The Cookout

Group photo from the first Cookout Retreat in 2022

The Cookout is an undergraduate retreat created for Black students by Black students to promote joy, inspire hope, and explore practices of self-love and care for Black students, drawing on the values and practices of Georgetown’s Ignatian heritage and other spiritual traditions. Sponsored by Campus Ministry, The Cookout acknowledges the marginalization Black students face in predominantly white institutions and aims to center Black experience, affirm the Blackness of all Black students, and facilitate a safe space for connection and reflection through bonding activities and talks by Black chaplains, faculty and staff. A cookout is a place for relaxation, laughter, and community—and we’re going to offer just that and more. So, to the Black students of Georgetown University: Welcome to The Cookout.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is The Cookout?
    • The Cookout is a 26-hour, overnight retreat. Students will leave campus for the Calcagnini Contemplative Center Saturday evening and return to campus Sunday evening.
  • Where is The Cookout held?
    • The Cookout is held in the Calcagnini Contemplative Center, located in Bluemont Virginia with wonderful views of the Shenandoah Valley.
  • How often does The Cookout occur?
    • The Cookout happens twice a school year: once in the Fall semester, once in the Spring semester
  • I don’t know a lot of other Black students on campus. Should I still come to The Cookout?
    • Absolutely! This is great chance to connect with Black students of every year and school at Georgetown in a comfortable, fun, and reflective environment

What to bring to The Cookout

  • For comfort: A sleeping bag and pillow -OR- sheets, blanket, and pillow.
  • For cleanliness: A towel, soap, shampoo, a change of clothes, and whatever else you need to get ready.
  • For unpredictable weather: Durable shoes, socks, and a sweatshirt or jacket.
  • For fun: A good book, cards, games, or your journal for free time (unless you want to romp outside, hang out by the fire, or take a nap).
  • For reflection: A journal if you like to use one.
  • For hydration: A reusable water bottle or mug for coffee/tea.
  • For everyone’s listening pleasure: guitars or other musical instruments if you play any!
  • For a memorable experience: bring your authentic self, an open mind, and a readiness to embrace Black joy!