The first of three senior Kairos retreats will be from Oct. 12-15, offering seniors a chance to experience the Kairos retreat after it was cancelled last year due to COVID.
The main point of the retreat is for everyone to get closer to God while also getting close to each other since the past few years have been a rough time for everyone.
The retreat will be held at the La Salle Manor Retreat Center in Plano, Illinois. “LaSalle Manor is a wonderful, teen-friendly environment,” Bolakowski said. “Lots of activities, very enjoyable. Covid protocols such as social distancing and masking are in effect.”
The Kairos retreat is something the juniors usually do, but this year, the seniors are doing it since they didn’t get the chance to do one last school year due to COVID. Bolakowskistated that the juniors will have an overnight retreat, just not a Kairos one.
“I have really missed the spiritual and faith-building opportunities that our retreats give to the BNI family collectively and individually,” she said.
There are also no student leaders for this year’s Kairos retreat.
“Unfortunately, since our last Kairos in February of 2020, all of the potential leaders have moved on to college or work,” Bolakowski said. “Experienced adult leaders will take the lead in October, and student leaders will be back for the March and May retreats later this year once they have had the experience for themselves.”
Because the seniors didn’t get the Kairos retreat experience, some of them have somewhat the same insights on what the retreat will look like.
“I am most excited to have a good time with my peers, for this is the last time I will be spending a great amount of time with them at once,” said senior Eric Copeland. “I am most excited to build a better connection with God, and hear about their true selves from my classmates and what’s been on their mind and hearts since our last overnight retreat, El Camino.
Senior Aaliyah Crawford is also excited for the group socialization–something that has been lacking in two years.
“I’m excited to be away from school with my friends for a few days,” she said. “I think it will be a super meaningful experience and I’m happy to be with a few of my friends while I’m there.”
While the seniors know there will still be rules to keep them healthy, they are grateful for the opportunity to go on another retreat.
“My expectations for the retreat is that BNI and the retreat center work together to make this year’s Kairos the best retreat possible,” Copeland said. “I know COVID-19 has put a monkey wrench in a lot of plans and activities so I just really hope my Karios retreat is that amazing retreat all juniors look forward to.”