Juniors enjoyed an overnight retreat at St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista on September 20-21. The theme, "Being Present," offered opportunities for individual reflection, small and large group sharing, guided meditation, class bonding activities, physical movement, and creative expression.
The retreat was part of "7 Weeks of Well-come," an opening-of-school series centered around different aspects of our Wheel of Well-being.
Friday's activities included a night hike around the perimeter of the retreat center, which ended with the girls spontaneously bursting into songs from their weekly chapel services. On Saturday, girls took time for journaling, following prompts that corresponded with the four points of a compass: north, for acknowledging the guiding and stabilizing forces in their lives; east for identifying new beginnings; west for taking stock of endings; and south for looking inward. Students had the opportunity to share their reflections with each other in small groups. At the end of the retreat, students went home with an action plan for areas of their life where they want to grow.
Referencing The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, religion teacher Blake Riley brought a pair jeans for everyone to sign—an item that became a treasured memento.
Antonia '21 valued the time spent with her friends and the opportunity to open up, which meant students learned a lot about each other in just a short amount of time. "I learned how much my classmates and I have each other's backs," she said.
Samantha '21 also enjoyed the camaraderie of her class. "My favorite part of the retreat was seeing the joy and connection of our whole class together when we were in the chapel, singing, talking, and chanting 'Eywa.' Each and every one of us was laughing and having such a great time!"
Both girls, who are members of the Student Health and Wellness Committee, also took home lasting lessons. For Antonia, it's to "always continue reaching for your goal; there is always a new solution to unanswered questions and problems." For Samantha: "Even if you are stressed out, tired, or just having a terrible day, someone can always relate to you or help you. It's OK not to be perfect, and we are all trying to reach for the one goal of a meaningful, happy life. Reach out to family and friends and be forgiving of yourself and others."