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Year 7 Retreat

Khloe Baltazar (Year 7)

“Here I am. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down with you.” – Revelations 3:20

This verse was at the end of Jesus’ letter to us given at the end of Year 7 retreat.

The Year 7 retreat is the cohorts first retreat at school and was held on 10 March in the auditorium. Leading the retreat was the National Evangelisation Team (NET) Group that were assisted by 10 senior Prefects. The NET Group have volunteers trained to go around schools and parishes to teach them the love of Jesus.

The theme of the retreat was ‘Look Again’ – taking another glance at our lives to see Jesus. We were split into ‘Small Groups’ and initially tasked with some ice-breaker questions to get everyone. These groups were also used to encourage talking within a safe environment.

Afterwards, we played an opinion game – ‘Agree, middle, disagree’ which was super chaotic. A random or ‘controversial’ statement was put on the projector – if you agreed, you stood up and said your opinion, then you sat down. Then the same happens if you were in the middle or if you disagreed. Some of the topics were ‘does pineapple belong on pizza’ and ‘is McDonalds better than Burger King’ – things like that to get us excited and to help us understand that everyone has different opinions and perspectives.

A further two games were played – ‘Do this, do that’ and ‘Look Again’. The former was a listening game like Simon Says. We had to follow the NET Leader’s actions, if you were too slow or if you didn’t do it right, you were out. The latter was an identifying game in pairs. One person would turn around while the other changed something simple about their appearance. The other had to then figure out what was different. These games taught the us the importance of listening and analysing changes in our lives. After morning tea, of Croissants and cookies, we played ‘Roaming Pictionary’. It had the same rules as normal Pictionary, but we had to run one of the NET leaders to get the word we had to draw. After we talked in our group, a NET leader talked to us about their Catholic story. It was a time of reflection that we shared with our small groups.

Finally, we were invited outside where we were led back into the auditorium, one-by-one, where it was dark and there were candles placed on the stairs. One of the NET leaders started it with their testimony; opening about their childhood and the difficulties they faced. The crew then did a spiritual performance with Ed Sheeran’s ‘All the Stars’ and gave us a letter from Jesus. It was very peaceful and amazing. We went back into our small groups to share a prayer and talk about what we felt during the final session.

Overall, the retreat was fun and many of the Year 7s had a great time. A big thank you to the NET team for coming along, the Prefects for helping, and, of course, Miss Oliver for planning the retreat.