As a retreat, conference, and mission outreach center for the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, Hinton Rural Life Center is excited to welcome groups of Confirmands and their leaders to our campus for Theotokos Confirmation Retreats. Hinton is situated on 33 acres of wooded campus on Lake Chatuge in Hayesville, NC. We have a variety of lodging options that include retreat houses and cabins, as well as hotel-type rooms in our Lodge. All bedrooms have adjacent bathrooms. Towels and linens are provided. Groups staying in retreat houses and cabins have the option to do their own meals, have meals in our Lodge Dining Room, or do a combination.
In general, casual and comfortable clothing, shoes, and undergarments for the weekend; toiletries; any needed medication; sweater and/or jacket; BIBLE; clothes/closed-toe shoes for outside service activity. February and March in the mountains can vary in temperatures. Be prepared for cool and warm temps, as well as rain. A complete packing list will be provided to Confirmation group leaders to share with confirmands.
Hinton is happy to work with participants to make sure we meet everyone’s dietary needs. Participants should indicate food allergies and other dietary concerns on their PARTICIPANT INFORMATION FORM. Our chef and kitchen staff need this information in advance – through the Participant Forms being completed and submitted in a timely manner – so they can prepare for these requests.
Hinton contracts with the participating church and Confirmation group leader, with regard to deposits and balances for registration. So, if one participant can’t attend, he/she should address refunds with the group leader, rather than Hinton. For group payments, deposits are nonrefundable after December 1, 2022. (Overpaid deposits can be applied to balance.) Final balances are due February 15 and are not refundable to the church after that.
Our first session starts on Friday at 8:30pm. We strongly advise that groups leave early enough so that you have time for your group to arrive, settle in your rooms, pick up your leader bag and Theotokos, and gather in Hinton's Moore Great Hall for our opening session. If your travel time is more than a couple hours, consider having students request early dismissal from school, so you can leave early enough that you don’t have to rush and possibly arrive late and impact the beginning of the retreat. A template for an Early Dismissal Request will be provided. (Since many students are dismissed early for sports and other extracurricular activities, offering a letter of explanation and request in a timely manner will allow teachers to work with Confirmands to cover assignments and work.) The retreat programming ends at noon on Sunday. Lunch is provided in the Dining Room for those groups who purchased it. Here's the schedule:
Given that we must cap retreat registration at 90 participants per weekend -- and so many churches are wanting to send their confirmands – we aren't able to accommodate groups bringing mentors for each confirmand. Some mentors could attend to help meet the required 5:1 youth to adult ratio. Another option is for mentors to come for all or part of the weekend, but make their own lodging/meal arrangements through Kelli Miller, our director of operations. The confirmation group leader can then arrange for mentors to join confirmands for meals and other activities. Depending on retreat numbers, mentors may be able to join their confirmands for the Service of Baptism Renewal/Anticipation on Saturday evening and/or Holy Communion on Sunday morning. We will try to make that happen!