries held their second annual Forged men’s event at Camp MiVoden. Organizers used the previous year's event as a template for planning, but this year's event ramped up with more forges, more toys to play with and more friendship building and strengthening.
The event tagline, “a retreat for men who don’t go to retreats,” allowed the emphasis to remain on offering time and space to rejuvenate without a full seminar schedule. The scheduled reserved a generous amount of time for activities like blacksmithing at the forges, boating, cycling, archery, target practice, zip lining, paddle boarding or even carving out a new section of mountain bike trail.
There were three speaking sessions, each focused on owning one's identity as a friend of God and recognizing that same identity in the people around us.
One attendee shared that “things had been on edge” between him and his son, but by the end of the weekend, “all the barriers had been broken down.” They were back to sharing high-fives and having a great time together.
Several men confessed that their wives had told them to attend the event because of the positive experience they had had at Summit Northwest’s Flourish women’s event last May. Flourish, for women, and Forged, for men, are complimentary events designed to meet the needs of somewhat “non-traditional” Christian men and women.
One of the main goals of the Forged event is to encourage guys to make an intentional effort to connect with other men in their local communities. Many men from Summit Northwest men's groups said Forged events have personally benefited them in their church and family relationships, affirming that the leaders are meeting their goal.
The Forged retreat is an annual event each September. For more information on Summit Northwest Ministries and its events, see www.summitnorthwest.org.