12 Again.

One of the great things about teaching at this school is that we have the extra opportunities to connect with students outside of the normal classroom setting.  I have so enjoyed being able to interact with my students in the canteen, around the grounds of the school, and, most recently, on our annual 3-day, 2-night spiritual retreat.

We drove about 3 hours from the school to a beach on the West side of the island, Carita (Cha-ree-tah).  I often found myself walking a fine line between teacher-in-charge and returned-to-12-year-old-self.  Spending a week with 95 middle schoolers can do that to you!  It was a really incredible trip – relationships were forged, lessons learned, and memories created.

Throughout the last few days we had sessions, small group meetings, and worship (led by a super-talented group of students!  Things like this make it easy for me to forget that they’re only 12.).  The tagline was “Something Greater Than Gold”, based on Eric Liddell, a Scottish olympian/missionary to China.  The focus was on loving our neighbors.


Day 1

The day that we arrived we had some time at the beach.  The kids snagged me to be their mandatory supervisor, knowing that I would be incapable of answering in the negative.  They drew in the sand, splashed back and forth, and skipped rocks, and I explained to them sea glass and the concept of tackling waves.  Aren’t my students precious!?

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The first day also boasted our homeroom dance competition; the kids had been working for weeks, and they all did a great job!  Grace and I were elected to be judges, and promptly chose personalities to make things more interesting…

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Finally, to close the night out, we played family feud.  We were the “Mustachio family”.  If you look closely, you can see our mustaches (and my goatee, courtesy of a begging student)!

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Day 2

Our second day at the retreat we put on an SPH version of the “Olympic Games”.  In the morning we did dry events, and I was in charge of a severely altered game of soccer that slightly resembled ultimate frisbee.  After lunch, we returned to our competition.  I supervised an event in which students worked together to try to fill a hole-filled pipe with water.  It was rather comical, from my end at least!  I took advantage of the concentration going on to sneak attack students with buckets of water, and we finished out the event with an epic 25 person water war.

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In the evening, we did an AWESOME activity called the “paper bag simulation”. You can read more about it here… it turned out to be my favorite part of the retreat!

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We ended the night with a closing bonfire, bringing back many old campfire songs – I was reminded time and again of camp as a child and retreats with the youth group!


Day 3

After an early wake-up and breakfast, we packed up and headed back to school.

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We got back about an hour early, so we returned to our homerooms to finish out the fun.  I must say, I was impressed by the kids innovative ways to entertain themselves, even after a long, tiring few days!

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And, finally, here we all are, ready to head home 🙂

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