Wednesday, 8 June saw the Year 12’s gathering down in the Auditorium, buzzing with excitement for the awaited day: the Year 12 Retreat for 2022. Little did we know, however, that the day would be unlike other retreats we had had in the past.
Led by Mr Schollum, Miss Samaeli, Mrs Heffernan, Miss Smith and Miss Black were a series of rotational activities for us to partake in within our homerooms, each with a prompt corresponding to the theme: “Servant Leadership,” to prepare us for the 2023 year as we step up in leadership roles within the school.
Mr Schollum’s activity, with the prompt “Leader in Me” gave us 10 minutes to construct the tallest tower we could, with nothing but pieces of A4 paper and rolls of tape in small groups. The activity gave us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of teamwork, and the way other people can help further boost our team.
Miss Samaeli took us on a reflective activity about with the topic “I need others to Succeed.” Firstly, we began by thinking about who we were grateful for, that have helped shape us into the people we are today, we then had to write their names on our booklets.
On the second activity, we broke off into groups for a game of Dragon’s Tail, where we lined up, assigning one person as the ‘head’ and the other as the ‘tail’. The head’s objective was to steal bibs from other teams’ tails, resulting in extremely intense games of strategy, surprise attacks and laughter, which overall resulted in a lot of class bonding.
The last activity, we were told to write another person who had helped shape us as leaders, before getting split into two teams, each sitting on either side of a curtain. For the activity, each team put forward a member to sit in front of the curtain, and as soon as it dropped, the first to call out the other team’s representative’s name won a point. This game taught us a lot about how much we really knew each other, and how we could make someone’s day by simply acknowledging them.
Mrs Heffernan’s activity, which started with a reading and a reflection on David and Goliath, was to help us better understand the topic “I need God to lead successfully”. We were instructed to break up into groups of two or three, to partake in a game which involved one of our childhood favourites: LEGO. One member of each group was brought to the kitchen to view a series of LEGO builds to memorise, before instructing our other blindfolded team members how to replicate it. While it was very chaotic digging around the box with all our other classmates, the activity was a fun way to think better about trust and faith.
Miss Smith’s activity began with a series of situation cards for us to think about and apply leadership skills to, helping us to answer the question, “Why do I need to step up?” The scenarios all required an amount of thought for us to come up with solutions, further hindered by curveballs we were thrown near the end. After that, we were each given a piece of paper to write letters to our future selves in, discussing what we wanted to see in our future leadership. Overall, it was a very peaceful and reflective session that had us thinking more about how we wanted to grow as leaders.
Miss Black had us brainstorming issues on the school, on pieces of paper, before coming up with possible solutions in small groups. This made us think about, “What can I do as a leader?” and led us to thinking more about how we could truly use leadership to make more of a difference in our community. We then went on to creating roleplay type scenarios to demonstrate issues and their solutions.
After the five activities and lunch, we headed to Mass in the Church with Fr Craig. His homily had us all thinking more about what it meant to be a leader.
The day ended with a presentation by two past SMC prefects: Owen and Oliver Tamayo, who talked to us about leadership and the many ways it could be seen. They taught us the important lesson that you do not need a title to be a leader – leadership was an action.