Back Brentwood and Station Hill sixth graders escape to Deer Run Retreat
December 9th, 2011
Sixth graders are unique. Everyone knows that—especially the Brentwood Baptist and Station Hill Student Ministries. That's why they combine groups to create their very own winter retreat every year.
From December 2-3, 60 sixth grade students and leaders—including high school leaders—went in the opposite direction that the students in grades 7-12 did two weeks before. Just 20 miles south of Brentwood Baptist, they stopped to stay at the scenic, wooded hideaway called Deer Run Retreat in Thompson's Station.
Like the rest of the students, they also participated in their own time of worship, small group Bible study, and recreation. According to Amy-Jo Girardier, this is a "transitional" retreat for them from the Children's Ministry to Student Ministry.
"A developmental shift happens after Christmas for sixth graders. They start taking more responsibility," she said. "They're obviously the youngest group and feel a little intimidated around the older kids at the retreat. So we've created a place for them to feel safe, but still experience what student retreat is and ease into what next year will be like."
This year, before they closed out the weekend, the Student Ministry inaugurated the Dole Survivor Competition that put four teams to task with the potassium-packed fruit we all know and love.
The two girls teams and two boys teams—Comet, Dasher, Prancer, and Blitzen—participated in four rounds: 1) free throws; 2) relay-style olympics; 3) surgery, which required skilled student surgeons, plastic knives, and duck tape; and 4) banana peel, that highlighted the bare feet of some contestants in a contest to unwrap the fruit from its natural casing.
At the end, the team with the most banana cards was to be named the "Dole Survivor Champion." As it happened, there was a four-way tie. And you know what that meant? Everyone left the retreat a winner.