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Embracing Deep Friendship: Insights from the New Canaan Society Road Trip & Southeast Regional Retreat

From March 7th to 10th, the New Canaan Society Southeast (SEMA) Regional retreat and NCS Road Trip to Orlando, FL unfolded, stirring hearts and minds under the theme of "deep friendship." Nestled within this gathering of men seeking fellowship and growth were profound moments of reflection, shared wisdom, and impactful stories that resonated long after the event concluded.

The highlight of the retreat was the NCS Road Trip, where our own Winston Salem guys had the opportunity to connect on a deeper level while embarking on a journey of self-discovery and camaraderie. As they traveled together, sharing stories and laughter, bonds were strengthened, and lasting friendships were forged. The road trip served as a reminder that the journey itself is often as valuable as the destination, especially when undertaken with kindred spirits by one's side. Our local aviators provided transportation for this much-needed guys’ weekend.

The decision to attend the NCS Road Trip and retreat stemmed from various motivations among participants. Some were drawn by the opportunity to connect with fellow brothers and deepen their relationship with God, while leadership meetings and financial assistance supported others. One attendee, who received a scholarship, expressed, "[I decided to attend in order] To connect with the brothers and God! And [I] was given a scholarship..."

At the heart of the retreat was the keynote address delivered by Jeff Kemp, a former NFL quarterback whose journey, both on and off the field, has been marked by resilience and faith. Drawing from his experiences detailed in his books "Facing the Blitz: Three Strategies for Turning Trials Into Triumphs" (2015) and "Receive: The Way of Jesus for Men" (2023), Kemp shared invaluable insights into the power of friendship, especially during life's most challenging moments. In addition to Kemp's keynote, the retreat featured a diverse lineup of speakers who offered their perspectives on deep friendship. Each speaker brought a unique perspective, enriching the experience for all in attendance. Together, they explored the multifaceted nature of friendship, delving into topics such as trust, forgiveness, and the importance of community.

Throughout the retreat and road trip, the overarching message remained clear: deep friendship is not merely a luxury but a necessity for navigating life's challenges and celebrating its joys. In a world marked by superficial connections and fleeting interactions, the New Canaan Society Road Trip & Southeast Regional retreat offered a sanctuary where men could cultivate meaningful relationships rooted in authenticity and mutual respect.

Expectations varied, from experiencing worship, insightful messages, and good food to fostering deeper connections with other believers. While most attendees felt that their expectations were met, there were surprises along the way. One participant was surprised by a speaker with a compelling message, highlighting the diversity of perspectives shared during the event. Another unexpected delight was a private jet ride, adding an extra layer of excitement to the experience.

As the retreat came to a close, attendees left with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper appreciation for the power of friendship. Armed with the insights gleaned from the speakers and the connections forged with fellow attendees, they returned to their communities inspired to be agents of positive change and champions of deep, meaningful relationships.

For those who haven't attended a retreat, participants unanimously agreed that it is a transformative experience not to be missed. One participant emphasized, "It’s a must to connect to go deeper on friendships and to hear powerful messages from men we have not heard before." Another highlighted the significance of the road trip, emphasizing that it is as special as the event itself.

In the end, the New Canaan Society Southeast Regional retreat and NCS Road Trip served as a poignant reminder that true fulfillment is found not in solitude but in the company of those who uplift, challenge, and love us unconditionally. In embracing deep friendship, we unlock the fullness of life's potential and find solace in the knowledge that we are never truly alone on this journey.


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