On Friday, 24 March 2023, the Year 9s had their retreat in the school auditorium.
The retreat was led by NET (National Evangelization Team), an organisation with teams of young Catholics spread across New Zealand and Australia that help students connect with God. Along with the NET team, the Year 9s were accompanied by their Dean Mr. Camp, Ms. Oliver, teachers, and Year 13 student leaders. This was certainly an eye-opening experience for both the students and teachers as we were all able to connect with God and our peers through activities and prayers.
The day started out with a fun game to break the ice and a video about kindness and how it can change a person’s life, then the Year 9s formed small groups for activities. The first activity was our ‘dreams’ – we were given a piece of paper by a NET leader and told to write down all our dreams. This correlated with a story told by one of the leaders about how she was not sure what she wanted to do and how God called her to help others just as he helped her.
The next activity was about trust. One person had to be blindfolded while another gave them directions to navigate where the location of an object was. This correlated to how we should trust God and the people around us.
After interval, we played a game where we were instructed to do tasks without using a certain body part. This was a difficult game, but it showed that even the smallest thing could change how we do anything and everything. After interval we all sat down and listened to a story told by another NET leader which bought to life the lesson, we had just learnt about how something so small could change everything. She revealed to us that a small act of kindness she had given and thought nothing of, changed someone elses life.
Later, after lunch, the Year 9’s entered the auditorium with respect and in silence for prayer. Next, a story told by a NET leader was about how he did not fit in anywhere until he found God.
The NET team preformed a short play that symbolised kindness through God and our hearts. Then, we went into our own spaces and read about the good Samaritan. Throughout this time, we were able to pray for ourselves and others.
This retreat brought the students closer to God and to each other as we got to learn about kindness and ourselves. The Year 9s had a memorable time as they got to play different games and learn different life lessons through the eyes of God.