9th Grade Retreat: Revealing Our True Selves

On the morning of November 19, 2019, the students of 9th grade experienced our first overnight class retreat. Every year, a specific topic is chosen that strengthens the struggles of each class. This time, the theme was Dots and Stars (Puntos y Estrellas).  

Before departure, we prayed. The buses left the school at approximately 7:30 a.m. We arrived to Villa Matatá 40 minutes later. After a long hike, we entered our home for the next weekend. The place was big. It had a gazebo, a pool, a dining hall, a yard for all of the physical activities, a pool table, etc. The boys and girls slept in different establishments. The girls had a small apartment with a few rooms, while the boys stayed in a bigger house. After settling down and eating breakfast, the day officially began. 

Beforehand, everyone was really excited for the events to come. We started with more physical activities to test our teamwork, trust, and communication skills. These tasks all had a separate lesson: if one fails, everyone fails. Because of this, we were able to cultivate and develop our patience, and support. The lesson not only meant that if somebody fell, everybody had to start over. If 3 people talked per activity, we had to suffer the consequences. The school demanded a physical workout as a consequence. Even though it was painful, it caused our determination to stay silent to grow exponentially, thus receiving much better results. 

To balance the scale, the retreat provided some free time. However, the other main half of the retreat was spent on deep and emotional activities. These gave us the opportunity to reveal the thoughts and feelings that would otherwise be buried deep within our hearts. Everybody discovered that we all go through pain and heartaches. Some of us just do a better job at hiding it. 

After our final reflection, the class wished to stay for just a few more hours. You could see the love and support all throughout the 2 days. It was simply contagious. From now on, our class will pay more attention to the little problems that may occur. This retreat helped us to be more patient toward each other in various aspects. Because of the activities, we were able to reveal our true selves and remove the masks we were so used to wearing.