Beach Retreat 2018
High School Beach Retreat offered exactly what was advertised. A retreat from social media, from responsibilities, from pressures. Students were able to step away from the pressures of school and social lives for a few days and just be kids! I saw students playing on the beach, resting in hammocks, listening to music and having sing-alongs, and bless them – talking face to face!! I saw students in our house connecting with and getting to know other students who do not normally run in their social circles.
It was an eye-opening experience for me as a leader to allow students to disconnect and be in a place designed specifically for having fun and resting. The best way I can describe it is to say that I felt something was removed and I was able to see these teens without a filter, and it was a beautiful thing! The theme of rest runs throughout the Bible. God made a day of rest holy! (Gen 2:3) Psalm 127:2 says “…God gives rest to his loved ones.” Rest allows these teens to be their best selves. During Bible study time each day, the teens were more engaged and vulnerable in a positive way. They were honest about their struggles, and by being honest, they allowed leaders to see how to invest in their lives in the most meaningful ways. It also allowed bonds to form between the teens as they understood that they were not alone in their struggles.
I am thankful for Beach Retreat as a parent of a teen and as a leader. Rest and retreat are needed – for all of us. This weekend not only offered that, but it was time for teaching the skill of resting as well. What a blessing!