What started off as just a student’s idea has grown into something that will be around at Ascension for many years to come. Last Saturday, Ascension Episcopal School put on their first annual spiritual retreat. This retreat took a lot of planning, from choosing the camp to writing the schedule, advertising the retreat, getting supplies, learning games and researching devotionals. About 40 students attended the retreat at Dry Creek, growing in their faith and gaining stronger friendships. The students were made up of 5 seniors, 5 juniors, 14, sophomores, 8 freshman, and 9 eighth graders. The days were packed full of many fun games and everything went smoothly. Even though the bad weather took away the outdoor activities, the students found fun ways to make unforgettable memories. Many students hung out with their grade, but a lot of people mixed grades and formed new friendships.
It was a really fun a relaxing way to get out of the city, and many people learned how to connect with Jesus on a personal level. I asked a few people that went on the retreat their highlights from the trip, some said the hour-long silent time and small groups because those were the moments that people had time reflect on themselves and grew closer to God. Also, the glow party was such a fun experience at the end of the night where everyone was dancing and singing at the top of their lungs. (We even got to hear Ms. Neil-Jones rap for us!) Next year, hopefully, more teachers and guest speakers will attend. With more free time, it would be much better if it was two nights (with later wake up times) so students would be able to have more time to be able to make new friends and reflect.
This year’s retreat was definitely an amazing experience with so many unforgettable stories, with a lot of laughs and crazy stories!! I asked many students their opinions on the trip and these were their comments: “The retreat taught me that when I feel like no one is there for me, God is my only constant in my life and he will always be there for me in my times of need” (Grace Fontenot, 8th grade). Many students enjoyed the chance to help others grow closer to God, like senior Sophia McCarthy: “I am happy that Ascension gave me the opportunity to help host this retreat. If we helped one person to grow in their relationship with God, it was a success. I hope Ascension continues this tradition as an annual event.” Sophia also did an amazing job putting everything together. Others appreciated the break from the stressful routine of daily life and the strengthening of relationships with friends and Christ.“The retreat was very uplifting, relaxing, and a great way to connect with Jesus surrounded by amazing people!” (Meghan Colomb, Freshman). Overall, everyone agreed that the retreat was a positive experience that should be continued for years to come!