Year 11 Retreat Reflection (15 – 17 May) – Mercy Catholic College Chatswood
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Year 11 Retreat Reflection (15 – 17 May)

Year 11 Retreat Reflection (15 – 17 May)

On Wednesday morning we met at school after fighting the queues in Coles to stock up on the essentials. We were all full of anticipation for the days to come.

We started our retreat program with a series of icebreakers. After surviving the confusion of the sinking ships, we randomly formed our small groups by connecting our song lyric lego pieces. We then shared our deep symbolic lego creations that even made Ms Munro proud. The creations ranged from a diving board representing the leap of faith we need to take in life to a giraffe duck symbolising duality.

We then went off to our activities that consisted of the challenging BMX track and the harnesses that were somewhat uncomfortably tight at high ropes and vertical challenge. After settling in, we had our first retreat session. Our guest speaker, Mrs Virginia Ryan, inspired us with her story about how her faith was strengthened during unexpected times of her life. This really assisted us in being able to reflect on our own faith journeys and we really appreciate the time she took to come and talk to us.

Our final session for the evening was led by Ms Stoj who invited us to adopt a culture of affirmation within the year group. We received our affirmation bags and were given time to write messages for each other.

The next morning we woke up to a lovely wake-up call by Mrs Symon’s. After our heated warm up game of balloon style rob the nest we started our next activity, the values auction led by Mrs Munro. Each small group was given a certain amount of money, with some getting a lot less than others, and as a group, we bid for different values such as having good health and wellbeing or a loving family. From this activity, we learnt that life is not always fair and not everyone is given the same opportunities, although we always have each other to rely on.

After lunch, we had our retreat activities which included a bush walk with Mrs Dorey and Ms Stoj and competitive card games with Miss Gange. The rest of the afternoon was used to prepare for our Reconciliation Session and Mass with PJ, a Youth Minister from the Broken Bay Diocese, and our Parish Priest Father Jim. We were invited to participate in various stations, experiences where friendships and relationship with God were strengthened and rekindled in a safe environment.

Our last day started with another set of warm-up activities that included a very entertaining game of bang. Our final session was led by Ms D’Arcy who showed us the DISC personality types. We completed the quiz for ourselves and then split into groups with people of all the same personality type to plan a holiday. It was interesting to see the differences in the group’s interaction and presentations. It was then time to go home on the bus where we read our affirmation messages given us throughout the last three days.

Overall, the retreat was a great opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with each other and create lasting bonds that will take us through to the HSC and beyond. We would like to thank Miss Gange, Ms Stoj, Mrs Symons, Mrs D’Arcy, Mrs Munro, Mrs Dorey, Mrs Bataille, Mrs McDermott and Ms Kavanagh for organising and giving up their time to come on the retreat with us.

Year 11 Leaders

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