Letter to Parents of Youth Retreatants

Dear Parent or Guardian,

We at the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center are looking forward to serving your son/daughter on the class retreat. These days are offered as an opportunity to do some good thinking; a chance to come closer to classmates; and a time to deepen the relationship with God. We will present a variety of activities including large and small group discussions; reflections; and healing, prayer, and sacramental opportunities. There will also be plenty of free time for the retreatants to play sports and games, make use of hiking trails, and relax with their classmates.

The safety and well-being of all the students is our priority, and to that end, we enforce three rules for which your son/daughter will be held responsible. The first rule is to be respectful of people and property. The second rule is to be drug and alcohol free throughout the retreat. The third rule is to remain in their assigned room during the designated curfew at night time. These rules will be explained fully to the students at the start of the retreat. The consequence for breaking any of these rules is dismissal from the retreat. You, the parent, would be called and expected to pick up your child from the retreat center immediately. The school would also be informed of the situation and may enforce its own disciplinary action. Please discuss these rules and consequences with your child before he/she comes to the retreat.

To assist in preparation for the retreat, please use the following information as a guide to packing. Retreat typically lasts two days and one night. Most retreatants have private rooms and showers. Towels, linens, and soap are provided (unless the student has been told specifically to bring a sleeping bag due to an extra-large group). The retreatants should bring their own toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) and any necessary medications. Attire is casual – clothing should be appropriate for a retreat, comfortable for sitting on the floor and going outdoors (a coat for cold weather is advised). Outdoor opportunities include 120 wooded acres to hike, an athletic field and basketball/ volleyball court (we provide football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer ball). Indoors, we have a ping pong table, puzzles, and board games.

We encourage musicians to bring their instrument and consider sharing their talents with the group during break or prayer. Additional items the student may want to bring are a journal, sketch book, book to read, additional games or sports equipment. Meals and snacks will be provided. Food is not allowed in the dorm rooms, so any snacks brought from home should be shared in the public spaces.

The retreat is a “low-tech” experience, designed to promote community with the people attending the retreat, in addition, the dorm areas should be kept quiet. Therefore, we ask that no laptops, portable radios, iPods, televisions, DVD/CD players, etc. be brought to the retreat. Cell phone use is to be kept at a minimum and kept in rooms and not to be brought into the sessions. This is a time to rest, live simply, and be with classmates. Please also leave homework at home.

We are looking forward to meeting all the students, and we hope the time they spend here will be a fun and life-giving experience. Please share this letter with your son/daughter and discuss the upcoming retreat with them. We truly appreciate your help in preparing your son/daughter for these days.

In Christ,

The Marianist Retreat & Conference Center Youth Team