On the 26th of September, we went on our retreat to Cootehill, Co. Cavan with Ms. Donoghue. It was a really early start having to get up and get to the school for a quarter to eight. It was lashing rain and we were all getting soaked waiting for the bus, but we were all really looking forward to the day. Even though the journey was two hours long we had fun on the bus and were starting to wake up properly.
Once we arrived at the retreat centre we were heartily welcomed by the retreat staff. They were unbelievably friendly and really positive in everything they did. We were divided into two groups, one group would be doing the adventure part of the retreat first and another would be doing the actual retreat part first.
The adventure section was fun as well as challenging. Trying to carry members of our group through spider webs and – trying – to race through a bog was frustrating but enjoyable. I knew it would be muddy and messy but I had no idea I would be diving into a bog and loosing both shoes in the swamp like lake. After trudging up the long driveway back to the centre looking completely unrecognisable covered in bog we were relieved to be able to have a well deserved shower.
It was finally time for lunch and the staff entertained us with what they called ‘AME’ (After Meal Entertainment) in which they put on a mini play, which was so funny and loved by the whole year.
We were then split up again into ‘little groups’ with a leader. Our leader was called Hugh and we spent the session talking about ourselves, and peer pressure. We also had a surprisingly long conversation about what the best toothpaste was funnily enough… Afterwards we went back to the main hall and listened to a really inspiring talk from one of the group leaders. She told us about her experience of peer pressure and how her life was turned around because of her faith. One thing I liked about her speech was that from peer pressure a thought can be turned into a habit, and a habit can be turned into a lifestyle, and a lifestyle can turn into our destiny.
The last part of the retreat involved going into the church and watching a short play by the leaders about how Jesus died for everyone on the cross so that we could be free from sin. The leaders really tried to get across to us how important faith is. They told us that the more we put into the day, the more we would get out, and they were completely right. It was a really enjoyable day and I’m really glad I had the chance to go.
Olwyn Mooney 4Durrow