Ten DeLaSalle students deepened their understanding of what it means to be Lasallian through a combination of service, prayer, and reflection at the annual Lasallian Youth Gathering. Islanders joined students and staff from other Lasallian high schools for a week of service and community building around the theme “We Are One” at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona. The Christian Brothers of the Midwest help sponsor the gathering each year at a different Lasallian university to help students develop their Lasallian character, specifically how to show a preferential option for the poor.
Past Minnesota Teacher of the Year Katy Smith and Saint Mary’s communications professor Dr. Lori Charron partnered with other Lasallian educators in leading students to discover how they can use their gifts to build community and mirror the values of St. John Baptist de La Salle. Students were involved with a variety of service projects ranging from sharing their time and attention with senior citizens to creating “cobb” – a natural molding made of straw, mud, sand and water – at a permaculture farm.
Saint Mary’s provided many opportunities for students to let loose! Students fostered team building skills as they hiked the bluffs surrounding Saint Mary’s, participated in low ropes activities, and kayaked and canoed on Lake Winona. They enjoyed free time during their “Country Day” in Lacrosse, Wisconsin and even went on a boat tour down the Mississippi River.
Not only did De students learn more about themselves and how they can enhance their own school community, but they stood in association with other Lasallian high schools and gained a stronger appreciation for the Lasallian tradition and how vast the Lasallian World is. De chaperones C.J. Hallman ’02 and Jessica Luckett ’08 saw how the students’ attitudes and perspectives changed from the start of the trip to the end. The group represented DeLaSalle well and looks forward to LYG 2015!