On Friday I had the absolute privilege of helping run a retreat day for year 8’s. It was based on Cafod’s green heart day. Green symbolising care for our common home (based on Pope Francis encyclical Laudato Si’) and the heart as it was so close to valentines day.
As I had signed up to be a Cafod volunteer and as my chaplain needed someone to do a session, he was like come on Bron this is your first mission, your big debut, you’re going to run a whole session by yourself. At first I was like what no I can’t do it, what would I do. But I went home and I looked on Cafod’s website and did some research and was like ok.
I decided that my session would be about greed and appreciation and came up with a game for it. Which I thought was really good and we tried it with a couple of people in my year and it worked. However on the day, in my first session it did not. My nerves kicked in and I had no clue what to do because I felt like it was a bit too complex for the year 8’s. I had no help what so ever from teachers it was just me in a room with 30 year 8’s. So at break I had a little brainstorm with my lovely helpers and we came up with a good run down. First we play 3 different games all based on greed (a lot of haribos were involved) then we stopped for 15 minutes for a reflection listening to all I can do by mikeschair and just getting them to think about things in life they take for granted and why we should appreciate them.
I was more confident in myself and I really took control. I had teachers come up to me saying that I was :’). They were like I just knew you were in charge (I had no clue I was doing that but it was nice to get feedback like that). I just felt so at peace with myself. I loved it, I loved seeing the smiles on their faces as I got them to play my new greed game. It was just so satisfying knowing that I was teaching them about good deeds and God but in a fun way.
Now the best part of it all was after our 5th session. We had to set up the drama room that we were in all day for the final prayer and reflection. We were only meant to put candles and tealights around the room but I was like to our chaplain should I grab some cloth from textiles and make a display his answer was no as the rooms dark and we will have the lights off anyway so there’s no point. Well did me and the team listen to this? Nope :’) I mean we got all the candles out and we were like this looks nice but no we need some cloth. Hence us raiding the fabric cupboard, the chapel (stole all the pebbles), cooking room; grabbed a bowl to put tealights in (my idea so proud of it). And this was the outcome.
It was great because the session was going to be about how sometimes things are better with the lights out and this was a great example. We genuinely thought we were going to get shouted at though for getting all this when were told to just get candles but we carried on as it looked so good (better in real life as well). However when our chaplain walked in he was like woah that looks amazing.
At the end of the day I was exhausted but I had the biggest genuine smile on my face. I mean I had gone through 3, yes 3 cups of coffee because I find that people tire me out. But, I realised that this is me, this is what I want to do. I want to teach working with little children. I had found a new piece of me that day.
Truth is everyday we learn something new even though you may not realise it. I was learning as I was teaching them. I myself said that life isn’t all about getting it’s about giving. We are here to help one another not ourselves.
Luke 12: 15 says “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
P.s If any of you like contemporary Christian music listen to Tenth avenue North, they are now my favourite band. I recommend by your side.