Following along with the trend of changes happening around Helias, students will also be experiencing differences in the annual retreats. This year, unlike those before, all grade levels will be attending the retreat on the same day. The various grade levels will remain separated throughout the day, until the concluding mass at the end of the day. The all-school retreat will last from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7.
Formulated by Jackie Crider and brought to life by Maureen Quinn, retreat changes come in an attempt to avoid academic and athletic conflicts. In the past, students were forced to make-up homework and practices which were missed due to the mandatory retreat. This made the experience less enjoyable for those students and gave their coaches and teachers trouble as well. Students were essentially being punished for attending a required school event.
“Faith should work together with the academics and the athletics,” Maureen Quinn stated.
Quinn has promised the retreat to have the individual grade camaraderie of the previous ones, but to finish the day with all the grades coming together in mass as an expression of unity. Adding to this unity is the opportunity for all teachers to participate this year, where as in the past, it was only religion teachers. As a unified school, Helias will embrace the year’s theme of mercy, trying to understand each other better and relate in new ways.
“…That will be a great way for them [teachers] to bond with the kids in a non-classroom setting,” Coach Hentges said.
Planning for the event began during the spring of last school year, and has assigned unique themes, locations, and means of transportation to each grade level. Seniors will carpool around town to different locations providing community service for two hours. Juniors are taking a bus to St. Andrew’s parish, with a missionary group leading their retreat and teaching students how to be the best version of themselves. Sophomores stay at Helias in the Old Gym, focusing on the idea of community. Freshmen will ride on a bus to the Cathedral, their focus being on relationships.