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High School Retreat Overview

September 09, 2013
By Dean Wagenaar

Welcome to a new school year, and as it commences I am reminded as I interact with parents and their children of all the various emotions that are generated by this new endeavor: excitement, enthusiasm, apprehension, anxiety, and guarded optimism. Internally students have questions about both peer and teacher relationships and interactions; how is this “new” routine going to develop during the fall?

And because of these uncertain challenges (as well as a number of other reasons), the SCHS staff has continued to support organizing and chaperoning a high school retreat emphasizing both the Biblical foundation of the Christian worldview taught at SCHS and building positive peer relationships which promote a strong, school community.

Therefore, on Thursday, August 29, the students/staff at SCHS loaded their personal items into Mr. Sylling’s trailer and their bodies on to two busses moments before they traveled to Lost Creek Village to experience the 2013 high school retreat. As an “oldtimer” who has participated in this annual tradition, I always enjoy these two days except one detail--the very limited amount of sleep in the early Friday a.m.

The foundation of the retreat is to glorify God by emphasizing student spiritual development. At the lodge Mr. Gene Iwami led four sessions both explaining and encouraging the students to put on the full armor of God, our SCS theme of the year. In Session One the students were challenged to define truth and to understand that objective truth exists even though our postmodern culture largely rejects absolute truth. Over the final three presentations, Mr. Iwami identified the various aspects of armor identified in Ephesians 6 and encouraged all in attendance to live out God’s commands by wearing these parts of the armor. Mr. Iwami’s challenge(s) were pointed, but with God’s grace (and total dependence upon Him) and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can forward our sanctification.

In addition to the focused sessions, the students also participated in numerous activities/games organized by Ms. Candice Bosma and the Student Council. I thank them for their hard work.

And the entire retreat would not function well without the excellently prepared food/snacks; our cooks, Tammie Laverman, Hester Groeneweg, Laura Martin, and Brenda Prins crafted delicious meals with enough food for all.

Once again, the students/teachers/cooks experienced an inspirational challenge to the beginning of a new school year. Let us put on God’s Armor as we obediently walk through this year.


In Jesus’ Name,

Dean Wagenaar