Scripture Union Youth & Schools Ministry (formally Authentic Youth)
SU Youth & Schools Ministry has been facilitating secondary school retreats since 2005. Through our day long retreats, we seek to inform and engage in discussion with students, equipping and empowering them to make independent decisions about their lives and futures.
The retreats are based around discussions and the use of multi-media to engage students on issues such as faith, image, substance abuse, bullying and much more.
The primary aim for these retreat days is to help young people work through the issues and questions they have on any relevant topic, from a Christian perspective, and make their own independent but well informed decisions in a safe, fun and relaxed environment.
Every year we work with thousands of young people in youth groups, schools and churches helping young people to understand the Christian faith in a relevant way in the changing cultural climate of 21st Century Ireland. We also engage with young people to discuss life issues such as Drugs, Sexuality and Relationships.
Through education programmes, day retreats, residential camps and a variety of other activities, we seek to give young people the opportunity to make informed and positive life choices, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Schools and Youth Work is the main focus of our ministry and in this we aim to deliver a professional standard of retreats.
All our staff and volunteers are Garda vetted, and trained in child protection policies through Scripture Union and other organisations.
SU Youth & Schools Ministry is run by Team Manager Eric Hughes, and a small team of volunteers who are trained in retreat work with Scripture Union Ireland.
Retreats and Classes
We seek to inform and engage in discussion with students, equipping and empowering them to make independent decisions about their lives and futures. We do this in a variety of classroom contexts but we do specialise in day-long retreats.
These retreats are holistic, interactive and multi-sensory experiences, using talks, music and film to engage students on issues such as relevant faith, image and identity, substance abuse, sexuality, bullying and more. These retreats can be tailor-made to the needs of schools and groups. Retreats can be facilitated either in your school or in a nearby hall or centre. Most retreats include interactive games, group discussions, debates, talks and self reflective exercises and meditations.
Our primary aim in these retreats days is to help young people work through the issues and questions they have on any relevant topic, from a Christian perspective, and make their own independent but well informed decisions in a safe, fun and relaxed environment.
We also facilitate pilgrimage retreats in Glendalough as well as team building days and retreats in our Adventure Centre in Avoca, Co. Wicklow.
We are passionate about telling young people about God and helping Irish students to make their faith relevant in any way we can. Please chat to us if you would like us to facilitate something different with your group.
Your day is tailored to your students. We have topics that we believe are applicable to your students, but if you feel we should talk about something particularly relevant to your school/students we are happy to do that too.
Our days are faith- and issue-based day-long workshop retreats, to inspire and equip young people as they deal with everyday life issues, including (but not limited to) the following:
Self Image. Bullying. Fear. Substance Abuse. Alcohol & Drugs. Positive Choices. Who is God? Music. Dealing with hurt. Friendship.
What we needs is simply a room big enough for your whole group; a chair per person; and a plug!
We have no preference if the students are in their uniforms or not, this is at the discretion of the school.
We are fully equipped with pens, paper, projector, sound system and a large screen and we use these at each retreat as necessary.
What happens on the day?
The SU Youth & Schools Team arrives at least a half hour before the day is scheduled, to set up our equipment and get organised. Our day fits into your school schedule so we take breaks and lunch at the same time as the rest of the school. A sample retreat schedule is available here. For a list of available dates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What costs are involved?
Scripture Union is a registered non-profit charity and we try to have a flexible approach to charges, especially in cases of restrictive budgets. The concept is that charges are aimed at covering costs. If the price guide causes a problem, we are open to discussion as to what may be appropriate in your circumstances.
Greater Dublin Area: €450
Outside Dublin: €600
Retreats in Ovoca Manor: Extending your stay
Day retreats can be hosted in our Adventure Centre in Avoca, Co. Wicklow. If you like the idea of taking your class or year group out of your school for a day or overnight, our facility in Co. Wicklow is perfect.
Residential retreats offer your students the chance to get away, relax and learn more about themselves and each other while also allowing our team to get to know the students better as we address the issues most relevant to their lives.
Our overnight retreats vary in length and range of activities and can be tailored to your requirements. Overnight retreats are typically held mid-week. We require teaching staff to accompany their students in appropriate supervision and child-protection ratios.
We encourage both teachers and students to complete a feedback form at the end of their retreat. Here are just a few comments from students we have received:
“Many of my false opinions about God have been changed”
“The day inspired me to make positive choices”
“The retreat was the highlight of my year”
“I want God more in my life ”
Either you have had us in your school for a retreat or you are expecting a visit from us soon! Either way, this tab is for you. Here you will hopefully find some information and some encouragement to help you live life as a Christian in your school.
What can I expect from a Retreat Day?
All of our Retreat Days have a faith element. The typical format incorporates Introductions, Ice-breakers, Life Issues, Games, Discussion & Debate, Personal Stories, Q&A. The more you are willing to participate, the more you will benefit from the day.
What else do you do?
It’s not only retreat days that we run, although it is our main work. We are involved in many other things. Not all fingers in every pie, but close enough!!
We work closely with 3Rock Youth, another youth initiative, and bring a variety of youth events to Dublin. We also help run Youth Camps at Scripture Union Ireland.
How can we keep in touch?
SU Youth & Schools is active on Facebook! Follow us to receive regular news updates.