On Thursday to Saturday, 8-10 February, five teachers and sixty-five students went on a retreat at the Swan Valley Adventure Centre. The focus of the retreat was to help students develop skills that would support their academic journey at Rehoboth. Deeper skills, disciplines, or habits of developing a personal mission statement, communication, looking after oneself, knowing God, and conflict resolution – to name a few – were discussed at the camp. This is why we have changed the name from a “Study Retreat” – with its focus solely on academics – to a “Student Retreat”.
Below are two students’ impressions of how they went at the camp. The feedback we gained from teachers and students will help us further develop this endeavour next year. Thank you to Mr Kuipers, Mrs Drennan, Miss Smoker, Mr Butson, and Mr Blennerhassett for their tireless efforts in helping to manage the camp and looking after the students.
A special thank you to Mrs Ball and Mrs Erispe for their talks on “Think Win-Win” and “Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood”.
Another special thank you to Mrs Nathan for helping us organise the students who came to speak to the students and Mrs Nightingale for all the administration work involved in organising this retreat. Finally, thank you to Tyler Vivian, Simon Bryant, and Enoch Kim for sharing with us their thoughts on evangelism, intimacy with God, and stewardship.
Student retreat was something that many students found influential – I was indeed one of them. Coming from someone who is quite academic, it may be hard to believe. But trust me, it was worth it. If not anything, the company was quite enjoyable.
We arrived at Swan Valley Adventure Camp, and many of us were shocked by the formality of it all. To me, it really did look like we were going to a posh boarding school. Nonetheless, the site was great for our purposes and was beautifully kept. On our first day (Thursday), we heard seven different talks – each one as helpful as the next.
Mr Vasquez began by speaking on being proactive and throughout the course of the day we heard about goal-setting, prioritising, working well with others, listening, synergising and relaxing.
On Friday, we listened to four different talks, three of them by former students (Simon Bryant, Tyler Vivian, and Enoch Kim) who spoke on Intimacy with God, Evangelism, and Stewardship. Our last talk was on Peacemaking by Stuart Wesley, who gave us helpful guidelines on resolving conflict.
It may sound like a lot of work and no play – but I think you might find that the fellowship we experienced at camp was quite fun. We watched Cool Runnings Thursday night in light of the Winter Olympics and we were given plenty of time to socialise with others – such as at the pool. I hope that next year proves just as fruitful.
Aynsley Vivian (Year 11)
The Student Retreat was a great experience where we were given a break from the normal routine of school. The two and a half days spent together at Swan Valley Adventure Centre enabled us to gain better relationships with both students and teachers.
Each day consisted of talks that were evenly spread throughout the day. Peacemaking definitely taught everyone at the camp something. For me, it was learning to humble ourselves and taking the step to apologise. Previous students, Simon and Tyler, gave great talks on how to manage our school work while staying intimate with God.
The food prepared by the staff at the camp was outstanding, with a vast range of foods to choose from. This year, we were spoiled as the venue was changed to Swan Valley Adventure Centre. The dorms were luxurious and spacious, with many room options and a common living area.
For most of us, the pool was the highlight of the time spent there. A warm afternoon with the Year 11s and 12s basking under the sun, playing in the water, competitively wrestling for the deflated football was an unforgettable moment.