Juniors take to the community for day of retreat

Is this day worth it?

Juniors take to the community for day of retreat

service me

Did you enjoy your junior retreat day?

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Much controversy surrounds the junior retreat. Some people don’t find it necessary to hold a junior day-long retreat when most of them will attend kairos later in the year.

A junior retreat can vary. It can be anything from helping kids with disabilities to moving chairs.

As a participant last year I went to Lower Price Hill and weeded gardens, as well as moved boxes from St. Michael’s Church. Overall my experience was good. I had an enjoyable group of guys to work with and the work wasn’t too hard. I got a good look at a community that’s not too far apart from my own, all while getting a lesson in the rich history of Price Hill.

While walking past the end of the day Mass service this year I could see the tired looks on some faces, as well as the content looks on others’. It’s safe to say opinions on this day of service vary.

First I sat down with local hero and Cincy stool legend, Lucas Downey. He didn’t have much positive to say about the day. Lucas’ day consisted of a journey down to St. Michael’s where I had been the year before.  He had the honor and privilege of “carrying chairs for hours.”  That’s all Lucas had to say when I asked him to describe the experience. I then asked what he got out of it. He replied, “Honestly nothing more than a lot of back pain.

I got to see the culture of Lower Price Hill, which includes dudes getting hammered on their porches at 9 am. The only plus is I got too see a couple of cool chickens and drink some pop. It’s a place I’d never send my worst enemy too.

— Lucas Downey

My final question was did you find Jesus? Lucas answered with a sharp, “no.”

Then there are kids like Robby Westerkamp who see things in a different light. I asked Robby to recap his day and tell as his experience, as well as if he got anything out of it.

He responded, “My group went the Frank’s, which is a care center for the mentally handicapped above the age of 21. It acts also as a workshop where the people who are capable of working can work for regular pay. I thought it was a very interesting experience because I had no idea places like this existed. What really caught my eye was the way the nurses and caregivers treated the people in it. They are incredibly patient and caring, and I give them all the credit in the world. Overall I thought it was a great learning experience and I encourage the underclassmen not to overlook this retreat and to take it seriously. Take this opportunity to learn about places like this as I did.”

It’s obvious people can see this day differenty. I have the notion that if you take it seriously and go in with an open mind then you will get something out of it. My experience was enjoyable enough that I believe Elder should continue this special day. It’s a great opportunity for Panthers to get out in the community and see how hard life can be and how blessed we are.