Retreats and Camps
The program of retreats, reflection days and camps offered at Stella Maris is designed to provide our girls with the opportunity to explore issues and create experiences most relevant to their individual needs. They are a key component of the College Pastoral Care Program and an essential part of the girls’ holistic development – especially their social, spiritual and emotional growth.
In different environments, and away from technology, a time and place for prayerful discernment can be created. The camps are places where God’s presence can be encountered in the natural world whereas retreats are occasions for discovering God within. At these precious and unique times the girls, in the words of St Benedict, are called to “listen with the ear of their heart”.
Year 7 Camp
Outdoor Education NSW, Morisset.
The focus of this camp is on building on new relationships. The girls spend time with their Pastoral Care classes and teachers and challenge themselves to a range of challenging activities. This camp is activity-filled and the girls learn a great deal about themselves and each other as they face the various physical challenges, most popular of which are the giant swing, dual flying fox and sailing.
Year 7 Benedictine Day
Our Good Samaritan History and Values
This is a reflective day focussing on our Good Samaritan history and Benedictine values. It introduces the girls to the unique culture and outward focus of a Good Samaritan community through discussion, group work and meditation.
Year 8 Retreat
Finding Your Groove
Naamaroo, Lane Cove National Park.
The girls focus on their personal identity and shaping their self worth. This is a time when the girls are framing the values that will take them into their adult life so on this retreat they explore concepts of beauty, kindness, resilience and faith within a Benedictine framework.
Year 9 Camp
Great Aussie Bush Camp, Tea Gardens.
It’s a refreshing change of scenery for the girls to get out of Sydney and into the great Australian bush – not a beach in sight! At a time when friendship groups are changing and girls are most actively exploring their identity, this camp offers them the chance to discover new friends and boost their self-confidence by meeting the challenges, physical and otherwise, available to them.
Year 10 Retreat
Choose Your Own Adventure
The Collaroy Centre, Collaroy.
This retreat is a time for individual and community development as the girls begin to make decisions for their future and embark on their senior years at the College. They reflect on some of the Benedictine values that can shape the choices they will make: compassion, stewardship, hospitality, peace and humility.
Sr Sarah Puls, a Good Samaritan Sister and social worker, is a very special guest facilitator. Follow Sr Sarah on Twitter.
Year 11 Retreat
Walking the Tightrope
Merroo Conference Centre, Kurrajong Hills.
Term 4 of Year 11 is actually considered the first term of Year 12. This three-day retreat is geared towards preparing the girls for the final stretch of their HSC journey and life beyond the College. It focuses on the balance required to thrive at this difficult time: academically, emotionally and spiritually. We have two visiting facilitators who inspire the girls to translate words and ideas into action:
Luke Tobin, Catholic Mission Australia
Donna Mulhearn, journalist and peace activist, Ordinary Courage
Year 12 Reflection Day
Finding Peace in the Chaos
The girls are provided with space to reflect and meditate following the Trial Examinations. They learn how to focus their thoughts, breath and renew their energy following an incredibly draining period of Year 12. This day enlivens their spirit and commitment for the final push to the end of their HSC exams in Term 4.