On Wednesday the 21st of September, the boys in Grammar set off on their religious retreat to the monastery in Esker, Co. Galway. It was a welcome break in what had been a busy first few weeks to the school year. Stephen Black and James Ward take up the story…
We set off at eight in the morning on a two hour long drive to Galway. When we arrived, we were greeted by the friendly staff and we had a few minutes to walk around the grounds of the monastery. The location was surrounded by forestry in a very remote area and was very peaceful. We were then called in to be split up into groups with the staff, with whom we would be spending the day.
We were split into four different groups and led into classrooms with chairs in a semi-circle facing into the centre. We began by introducing ourselves and naming one quality about ourselves. The leaders then told us their names and qualities and a bit about their lives. They were very relaxed and kind throughout and really set the tone for the day.
We then played a few social games that required us to concentrate and to have faith in one another. This was a lot of fun and very enjoyable. After all the games we had a half hour break for biscuits and to drink some tea and coffee. We had an opportunity here to talk about what we all did in our separate groups and to talk about our impressions of the place. We then went back into our groups and were given an exercise to find what we admire in other people.
The final exercise took place after lunch and it involved us imagining what life would be like on a perfect island. We had great fun in this activity and think the leaders really enjoyed hearing some of our more outrageous ideas! We finished off the day with a short video and a prayer.
We all had an enjoyable and religious day which would not have been possible without the staff from Esker, who helped us to just zone out from our day to day lives and relax. On behalf of Grammar we would like to thank Ms Dolan and Mrs Lumb for organising the retreat and for accompanying us. It was a great experience and the people there and the bonds that were made there will not be forgotten by any of us boys in Grammar 2017/18.
Stephen Black and James Ward