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West River Weekend
Leaving Town for a Late-Spring Break
One of the highlights of Dumbarton's year is West River Weekend, a good way to leave the city for relaxation, worship and group discussion. Just an hour's drive from D.C., the retreat lets participants know each other better.
Friday Night Campfire
At the retreat, Just before the sun goes down, everyone gathers around an open pit not far from the water to sing, roast marshmallows and talk. As the sky darkens, people begin telling stories, some on the scary side. Kids really love this event. Afterward, adults adjourn for one of "Mike's Marvelous Movies."
Refreshed from a healthy breakfast and a cup of coffee, Dumbartonians gather in a circle on Saturday mornings and briefly in the afternoon for an educational session. Topics each year vary, from social action issues to improving the church to enhancing one's faith. Children and youth usually have their own sessions, with lunch inbetween. This year, the adult topic is "Pilgrimage."
Swimming, boating, crabbing, sleeping and, reading--these are some of the favorite pastimes at the beautiful inlet of Chesapeake Bay. Then there are short rehearsals for the Variety Show.
Evening of Fun
Dumbarton has changed the name of its talent show to ""variety show" because "there's really no talent," one church leader says. Well, some would argue the point, but you can count on skits, songs, poems and story telling by young and adult alike. Afterward, ther'e's often a dance and always refreshments, board games and a movie.
After breakfast and a period of quiet, Dumbarton celebrates through worship on the riverside, weather permitting. Often guitars accompany the singing, and the informal service frequesntly ends with confirmation of young people joining the church.
Directions to West River
West River is about 1 to 1 1/2 drive from Washington.
TakePennsylvania Ave. out of D.C. or from the Capital Beltway exit at Penn Ave (Exit 11). Penn Ave. becomes Route 4.
- Go east on Rt. 4 for about 11 1/2 miles to Md. Rt. 258.
- Go east on Rt. 258 for about 7 miles.
- Turn left onto Rt. 256. This will dead end at Rt. 468.
- Turn left on Rt. 468.
- Go about 180 yards and turn right onto Chalk Point Rd.
- The West River Retreat Center entrance is one mile on the left.
West River Camp Manager (410) 867-0991.