St. Benedict’s Retreat

In November, Year 7 students of St Benedict’s had a retreat day facilitated by Challenge 2000, in preparation for their role as leaders in 2017.


The day with a prayer and a song about social justice, before warming up with icebreakers. The theme of leadership was exp[lored, and the Challenge staff talked about people who are leaders in their lives. The students then broke up into small groups to brainstorm about what it means to be a leader, and what makes Jesus the model leader. The major themes of service, care and compassion came through strongly.


The students then had an opportunity to put this theory into practice with team activities, and we all quickly realised that this stuff is easier said than done! Communication was seen to be the key, and listening as one of the key components to this!  After a full-on day of discussion and activities we wound down with a reflection exercise and a liturgy, and we referred to the fact that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate [but] that we are powerful beyond measure”.

The students left inspired and energised to lead their school in a compassionate and considered Christian way in the year ahead. We look forward to watching their progress and success!


Being a Year 12 student, I’ve had my fair share of retreats, many being run by Challenge 2000.  To help out at the St Benedict’s transition day, as part of an amazing Challenge team, was awesome.  It gave me the opportunity to be on the other side of my usual position in retreats.  Instead of being a keen student to learn, I had to be a keen “teacher” to the Year 7s, and help them to become the best leaders they can possibly be!

Throughout the day, the Year 7s were able to find out more about themselves, what is needed to work better as a team, and, ultimately, what is needed to become better leaders.  Different activities stretched their minds, forcing them to think as leaders in what they did and what they could have done to have smoother experiences in each activity.

As a student who has experienced these activities in the past, it was amazing to see how these Year 7s mirror so much of what I would have been like when I was a Year 7 (a bit frustrated at times, but always keen for activities and challenges), and it was my privilege to be in a position to help shape each of the student’s characters.  It was awesome to see the Year 7s grow and learn so much by the end of the day, and I am excited to see what they become in the future.

Ren-C Tamayo