Bonding the Junior class through a retreat


Brighton McDaniel

One of the many encouraging posters posted around St. Joe.

Lilly Skaggs, Senior Staff Writer

On Wednesday, January 27, the junior class all took part in the mandatory junior retreat. This retreat was led by Dan Huss, a youth religious leader at Incarnate Word Parish, and it took place in the St. Joe gymnasium. Walking into this retreat, every single junior brought forth their own life experiences, personalities, and open minds to grow as a class. The retreat was mainly a time to open up and share with each other about hardships, dreams, and overall what they love about each other as a class. 

The retreat consisted of activities and discussions that lasted the length of a full school day. During most of the retreat, juniors sat in chairs- six feet apart- in the gym. Dan would give them a topic to think about, write about, or talk to a nearby classmate about. Afterwards, Dan opened up the middle of the gym for people to share with the class. The most profound topic Dan had students think about was what was on their plate. Through this, the junior class learned the good and bad in life of different classmates. This opened up many different perspectives and really brought together the idea that someone never knows what someone else may be going through. 

Two juniors, Megan Nguyen and Sydney Schlanger, opened up about what this retreat day meant to them and how it strengthened their relationships with their classmates.

“Junior retreat meant a lot to me because I was able to stop and recenter myself. These retreats always remind me that we are more similar than different, and it reminds me to live a life of radical love,” Megan said. 

She continued by talking about how grateful she was for this experience.

“I am so grateful to have this experience with my classmates because they really do teach me how to become a better person and the best version of authentic self,” continued Megan.

Sydney felt she was able to bond with her classmates while remaining socially distant.

“We lifted each other up in many different ways, and it was overall an amazing experience that I will never forget. I walked out of the building with a huge smile on my face feeling genuine happiness,” she said.

The juniors really saw, “Not I but We” in action during this retreat. This day was one many of these juniors will not forget, as they all learned more about one another. As this junior class becomes closer and more bonded, they still have one more year to make the best impact they can on their fellow classmates and the rest of St. Joe.