A group of people promoting the Coldwater Foundation visited the Rowenhorst Student Center this week. This organization has been supported by many students on campus and has helped to further develop leadership and community in these students.
According to its mission statement, the Coldwater Foundation encourages middle school, high school, college students and adults to “nurture the important connections between knowing and doing; believing and behaving; love for God and love for neighbor.”
Coldwater offers a variety of different trips from skiing in Canada to canoeing in Boundary Waters. The trips challenge students to look at God in a different way specifically through creation.
Northwestern student Kara Nonnemacher has been involved in the Coldwater Foundation since she began college. The first trip she went on was the four day Snowcamp in Canada. Nonnemacher remembers being worn out after her first semester of college.
“I ran through it all so fast with very little time to process,” Nonnemacher said. “Going through Snowcamp gave me a chance to slow down, spend time with some amazing people, and be challenged by those around me to really look back at my (first) semester of college and allow it to shape me. It was a refreshing retreat that challenged me, but was also tons of fun.”
Over spring break Ashley Maloney will be co-leading a group of students to Duluth and Grand Portage, Minn., through the Coldwater Foundation. Maloney has been working with Coldwater for two years now and is excited to once again experience God’s presence through this year’s Spring Service Project.
“I think anyone who has ever experienced God’s creation can agree that they experience God,” Maloney said. Her first trip with Coldwater was to Grand Portage, Minn., just before college.
Portage is geared specifically to college freshmen and transfer students. Students grow and bond as they canoe across Minnesota’s the many different lakes and routes. Maloney describes Coldwater as a chance for students to give up all their physical and mental strength. By doing this, students are challenged to depend fully on God and others because the challenges they face can’t be done alone. She encourages students to get involved in Coldwater by attending the different backpacking trips, Snowcamp, SSP and leadership trips.
Coldwater offers these opportunities all year round. It’s a great way to connect with God during any season.
“God and wilderness are so tightly connected that it’s impossible for Coldwater experiences to not impact one’s faith,” Nonnemacher said. “When I’m on Coldwater trips, I’m reminded of the important things in life, which are the things closest to God’s heart. I’m reminded of the power of a person’s story, solitude and reflection, the value of every individual and the breath-taking beauty of nature.”