Retreat Blogs


NCCS Upper School Retreat Day 2

Thursday, August 10
Written by Megan Strange | Upper School Principal

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Based on an informal survey of chitchat at breakfast, it seemed like everyone got a good night's rest.  Breakfast got the crew rolling as we continued to be flexible with the rain.  In between rainstorms, everyone jetted over to the chapel for our morning session.  Coach Bitner and Mrs. Dignon invited a lot of students forward to join in the games to kick off our time together.  As always, lots of laughter and cheering ensued for the grade level teammates of the students on stage.  Once the games were over, our worship team led us in a few songs reminding us of the truth of the gospel and helping us give voice to our praise for what God has done for us.

This morning was a special time because we had intentionally planned to break up into groups for guys and girls.  The rain adjusted our plan a bit, but it ended up being better than our original plan.  Isn't God awesome to remind us that He has it all under control?!!

The guys started out with all the Upper School men (faculty, staff, and students) gathered in the chapel for the guys panel.  It was moderated by Mr. Gnann, and the group included some of our male faculty and staff.  These men shared their stories of how the Lord has and is working in their lives and some things that God is teaching them.  They made some great connections with what high school guys are walking through and being tempted with, and they gave some strategies on how to lean into God's word and how to build godly friendships where you can really hold each other accountable.

While the guys were doing this, the girls were broken up into groups by grade level doing a variety of things to build relationships.  There were several games designed for team building and breaking down some walls in our hearts and our minds.  Lots of candy and laughter were involved!

Then the ladies went to the chapel for our panel time while the guys broke up into groups and did whatever the guys sounded a bit like a tribal war coming from the basement.  But they all seemed safe, sound, and happy at I'm sure it was a productive time for the guys!

Last week we invited the Upper School girls to submit questions about what they would like to discuss in our panel time and they were super vulnerable in sharing some of their struggles.  So much of it is related to how they view themselves, friendship, dating, interacting with their parents, thinking towards the future, and how to deal with peer pressure.  The faculty ladies started off the time by simply sharing what the Lord has been teaching them in this season.  

The theme was very much focused around recognizing that you will never feel like you are enough...but there is freedom in discovering that Christ will ALWAYS be enough.  If you start with that proper understanding of who Christ is and then the fact that God designed each of us on purpose and with a purpose for our lives, the other things that can distract us so easily...will line up under the lordship of Christ.  We addressed several of the questions the girls had asked in advance and even took some live questions from the audience.  We realize that is a gift that girls would trust us enough to be that open and eager to learn and grow.

By the time we all headed to lunch, the rain had seemingly moved out and we turned our attention to the afternoon.  After lunch everyone headed down to the rec fields to split up into groups for some games.  The Shocco staff did a great job with some team building games for the 9th and 10th graders while our AWESOME Upper School PE staff hosted some great games for our 11th and 12th graders.  In case you see any of the videos of the game with the giant ball...everyone ended up being ok!  It was a blast to see kids just playing outside and having fun!

Afternoon freetime was very similar to yesterday and the kids quickly scattered around campus to enjoy all the free time activities.  A lot more students chose some of the lake activities today to stay cool as well as all the activities from yesterday.  The kids played hard and we all had a lot of fun!

The weather continued to improve over the course of the afternoon and we enjoyed a cool evening as everyone headed to dinner, hanging out on the patio, and then heading back to the rec fields for more group games. It was a blast to watch the kids having such a great time playing the games and equally enjoyable to see so many who had pulled aside just to enjoy conversation with one another.

Evening rec wrapped up a little after 8:00 and everyone headed to the chapel for the worship session at 8:30.  Remember the audience to connect with here is we are running a schedule that syncs with their rhythms.  Good reminder that many of us are long past our teenage days!

The Kyle Edenfield Band has joined the retreat to lead worship tonight and tomorrow morning and it was great to have them with us.  After our evening gotta check out the pictures with the socks and the bowls of ice...we joined our voices to lift high the name of Jesus.  

Mrs. Janelle Rupp was our speaker this evening and her message continued our conversation of 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 focusing specifically on verses 18-19 and what it means to be reconciled...first to Christ and then to one another.  The first step is to be reconciled to God.  After that, we can engage the ministry of reconciliation towards others.  She ended the time with a very clear gospel presentation and opportunity for students to respond.

The session closed out with prayer and a time of worship before Mr. Smith wrapped up the evening with a few quick announcements for tomorrow morning followed by a fun surprise...the students were being dismissed out of the chapel directly into an ice cream bar!  Just in time for bed...with tons of whipped cream, sprinkles, m&m's, cherries, and marshmallows.   Some of our female faculty went above and beyond demonstrating their chops as master ice cream scoopers!  It was a wonderful way to end a great day.

Thanks for praying for us as we settle in for the night.  We've played hard, we've studied God's word, we've intentionally built relationships, and our desire is that our students see that Christ is better.  We have one more session in the morning.  Dr. Hedges will be finishing up our 2 Corinthians passage.  Will you join us in praying that the Lord would continue moving in our midst?

To the glory of God! Go Eagles!