Year 4 enjoyed a fantastic retreat at the Emmaus Youth Village. The retreat was based around the ‘Adventures of St Paul’ with various activities designed to bring alive his story.
The weather was great, so once we’d arrived, we headed for the playing fields within the Youth Village and played football, some games and just enjoyed being outside. We then went up to our chalet, Bishop Kevin, settled in, ate dinner, and had our first activity. The children enjoyed the session and were also very excited to watch a movie, spend time in their rooms and enjoy their sleepover, for many the first time away from home on their own.
After a ‘restful night’, the children were up early and raring to go. We ate breakfast together in the chalet, being waited on by Mrs Kennedy, Mrs Welsh and Mrs McDonald and then enjoyed a wake-up activity with the leaders Jamie, Becca, Mary and Ryan. There was a carousel of activities: a blindfolded team challenge – “We walk by faith, not by sight…”; a craft activity during which the children made friendship bracelets; a CAFOD activity thinking about our neighbours around the world; and an art activity with the children making a banner about themselves and their unique gifts and talents.
After lunch, we went for a lovely walk across the fields and into the woods. The leaders did a meditation exercise with the children focusing on their senses then they played some games and explored scripture to crack the code to escape the YMT Escape room in time for dinner.
The Thursday evening session involved exploring St Paul’s most famous letter, 1 Corinthians 13, and what it means for us today. We are all born with an incredible potential to share God’s love with our own gifts and talents and help make the world a better place. Each one of us has been chosen and called by God to be a unique and important part of His plan and as St Pope John Paul II said of Christ, “His power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”
On our last morning, the children did some artwork, a little bit of writing and lots of drama (re-enacting the life of St Paul).
Intermingled throughout the retreat, there was plenty of free time – the children ran around, played football, gymnastics, and rolled down hills.
We were so proud of the children – they were very knowledgeable, learnt a lot, were well behaved, polite and got on very well!