Sophomore Retreat: An Eye-Opening Experience

Sydney Burns, Staff Writer

A retreat is often defined as a break to relax and reflect. Sophomore Retreat was a time to truly learn about what is means to serve and reflect on how grateful I am for the things in life that I have. This year, I had the pleasure of going to Moravia Park Elementary School here in Maryland, and it was truly an incredible experience. As soon as I walked in, I felt a big presence of God and of the positivity in the school. Even when we were walking in, the children’s waves and smiles filled my heart with love and compassion. To start off, there were two girls who came in to sing the school song and say the announcements. They truly launched my day off into a good start. Next, my religion class and I were paired off into groups of two or three, and we were sent to a classroom to interact with the teachers and kids.

When I arrived in a classroom, I was eager to meet all of the first graders. They greeted my partner and me cheerfully and gave us waves. We introduced ourselves and watched the class learn about spelling and question words. There were many kids who truly inspired me in the classroom. First, there was one girl, whom every time I looked at, she flashed me a smile. This girl really inspired me to be more positive in my day to day life and to spread happiness wherever I go. Next, there was another girl, when we were playing bingo, who helped me clean up without even having to ask. She was very generous, and that showed me how many people are helpful even when they don’t need to be. Finally, at lunch, there was an enthusiastic little boy that shared with me his love for Christmas, Halloween, and chocolate ice cream.

Before the retreat, we were asked to find the God in others. I can say that I found God in every single child who smiled at me that day. The ones that talked with me and shared their stories, and the ones that just gave me a smile, all carried a presence of God. Their acts of kindness and enthusiasm didn’t have to be big, but just enough to make my day. All of their positive light shone through, and their dedication to learning was contagious.

As Ms. Carlson said, “We leave here with only the positives,” and I’m sure that I left inspired by whom I met and ready to serve again. This retreat was one that I will never forget and affected me in so many good ways. No matter what kind of act it is, it is never too late to out go out there and serve others. Just remember that when you serve, you affect someone. It doesn’t have to be life changing, but you leave an imprint on someone’s life and truly make them feel pure happiness.