Driving through the changing fall colors with a bus full of seniors has been the same event for years and years, but the destination was different this year.
In the past the Denver Christian senior retreat has been a night away, at a graciously donated cabin near Blue River. The goal being to spend time together simply away from school to catch their breath as they prepare for all that lies ahead – college applications and decisions, senior synthesis, AP classes, sports and the case of ‘senioritis’ that’s bound to come.
No real agenda, no real objective, other than being together and stepping away from it all.
This year, things were different. A night away was no longer plausible, and we’ve outgrown the cabin as a large group regardless of the pandemic. So, back down memory lane it was to where many of our seniors went in 7th grade … Id-Ra-Ha-Je.
A goal during the senior retreat has always been to take time and reminisce, and Id-Ra-Ha-Je provided the perfect environment to do so. From remembering the bed bug incident in the girls cabin, to who got stuck rappelling, and everyone’s collective groans as they thought back to “chivalry night” the “remember whens” flooded out as the day progressed.
Our students that have joined in the years since that 7th grade trip got the full version of all their classmates’ wild experiences while being included in making new memories!
The day may have been short and sweet, but it was the much needed break away from school these seniors craved.
Everyone learned which of their classmates had the hidden talents of Archery Tag (think dodgeball meets archery… and yes, it was amazing and actually safe) and discovered which peers have actually taken up rock climbing since 7th grade and could scamper up to the top far quicker and with more technique than before. Ziplining no longer had the same fear attached for many as coming back you realize “it’s just not that big of deal” anymore.
While being challenged by the staff to reflect on how they’ll lead this year, how they’ll find a community once they’ve graduated, and how they can constantly seek to find God, these seniors could also reflect on how their own hobbies, interests and talents have come a long way.
Driving away from camp this time, students chattered about their various accomplishments of the day and shared their ridiculous moments:
“Did you drive the bike to make your milkshake?”
“Did your group see the mouse?!”
“I was so close to getting you (with that arrow)”
While the destination was different, the result was the same: for just a little bit our seniors forgot their to-do list, didn’t obsess about the future, and just got to remember how to have fun with their classmates.