Students Voice Their Opinions About Destiny and Destiny’s Location at School This Year

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Michelle Flores

This school year’s three Destiny retreats are hosted at the school for both juniors and seniors.

This year, due to Covid-19 and the push for Destiny to still occur, there have been three Destiny retreats scheduled to occur at school for this 2020-2021 school year as opposed to the standard two retreats that usually occur. The next and final Destiny retreat this year takes place May 1-2.

The Destiny retreat is an overnight, student-led retreat open to any juniors or seniors who want to attend. Typically, Destiny is held at Fort Flagler on the Olympic Peninsula but this year, due to Covid-19 closure of state parks, the retreat is being held at school. This retreat that has been reoccurring since 1983 has been described by Eastside Catholic as “an opportunity for juniors and seniors to grow in love and respect for themselves, others and God through small group discussions, activities, reflection, prayer and leader witness talks.”

Based on an interview with 43 students who have attended Destiny, at either the school or Fort Flagler location, each and every student described the experience in a positive manner. Common words that reoccurred in the students’ responses when describing their experience was “great,” “amazing,” and “life-changing.”

“My experience was great! By the end I looked back and was sad it was over and kind of wished I could do it all over again. I had a great time and think people are accurate in describing the retreat as “life changing,” said Sydney Kuerner ‘22.

“My experience at Destiny was truly eye opening. I was not expecting [the] Destiny experience to be so much fun, but it was definitely one of the highlights during my high school years,” Drew Sanidad ‘22.

All 38 students also recommended going to Destiny to anyone who can.

“It’s definitely not the same as the other retreats that we’ve had in the past. I really recommend it,” said junior Zoe Bachar.

“It’s okay to be skeptical, but it is a great experience and accepts everyone and makes sure everyone feels comfortable,” said senior John Gallucci.

When asked about if location made a difference, a majority of students said that it did not. A few students did mention that it may have been a little more fun going to Fort Flagler, while others said that it was more special at school to them, but all did recommend going regardless of location.

“I went/led at both locations and I can say with full confidence that it does not change Destiny at all. Fort Flagler is great, but it [is] not necessary for Destiny to be amazing. It is practically the exact same Destiny with no ocean,” said senior Abigail Coleman.

And all 38 students said to go regardless of religious persuasion. A majority of the students said the retreat was not overly religious, some said just the right amount, and a few said that it was not religious enough.

“It’s as religious as you make it. If you are not religious, that honestly doesn’t matter because all [that] matters is opening up and having a clear mind about the whole experience and you will have a great time,” said Carson Russell ’22.