Youth Programs

Youth Programs

In keeping with the Marianist tradition, MRCC has always devoted itself to a special ministry for youth. Days of Recollection and retreats for elementary and high school students are a very important part of MRCC’s program offerings. Our team of professional youth ministers provide overnight or single day programs filled with thought provoking and fun activities to help youth deepen their faith, experience Christian community and grow in their commitment to the Gospel. Engaging prayer experiences, team building, guided journaling, cathechetical instruction and arts and crafts are just some of the ingredients of our youth programs. Here are some bullet points:

  • We have a team of professional youth ministers to assist you.
  • Day long retreats for up to 150 people.
  • Overnight single room accommodations for approximately 45 people. Because half our rooms have 2 twin beds, we are able to accommodate up to 65.
  • The sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are important elements of our programs.
  • We will work with you to develop a retreat/schedule to meet your needs.

Listed below are our most popular types of retreats. Please contact Julie Hickey, Youth Program Coordinator (, at our office for more information and to get your group scheduled.

A/V and Programming Services Available at MRCC:  Click here for details.

Grade School Retreats

Students preparing for this beautiful sacrament will come to a deeper understanding of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and learning about Him through prayer, song, stories, and crafts. Included is a hot lunch and snack.A� This day of reflection is offered on the MRCC grounds or on your school campus.

Candidates for Confirmation will be encouraged to let the Holy Spirit lead them through a day of prayer, fun, faith sharing, and games that teach them about this wonderful Sacrament of Initiation and encourage them to grow as active servants of Christ and the Church.A� Lunch and snack are included and this day of reflection is offered both on and off campus.

This scripture based retreat is designed to bring classmates closer to one another and establish fun faith connections.A� Students will rotate through many activities both indoor and outdoor, supporting one another and working as a team. This day often concludes with Mass.

This is a day of reflection for 7th and 8th graders to bolster their faith and leadership skills.A� This retreat is designed not only to help the individual students but encourage them to collaborate on setting a culture of kindness at their school while really living out the Beatitudes. Prayer, discussions, games, and Holy Mass are part of this fun day retreat.A� Students are given a�?take awaya�? activities to share with younger classes from their schools.

With the help of the patron saint of actors, students are encouraged to give the joy of their performances to God and to one another.A� Age appropriate musical theater songs, basic choreography, improvisation, theater games, performances and more are offered at this fun camp for ages 6-13 and 14-18 which is led by seasoned performers and educators.A� The senior campers mentor the younger campers and perform with the day camp.

High School Retreats

The theme of this retreat is unity in the Body of Christ.A� The emphasis of the activities on this 30 hour retreat is Christ centered. Some of the activities are icebreakers, reconciliation, prayer, games, enjoying the outdoors, and large and small group discussions.A� All of these activities are to encourage students to be the Body of Christ for others.A� This retreat concludes with celebration of the Eucharist.

This is typically an all-female retreat based in authentic self- esteem as daughters of God.A� This 24 hour retreat involves growing in our appreciation of God, others, and ourselves…realizing that upon reflecting on Psalm 139 we realize Goda��s powerful love for each one of us.A� Self-awareness through a spiritual lens, discussions, games, prayer, and fun are all part of this wonderful retreat.

This overnight retreat is based on leaving a spiritual legacy as individuals and as a class.A� Being centered on others and contributing to building up the faith community through kindness, service, and good example are the themes of this retreat.A� Separate guy talks and girl talks as well as icebreakers, games, prayer, large group activities, and sacraments are all components of this uplifting retreat.

This 24 hour retreat is generally designed as an all-female retreat.A� Appreciating Goda��s creation, being good stewards, and appreciating one another are the themes of this retreat.A� Scripturally-based prayer opportunities, lots of outdoor worship, fun, faith sharing, affirmations, and much more comprise this unique retreat experience.

This day is designed for your specific student body with themes to accommodate the needs of your students.A� Prayer, games, talks, and small group and large group activities are generally components of our Days of Reflection.A� This day can take place at your school or at MRCC.

This is a day of reflection based on St. John Paul II exhortation on women and what he calls the Feminine Genius.A� This retreat is designed for high school girls to appreciate and unleash their unique feminine gifts to relate and uplift others that was perfected in our Blessed Mother.A� Imitating Marya��s virtues, understanding her courage and powerful intercession helps students know that Mary can relate to our modern day struggles and bring us closer to Jesus.A� It is a day filled with faith sharing, games, prayer, and fun while growing in an authentic appreciation for what a privilege it is to be a woman and have Mary as our mentor and friend.

This is a retreat designed for high school students of all ages wanting to become more serious in their faith.A� It is a 24 hour retreat about journeying and what it takes to make the next step in your relationship with God.A� Meeting students from other schools both public and private, sharing faith experiences, indoor and outdoor fun, games, and sacramental opportunities contribute to the spiritual journey of this fun retreat.

This is also a 24 hour retreat open to all high school students wanting to grow in their faith. Discussions on the joys and challenges of following Christ and the Church are dealt with in this retreat.A� Games, role-playing, affirmations, outdoor fun, and sacraments are all components of the Next Step 2 Retreat.

With the help of the patron saint of actors, students are encouraged to give the joy of their performances to God and to one another.A� Age appropriate musical theater songs, basic choreography, improvisation, theater games, performances and more are offered at this fun camp for ages 6-13 and 14-18 is led by seasoned performers and educators.A� The senior campers will mentor the younger campers and perform with the day camp but in the evening they will put together their own presentation.A�

This retreat is based on living out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and how to be the heart and hands of Christ.A� Issues of poverty, justice, and the dignity of all life are discussed.A� Icebreakers, prayer, sacraments, games, and small and large group A�discussions occur with this high school overnight retreat.

Dear Parent or Guardian,

We at the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center are looking forward to serving your son/daughter on the class retreat. These days are offered as an opportunity to do some good thinking; a chance to come closer to classmates; and a time to deepen the relationship with God. We will present a variety of activities including large and small group discussions; reflections; and healing, prayer, and sacramental opportunities. There will also be plenty of free time for the retreatants to play sports and games, make use of hiking trails, and relax with their classmates.

The safety and well-being of all the students is our priority, and to that end, we enforce three rules for which your son/daughter will be held responsible. The first rule is to be respectful of people and property. The second rule is to be drug and alcohol free throughout the retreat. The third rule is to remain in their assigned room during the designated curfew at night time. These rules will be explained fully to the students at the start of the retreat. The consequence for breaking any of these rules is dismissal from the retreat. You, the parent, would be called and expected to pick up your child from the retreat center immediately. The school would also be informed of the situation and may enforce its own disciplinary action. Please discuss these rules and consequences with your child before he/she comes to the retreat.

To assist in preparation for the retreat, please use the following information as a guide to packing. Retreat typically lasts two days and one night. Most retreatants have private rooms and showers. Towels, linens, and soap are provided (unless the student has been told specifically to bring a sleeping bag due to an extra-large group). The retreatants should bring their own toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) and any necessary medications. Attire is casual a�� clothing should be appropriate for a retreat, comfortable for sitting on the floor and going outdoors (a coat for cold weather is advised). Outdoor opportunities include 120 wooded acres to hike, an athletic field and basketball/ volleyball court (we provide football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer ball). Indoors, we have a ping pong table, puzzles, and board games.

We encourage musicians to bring their instrument and consider sharing their talents with the group during break or prayer. Additional items the student may want to bring are a journal, sketch book, book to read, additional games or sports equipment. Meals and snacks will be provided. Food is not allowed in the dorm rooms, so any snacks brought from home should be shared in the public spaces.

The retreat is a a�?low-techa�? experience, designed to promote community with the people attending the retreat, in addition, the dorm areas should be kept quiet. Therefore, we ask that no laptops, portable radios, i-pods, televisions, DVD/CD players, etc. be brought to the retreat.A� Cell phone use is to be kept at a minimum and kept in rooms and not to be brought into the sessions. This is a time to rest, live simply, and be with classmates. Please also leave homework at home.

We are looking forward to meeting all the students, and we hope the time they spend here will be a fun and life-giving experience. Please share this letter with your son/daughter and discuss the upcoming retreat with thema��we truly appreciate your help in preparing your son/daughter for these days.

In Christ,

The Marianist Retreat & Conference Center Youth Team

What will the retreat be like?

That is up to you and your classmates mostly! The retreat is both fun and serious. It is a chance to discuss opinions and experiences in large and small groups, to reflect privately, to play/hike/hang out during free time, to pray and think about your faith, to experience the Body of Christ in the community of your friends and peers.

What should you bring?

  • Clothing for two days and overnight.
  • Clothes should be appropriate for a retreat, comfortable for sitting on the floor and going outdoors
  • Layers are recommended as it is difficult for large groups to agree on a comfortable room temperature
  • A coat for cold weather and extra shoes if it is muddy outdoors
  • Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, hair dryer, etc.) Towels, linens, and soap will be provided
  • Medication
  • A watch (you are responsible for the time)

A�Additional items you may want to bring:

  • Sports equipment (we have some available, but feel free to bring your own)
  • Musical instrument
  • Journal or sketch book
  • A book to read

Meals and Snacks

Plentiful meals will be provided and snack/soda machines are available. Let your campus minister know of any special dietary needs you may have such as vegetarian, food allergy, or diabetic diet prior to the retreat. Food is not allowed in the dorm rooms, so any snacks brought from home should be shared in the public spaces.

Please do not bring these items:

  • Cell phones
  • Portable televisions, CD/music file players, or computers
  • Homework
  • Hunting, fishing, sledding or swimming equipment (these activities are prohibited at all times)

The retreat is a a�?low-techa�? experience, designed to promote community with the people attending the retreat. This is a time to rest, reflect, and live simply.

Retreat Rules

In order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to the retreat, we expect everyone to abide by the following rules:

  • Disruptive/disrespectful behavior (any attitude or conduct which inhibits the experience of retreat for students, faculty moderators, or staff) is not tolerated.
  • Drugs and alcohol are prohibited.
  • Curfew is strictly enforced.

Consequences for breaking these rules: the parents are notified and required to pick up the student immediately, the school is notified of the situation and may enact its own disciplinary actions.

Dear Faculty/Staff Moderator,

We are delighted to know that you will be a part of your schoola��s upcoming retreat at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center. We are looking forward to working with you. The active participation of the adults is an integral part of the retreat experience, which engages youth, faculty moderators and MRCC youth ministers in a two day experience of building Christian community.

As a moderator on the retreat, your primary role will be to participate fully in the retreat experiencea��sharing in the activities and discussions and contributing from your adult experience. Also, you will be needed to assist with supervision and be available to the facilitators and the students for consultation or to assist in disciplinary situations.

It is important that adult moderators arrive and depart with the students and that they do not spend time away from the retreat. After the general orientation, the retreat staff will meet with you to discuss the details of the retreat.

The retreat is organized into large group and small group sessions, as well as individual sessions and break times. Student leaders are designated in advance by your schoola��s Campus Minister to direct the small groups. You will also be assigned to one of the small groups. In the small group, you should take care not to assume leadership of the group. Only if the student leader is really struggling will you need to help until he/she is able to handle the situation. Large group sessions will be conducted by the retreat staff a�� you are always encouraged to share in the discussion portion of the sessions. Unless the Campus Minister has prepared the list ahead of time, it will also be the responsibility of the moderators to partner the students together for a one-on-one discussion. There is ample time during the first day for this task. The MRCC staff will brief you about the specifics of each session and questions are always welcome.

Spouses and children of faculty moderators are cordially invited to join us for meals during the retreat. Advance notice and exact numbers to be expected are necessary for meal preparation. Our phone number is 636-938-5390. Meals the first day are at 12:00 and 5:30. Meals the second day are tentatively scheduled for 8:30 and 12:15.

Know that you are an important and welcome part of the retreat dynamic. We hope that you and your students will experience one another as mutual searchers for God. Come prepared to relax and to enjoy the retreat experience as you participate in well-planned sessions that will allow you to share in the lives of your students as they, in their turn, share in yours. Moderators in the past have often remarked how positive the retreat experience was for them personally. For many moderators, relationships established with students while on retreat have proven both significant and long-lasting.

We are looking forward to having you with us. We hope that you too are looking forward to being a part of the retreat!

Thanks in advance for your help and participation!


The MRCC Youth Team

Information for School Moderators

A�1.A� Please inform the retreat coordinator:

  • Of any changes to the list of participants.
  • Of any changes to scheduled departure time (usually 3 pm).
  • Of any guests who will be joining us for meals (numbers and times).
  • How you would like to be addressed while on retreat (Mr./Mrs.,etc.)

A�2.A� Your active participation is necessary for the success of the retreat.

A.A� As an adult moderator, you will function most effectively:

  • sitting with the group (rather than in the back or on the side).
  • asking questions you may have at any time during an explanation or a session.
  • giving your attention to the retreat facilitators during presentations, thereby setting a good example for the students and not causing any distractions
  • contributing your own point of view, insight, and experience in a way that encourages the participation of the students.
  • affirming your group leader & other students by providing positive feedback during & in between sessions.
  • serving as a support and resource for your small group leader whenever needed, being careful not to take over leadership.
  • remembering that in the small group discussion, the quality of the sharing is the desired end.
  • The questions/topics suggested are only the means. There is no need to finish all the material provided for the session.

B. During the breaks and informal time by:

  • helping supervise the students during breaks as indicated by the staff.
  • dining with the MRCC staff during meals for ongoing evaluation and briefing for upcoming sessions.
  • being available and present to the students during breaks.

C. Part of your responsibilities may be to divide the students into pairs for the Dyad session, which will be explained during lunch time.

D. During the Reconciliation Service tonight, speaking privately with the moderators in the Chapel is one of the opportunities provided to the students.

E. Writing Affirmation Notes for your small group will be the final activity. Feel free to get a head start with the small pad of paper provided and ask the retreat staff if you need more.

3. Discipline

This is the shared responsibility of the school moderators and the MRCC staff. During break times, adults should monitor student activity. If you witness something which needs attention, please act accordingly, keeping in mind the guidelines and rules presented during orientation.

If a retreatant is dismissed from the retreat for misconduct, the following procedure will occur:

  • The MRCC retreat coordinator will inform the school moderator of the decision and the reasons for dismissal.
  • The MRCC coordinator or school moderator will contact the studenta��s parents, informing them of the fact and the reasons for the dismissal, and request that they come immediately to pick up their son/daughter.
  • the MRCC coordinator and school moderator will meet with the parents upon their arrival to clarify with them both the offense for the dismissal and any other action deemed advisable.
  • The school moderator will inform the school administration of the dismissal.

A�4. Other helpfulinformation:

A. Our emergency contact information:

  • The MRCC phone number is 636-938-5390.
  • Our address: 4000 Hwy. 109, between Interstate 44 and Manchester Rd. (Hwy. 100)
  • For moderator use only, a phone is available. Ask a retreat staff person for help.

B. Fresh fruit, soda, water, tea, and coffee will be available in the dining room for moderators throughout the retreat. Please ask the Youth Team staff if you have other needs. Due to Health Department regulations, we can no longer have an open kitchen. Alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, hard liquor) are not to be used during the high school retreats by school moderators or MRCC staff.

C. For all meals, a table is reserved in the dining room for school moderators and the MRCC staff.

D. Curfew is strictly enforced. The MRCC staff supervise curfew. After the final session of the first day you are free to relax and retire. You can help in setting the tone for curfew by not engaging students in conversation after the curfew a�� there are breaks during the second day for this. Students will be sent home for violating curfew. The staff will notify the moderators.

E. MRCC is a non-smoking facility. Outdoor smoking areas are available for adults and students 18+ years old.

a�?You give the kids an opportunity to know each other.A� I feel that God is at the center but they would never feel a�?threateneda�? by it!A� Really great job!a�?– Faculty Moderator, Trinity High School

a�?Definitely a life changing experience!a�?– Student, Trinity High School

a�?The retreat was very genuine!A� The activities were fun and I liked the worship.a�?– Student, Barat Academy

A�a�?Great people, great message, great time!a�?– Student, Gibault Catholic High School

a�?The retreat leaders were great!A� Very approachable and fun!” – Student, Nerinx Hall

a�?I thoroughly enjoyed being here and the activities were creative!a�?– Student, Nerinx Hall