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Year 12 Retreat

Jermaine Daclan

On 1 March 2024, the Year 12 Cohort gathered in the school’s auditorium for their retreat. Gathering in their house groups, the cohort gathered for their penultimate retreat. The theme of the retreat was “Servant Leadership”, which was very fitting for us as we are about to be student leaders of Sancta Maria College, and potentially aspiring prefects in 2025.


The day began with four different sessions led by staff members. The first session was called “Leader In Me”, led by Ms. Bradley. This session was to teach us that as leaders, we need to take input from everyone, and that everyone can contribute towards a collective task. Firstly, we made small groups and with only paper and tape, we were tasked with building the tallest tower we could. Some groups built steady foundations with tall towers, and other groups came up with creative approaches. After a quick reflection, we divided into two large groups, crossed hands with each other, and together we had to untangle. Few groups were fast in untangling themselves, working with each other to achieve this goal, while others failed to do so successfully.


The second session was called “I need others to succeed”, led by Mr. Bali. This session was about needing and valuing each other – the key to good leadership. The first game was the blanket game, where two groups needed to send a representative to each side of a raised up blanket. No representative could see the other. As soon as the blanket dropped, each representative would race to figure out who the other person was. Afterwards, we headed outside to play the Dragon’s Game. In three big groups, the head at the front of the group needed to tag the back of the other group. Every group needed others to succeed in this game.


The third session, led by Mr. Piggin, was called “I need God to lead successfully”. The idea for this session was that under God’s guidance, we can become better leaders and influence people to follow God’s way. After dividing into groups, we were given a scripture of a Prophet or Leader in the Bible and we were tasked with analysing how they became better leaders under God’s guidance. The stories came from Moses in the Old Testament to Jesus in the New Testament.


The fourth session was “Why do I need to step up?”, led by Dr. Laux. This session teaches us that we need to step up as leaders and put voices/messages out, especially for those who aren’t as confident doing so. Dividing into little groups, we were presented with scenarios that we were familiar with in everyday life, such as bullying, exclusion, and shoplifting to name a few. Each group was tasked to identify the issue, it’s causes, and what we could do to step in and help.


Afterwards, Ms. Oliver led a session of reflection. As leaders, we reflect on how God will always be there for us, especially through difficult situations. This was followed by us hearing a speech from Ms. Du-Blom of something personal and emotional that she had to go through in her life. Through God’s Guidance and support from her friends and fellow teachers, she was able to persevere and get through this tough situation.

After Lunchtime we shared a Mass led by Fr. Larry, we returned to the auditorium to hear our next Guest Speaker, Mr. Paulo Garcia, an active member of the NZ Parliament. Apart from giving us a little taste of what life is like in Parliament, he gave great advice to the year group about how to be a leader and how to lead. Finally, to end the day, letters from parents were handed out to students, which stirred a mix of emotions.

We would like to thank Mr. Tamayo, Ms. Oliver, and all the staff and guest speakers who made our penultimate retreat how it was.

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