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The School Newspaper of John Carroll School

The Patriot

The School Newspaper of John Carroll School

The Patriot

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Members of Class of 2023 attend final retreat

Seniors were divided into three groups for retreat at Sandy Cove Ministries
Members+of+Class+of+2023+attend+final+retreat
JCSVR_Hall, Allison
As a graduation requirement, every senior must attend an overnight retreat held at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, Maryland. This year there were three retreat dates: January 4-5, February 8-9, and March 22-23.
For the trip, students were encouraged to bring toiletries, clothes, and snacks for the night. Students were also able to have their chosen roommates pre-approved for the night with anywhere from three to six students per room.
The trip began after school at 3:00 pm, the Wednesday of each retreat week, where students met in the chapel to collect their belongings for the night and prepare to board buses. Upon arrival at Sandy Cove, students were given their room keys to go and unload bags.
At this time, students were also told to leave all devices in their rooms to disconnect from electronics and be present for the activities. Students then gathered for prayer, heard witness testimonies from both students and teachers, and played games.
Associate Director of Admissions Caroline Adolph was one of the speakers at retreat. She said that she felt honored to speak to the seniors and took that responsibility very seriously.
“My goal was to relate to the students by sharing my vulnerabilities and life experiences and to have them, hopefully, learn from my mistakes and successes. I wanted them to see that you can overcome challenges and obstacles and be okay,” Mrs. Adolph said.
Mrs. Adolph concluded her speech with a piece of advice for students. “I ended my speech with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Glennon Doyle, and I think it sums up my overall philosophy pretty well: ‘Life is brutal, but it’s also beautiful. Life is Brutiful.”’
Each speaker had a unique story or approach to their speech towards students. With different focuses for each, the goal of the speaker follows a similar pattern about what it means to overcome the challenges of life.
Academics Project Manager Louise Gézcy was also a speaker at retreat She said her hope was that “at least one thing I share from my life journey will resonate with seniors. I am also always hoping that they see that no matter what our ages and circumstances, we share many of the same types of experiences.”
Mrs. Gézcy added, “As a group and as individuals, the Class of 2023 has shown strength, compassion, caring, and a commitment to doing the right thing. I am glad I got the opportunity to interact with them.”
In between activities for the evening, students broke to eat dinner and have some free time. During their free time, students could go to a large gym space with volleyball, pool tables, ping pong, and basketball.  They also could use the time to get some fresh air outside.
By the end of the night, students had a special experience that was sentimental and personal for everyone there. Students then were instructed to return to their rooms by 11:00 pm to get some sleep.
Director of Mission and Ministry Kenneth Goedeke said his favorite part of retreat was during the evening the first night.
“The prayer experiences the first night allowed students to engage in deep reflection of the Patriot journey and to reflect on people in their lives who accompany them on their way. Through that, they could experience gratitude,” Mr. Goedeke said.
Waking up at around 8:00 am for breakfast, students prepared for their final activities of the retreat including a Mass, more games, free time, and a lunch break.
After lunch, students packed up their belongings and headed back outside to board buses back to JC. Students got back to campus around 2:15 pm to head home.
In the future, Religion Teacher Rhys Gadbois will be joining Mr. Goedeke in Campus Ministries for Junior and Senior Retreats to “expand for a more collaborative approach for students.”
If the retreat were to be any different, Mr. Goedeke said that he would work to adjust the scheduling to allow students more time to experience the beautiful grounds of Sandy Cove.
Overall, Mr. Goedeke was “pleased with the ability to create a retreat experience that fostered more intimacy within the students to provide an opportunity for an authentic encounter with God.”
With informal reflections from students, many said they connected with their retreat.
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