Leading the Way

Starting a new tradition, seniors help with junior retreat


Alena Gillespie

During the final meeting on April 27 before the junior retreat in May, senior small group leaders eat their lunch as they listen to Campus Ministry director Bill Creach. For the first time, the junior retreat will be led by 21 seniors.

Alena Gillespie

Gathered together in the auditorium with lunches in hand, senior small group leaders listened to the plans of the junior retreat prepared by Campus Ministry director Bill Creach.
This year for the first time, 21 seniors will be dedicating their time on May 14, the day before graduation, to lead the juniors in their retreat.
“The idea is getting the juniors ready to be seniors,” Creach said. “It’d be like handing off the baton of the old guard to the new guard.”
For the first time in more than 10 years, the juniors will have their retreat together as a class, rather than being split into two groups over a two day time period.
Senior small group leader Amy Patterson said she is looking forward to being a leader as she will meet more underclassmen before she graduates.
“I don’t know that many juniors, so I would say I look forward to getting to know the juniors,” Patterson said.
Prior leadership experiences led to being selected as a small group leader.
“I love getting leadership roles,” senior small group leader Maizie Young said. “I’m excited for another opportunity to do that before I graduate.”
Leaders have been prepping for the retreat by attending meetings led by Creach that go over the day, small group activities and preparing speeches. Young said she feels that her goal is for everyone to be themselves.
“I think my main responsibility is helping lead discussions and helping people feel comfortable with sharing in their small groups,” Young said.
Creach said he believes the juniors may connect more to the seniors leading the retreat.
“I am hoping the juniors are more open because they’ve got people close to them in age giving the retreat,” Creach said. “I hope that some of them (juniors) will help next year because they had a good experience on the retreat.”
Coming out of the retreat, Patterson said her goal is for the juniors to come together as one.
“I hope they can get closer to each other as a class and get some deep level of understanding before senior year,” Patterson said.
Young said she wants the juniors to recognize that they will be the new leaders of the school.
“I hope they gain fellowship and are more open to being vulnerable to peers as well as learning what it means to be a leader,” Young said.
According to Creach, there is always room for friendships to grow stronger within classmates.
“I hope they get closer as a class and new friendships are formed or old friendships get closer,” Creach said. “I still think there’s a lot of people in the class that don’t know each other yet.”
Being seniors, both Patterson and Young have words of wisdom for the juniors before they graduate.
“Enjoy it and power through,” Patterson said.
Young adds that being open and having a positive mindset is key.
“Be open to other people you aren’t really friends with and enjoy your time at Miege while you have it instead of
anticipating getting out,” Young said.