By Foundations Teens
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Over President’s Day Weekend, seventeen 8th graders in our BluePrints program and six juniors in Foundations traveled to Ingleside, IL for an overnight retreat. Our focus for the weekend was “What’s Your Foundation?” We spent the weekend reflecting on how our Family, Friends, FARTS (fun, athletics, recreation, theater, and service), and Faith shape us and how we can fall back on them throughout our lives. The juniors had the opportunity to be leaders on the BluePrints Retreat and share with the 8th graders their own experiences. Below you will find reflections about the retreat from the junior leaders.
My favorite part of the retreat was our prayer and reflection on Saturday night. After playing in the gym for free time, we all walked over to what became our common room for the weekend. When we walked in the room, it was completely dark except for two candles sitting on a center table. One of the leaders explained the importance of acknowledging those who have guided us throughout our life and have played an important role in our foundation, so we all were given the chance to light a candle in honor of someone important in our life. Each time a new person went to light their candle and share about someone who has impacted them, the room got brighter. By the time I lit my candle I was brought to tears. It was truly an amazing experience to see how so many people have affected each of our lives.
– Ashley Brady
As a leader on the BluePrints retreat I loved getting to know the 8th graders and realizing I am in a similar place as they are. We talked about how they are a little nervous about their tests to get into high schools they want and I am too but for college. The weekend was a nice break from that type of stress and a great opportunity to reconnect with our inner selves and God.
– Olwen Heady
I really enjoyed being a leader because it was so interesting to see the 8th graders grow in such a small amount of time. They all started to connect with each other and God. What they had to say about their faith was very surprising to me, because when I was in 8th grade I had no clue what my faith was.
– Abbey Higgins
I went on BluePrints retreat when I was an 8th grader, so to go back and lead it as a Junior was an amazing experience. I kn ew where the 8th graders were and how they felt as they transition into this next phase of life. I think they got a lot out of it, learning about their foundation and God and getting a better sense of the community that OSP offers to us teens.
– Lucy Mulvihill
Being able to lead the BluePrints 8th graders on their first retreat was the perfect experience to see the future of our youth ministry and what can come of it. I’m happy to have met such a wonderful group of kids, to be someone they can talk to comfortably, and for them to know an upperclassman in their first year with Foundations.
– Maddie Sheppard
On this retreat, I had the privilege of watching the 8th graders open up and we all also got closer together. This was achieved through small talk, silly games, and of course the never ending debate of whether Jimmy John’s is a fast food restaurant or not. At the retreat, we also got closer to God. I saw this most small groups, when everyone would start to open up following the leaders example, and we learned about God through each other. It was truly a transcendent experience.
– Joe Thursby