There is much to be grateful for as a new year begins at RJC High School. With faithful constituent support, two consecutive years of increased enrolment, and the return of inter-collegiate athletics and choral programs, the energy among students and staff is high.
Class retreats are a tradition at the start of the school year at RJC. These retreats are a time for students to leave campus and bond with classmates. After the need to plan a shortened and reimagined retreat last year, the prospect of returning to overnight retreats was exciting.
This year the Grade 10 Imagine class visited The Quest at Christopher Lake, Sask. They spent two days considering the story of Esther and the theme “chosen for a time like this.” Students were asked to consider their own gifts, as well as those of their classmates, and recognize and value these gifts. Through activities at the camp, students had the chance to practice affirming and supporting each other during wall-climbing, tubing behind the boat, and beach volleyball.
The Grade 11 Thrive class spent time at Shekinah Retreat Centre near Waldheim, Sask. Kirsten Hamm-Epp, regional church minister for Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, served as the guest speaker. Her sessions focused on how to build a foundation of values that can help students thrive in their relationships and future. This involved taking the Myers-Briggs personality test to understand the different communication styles of their peers. Students also had fun exploring the hiking trails of Shekinah and spending time canoeing and kayaking.
The Grade 12 Explore class found themselves at Big River Bible Camp at Big River, Sask. The retreat is significant for this group, as it launches the start of their leadership program. The class welcomed Rachel Wallace, pastor at Eigenheim Mennonite Church, as their guest speaker, who led sessions on different models of servant leadership. As an exercise of these lessons, students played an active role in planning the retreat, which included group games and a coffee house, with the goal of including every student.
RJC uses a holistic approach to teaching, evident in the way the staff and students seek to bring the stories and experiences from their retreats back to the school. The lessons of love, compassion and empathy remain foundational for the school in helping to create a healthy and vibrant school community.