Mission trip participants return home

Tiring but rewarding, reporter says


Erin O'Neill

Students set up and participated in a field day at an elementary school on their last full day in South Carolina.

Erin O'Neill, Reporter

Megaphone reporter Erin O’Neill was one of the participants on the annual spring break mission trip to South Carolina. She filed this report on April 9, the day after the group’s return.

The final days of the mission trip were packed full of fun and tiring work. On April 5, my group headed back to Frierson Elementary and helped out in the classrooms, reading to students and helping teachers with anything they may have needed around the classroom.

After heading back to St. Christopher Retreat Center, we ate dinner and gathered in the chapel for another night of reflection. While in the chapel, a huge rainstorm rolled in and we were all sent to the conference room to wait out the weather. This gave all of us time to talk with one another, play card games and just relax after a busy day.

By the next morning, the rough weather had completely gone away. My group headed back to the school, and we spent the day planting in the gardens we had cleaned up a few days before. The weather was beautiful, and in between all the students coming out to plant with us, we got to enjoy lunch with them in their cafeteria.

After all the work was done, we headed back to St. Christopher’s for our nightly routine of dinner, chapel and free time. However, there was a special beach bonfire that had been rescheduled because of the rain from the night before. During free time, we all had the chance to gather around the fire, spend time together and make a s’more or two on our last night in South Carolina.

On our final day, everyone was tired after our early wake-up call. All of us helped to load the buses with all of our supplies and luggage before enjoying French toast and bacon for breakfast.

Then we all headed out for our final days at our individual worksites. All of us at Frierson Elementary helped to set up a field day filled with activities and games that would take place later that day for all of the students. After finishing setting up, everyone on the mission trip arrived at the elementary school to help run the field day events. Several hours later, after a day full of water balloons, temporary tattoos, sack races and hot dogs, it was finally time to say goodbye to the students at Frierson.

Everyone gathered in the school cafeteria, and we sang “Love Will Hold Us Together” to the members of the school. Many of the students began to dance along with us, and it was an amazing moment. All of us then loaded the buses and began our journey back to Cathedral. We arrived back on campus after a sleepy, long bus ride around 8 Saturday morning.

While it was a tiring trip, it was also one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I think many of us would agree that we formed many new friendships and got to meet so many new people, all while spending our spring break serving others.