Brian Loughland Editorial 15 March 2024

True transformation occurs only when we can look at ourselves squarely and face our attachments and inner thoughts, free from the buzz of false social realities. We have to retreat into our own cocoons and come face-to-face with who we are. For only by abandoning its attachments and facing the darkness does the caterpillar’s body begin to spread out and its light, beautiful wings begin to form. Julia Hill

Some profound thoughts from Julia Hill to inspire our community as we head into a week of Camps and Retreats in 2024. The education of the whole person at Brigidine is an essential component of our approach to learning, wellbeing, and spirituality. The Camps and Retreats program is strategically coordinated to gently move students out of their comfort zones into new challenges and experiences to encourage and inspire them as part of their Brigidine College journey.

Through the Camps program we aim to build stronger connections between all students as they spend time away together, working collaboratively to complete activities and to push through challenges. Time in the great outdoors away from phones and devices, time out of their rooms and to re-connect through conversations, fun activities and working together in shared experiences. For some students this will be easier, and for others it will be more difficult, either way the experience will promote learning and an opportunity for grounding themselves once again and appreciating all they are blessed with in this life.

The Retreats program has its own ‘wilderness’ perspective as well. The senior Retreats are time spent with others, time to listen and reflect, and time for nurturing of the inner self. Jesus often spent time away by himself before facing the challenges of his ministry during his life on Earth. The Gospels recount a number of moments where he went away from the crowds to seek quiet solace and a chance re-energise. Our Retreats are that type of time for our students. Time to look back, to look around at the world they in, and to look forward to the future.

RW Emerson wrote, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Time away from home on Camp or Retreat is precious time. This week will hopefully be a positive step in enabling your daughter to make her own path in life. The week is a chance to utilise ‘Strength and Gentleness’, learn to face life’s challenges with greater confidence, be more independent, yet also more aware of the needs of others. In the future, each student will look back on these times with happiness and with a certainty that their time away has been invaluable in enabling them to emerge from their teenage cocoons and move confidently into a challenging world.

I am grateful for the contributions of the College Staff in attending the numerous Camps and Retreats this week and next week. We appreciate their time away from families and the hours spent in organising the support of a myriad of student requirements and needs for these events. Special thanks to Sally Bayley for her outstanding coordination and preparation of the many letters, bookings and follow up of people to enable the Camps and Retreats to proceed in 2024. I am also very grateful to the Year Coordinators for their attention to detail in supporting so many students, staff, and families in their year group. This week is a huge commitment from the whole staff, and it always is focused on supporting the students and enabling this week to be enjoyable, positive and rewarding for each of them.

Back to newsletter . . .