What describes a perfect summer vacation for International Affairs Week conferees, one that keeps people coming back year after year, generation after generation?
For some, it is the opportunity to interact and share a diversity of ideas and experiences with a group of friendly, open-minded, and inquiring people.
For others, it is the chance to be removed from the world, retiring for a week from daily routines to a small beautiful island to reconnect with family and friends, relax on the porch with a good book, and watch the sunrise or sunset.
Start your day with a polar bear dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean to get the blood flowing, join the morning stretch session on the Front Porch, or grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle into a porch rocker to watch the day begin to emerge.
Later in the morning, make your way up the hill to the stone chapel for a thoughtful morning sermon delivered by our minister of the week.
Stimulating theme talks with follow up discussions take place late morning. These are led by recognized experts and provoke conversations among conferees which spill over to the front porch, Happy Hour and the dinner table.
In the afternoon there are several workshops from which to choose, such as chorus, yoga, art, and writing. Other afternoon activities include softball games, swimming, visits to the Marine Lab, kite-flying,rowboating the harbor, trips to the snack bar, and more relaxed time spent rocking in chairs on the porch.
Evening activities include a bonfire, intergenerational dance, Island staff talent show, lay-led chapel services, and more.
For children, the Youth Program is a time to experience the freedom of island life and to gain a deep appreciation of the natural environment in the midst of caring, attentive adults. Activities related to the conference theme together with community building activities, games, crafts, and time to explore the island round out the week. The program offers children the experience of wonder and friendships of long duration, the kind that cause them to start counting down the days until the next year’s I.A. conference even as they depart on the boat at the end of the week.
The natural beauty and spirit of the island, together with the intellectually stimulating theme talks, the spiritually uplifting sermons, the myriad of daily activities, the strong sense of community among the conferees, and the vibrant Youth Program make the International Affairs conference a truly unique and memorable vacation.