Jenny, 16, from Lancaster writes: "This was my first Advent retreat and after going to two Easter retreats, two Adventure weekends and a school trip, the bar was set quite high. But this retreat was just as good as the others; maybe even better!
On the Friday night we enjoyed a team game which included guessing and finding objects to construct a mystery creation. My group had to construct a stable from sticks, newspaper, foil, string and cellotape. It was rather difficult as we only had a limited amount of time and the other groups were making people bigger than our stable! We managed to fit baby Jesus in his manger and Mary and Joseph in the stable. It was a great idea and brought everyone to focus upon the coming Christmas.
Saturday started early but with snow during breakfast! We began the day by learning about Saint Lucy. Lucy means light. We then split into groups and did artwork, drama or music to do with the prophets: Isaiah, Jonah and Hosea. I chose to do artwork and I learnt a lot about Isaiah and understand about some of his readings and interpret them into our work. I really enjoyed working with my friends on the piece of art we did. We then went out on a walk up to the top of the hill where there was an amazing view of the Lake District - I'm very jealous of the people who get to see these views everyday. We finished the evening with a prayer stations, fun, interactive quiz and singing Christmas carols around the fireplace with Bosco.
We began Sunday by learning about John the Baptist in groups. I find the story of John the Baptist very interesting and we all worked with our groups to produce something about John the Baptist to show the others in Mass later on. Before lunch we went to Mass and heard readings from Isaiah before lighting the pink candle of the Advent wreath.
I really enjoyed coming to this retreat and meeting up with old (and new) friends while celebrating our faith surrounded by a warm community. I'm currently looking forward to Flame 2, the Easter Retreat and the next Advent retreat! I would definitely recommend Castlerigg to anyone who wants to meet new people or develop their faith further!