Freshman Retreat: a Retreat with an Impact

This year’s retreat can surely be counted as a success


Photo by Amanda Baker

Freshmen girls laugh in hallway during retreat

Hope Stratman, Features Editor

If an innocent outsider had walked into Skutt Catholic on Monday, Nov. 6, they may have been hailed with enthusiastic screams of “Splish splash!” Or perhaps they might’ve seen freshmen, adorned with crowns or reindeer antlers, racing through the halls and trying to obtain obscure facts about the school’s history.

The freshman retreat is a day for freshmen to grow in their faith, knowledge of self and relationships with other freshmen. Fortunately, the retreat on Nov. 6 did an exceptional job of offering both fun and learning opportunities for all those involved.

Photo by Amanda Baker
Freshmen work on Project Linus blankets in their service session

Campus Minister Christine French had carefully planned out the schedule for the retreat, making sure to have a variety of activities and sessions for the freshmen. French revamps the retreat every year using feedback from previous years, so this year had some new and exciting changes. According to French, “The biggest difference from last year was the professional live music which took the place of some other large group icebreakers.”

The day consisted of a wide variety of activities, including small group time, a service session, ‘break-out’ activity sessions, adoration, games and mass.

Photo by Amanda Baker
Freshmen during adoration

One particularly impactful event during the retreat was adoration, which was brought back, according to Ms. French, after leaving it out of the schedule of last year’s retreat. The freshmen responded well to adoration, which was made particularly special with the music of Danny Leger. “Adoration was good for me,” freshman Teresa Howard said. “It cleared my mind,” she continued.

Many of the other meaningful moments of the retreat occurred during the retreat’s three small group sessions, which were led by senior leaders and lasted about 45 minutes each. These small group sessions gave students a chance to share their experiences and thoughts openly with a small group of their peers. “My favorite part of the day was probably small group break out because everyone had kind of opened up and the discussion was really meaningful,” says senior Hannah Friedt.

Photo by Amanda Baker
Freshmen write letters to their senior selves

In the chaos of the retreat, senior helpers such as Friedt played an integral role. These seniors kept all of the groups of freshman organized and on-task throughout the retreat. Such an experience was odd for some seniors since they had been on the other side of the retreat just three years ago. “It was really different as a leader because you get to see how much work really gets put into it,” Roth says. “You get to be that role model for underclassmen that they look up to,” she continues.

Sometimes, retreats may not seem like more than a day off of school and a couple of cheesy games. However, retreats do have a purpose, and it is safe to say that this year’s freshman retreat fulfilled its purpose well. By providing moments that ranged from meaningful to silly, this year’s freshman retreat did an excellent job of helping the freshmen to grow in their faith and in their relationships.

Hope Stratman - Features Editor

Hope became a member of The Flightline in August of 2016. She is a senior this year involved in activities including Speech and FBLA. Outside of school, she enjoys lists, photography, and naming inanimate objects. You can email her at [email protected]