Timothy Christian School hosted its first All High School Retreat in September at Spruce Lake Retreat Center in Pennsylvania. Just when everyone was settling into the new school year and the excitement of a new beginning was fresh, TCS high schoolers packed up for 3 days away from the new routine.
The retreat was aimed to be different than the past retreats that 8th and 11th graders separately took part in. Speaker Tim Eldred, a veteran pastor, author and leading voice for youth in ministry, spoke to our students around the theme: “You are Not Alone.”
The high school launched its discipleship and mentoring groups during this retreat. Students participated in activities in their discipleship groups to help them break down barriers and be more comfortable sharing throughout the year.
“The time in discipleship groups allowed us to talk deeper. Tim Eldred talked about a topic that is more serious. It was nice to hear everyone’s input and the teachers’ points of view,” said senior, Anna Schafhauser.
High school administration and faculty accompanied students on the trip providing an opportunity for relationship building and reinforcing the commitment the TCS staff has to each and every student’s spiritual, mental and emotional growth.
“The HS retreat allowed us to see the more laid back and fun side of our teachers, the relatable part of the teachers’ personalities. We got to see the fun side of them. Things that we don’t get to see as much in the classroom,” commented senior, Jacqueline Francis.
HS Principal, Laura McKay says the point of having this retreat so early in the year is to build relationships right from the start.
“We wanted to begin the year making a big impact on our students and setting the tone for a terrific year,” said McKay. “The purpose of this retreat is about building relationships between students, faculty and students and students and God. I’d say that was accomplished.”
The HS retreat was also about having fun together. Students were divided into color teams and competed in a variety of activities which included catching marshmallows thrown off a three story balcony, carrying a cucumber through an obstacle course, and running away from “Oompa Loompa” staff members with purple hair. Staff skits and minute-to-win-it competitions added to the excitement of the three days.
“What I loved about the HS retreat is the togetherness of it. It allowed us to bond with the other grades and to get to know the new kids right away,” said junior, Kyla Johnson. “It also strengthened us as grades. It brought forth new relationships and was a good replacement to the junior retreat. The activities were a lot of fun!”
Time was set aside for worship and for diving into God’s Word, centered around the theme, “You Are Not Alone.” We thank God for grabbing hold of the hearts of many of our high school students through this experience and pray that students know that there are people to walk alongside them throughout their time at TCS.