The past 24 hours have been chock full of sisterhood as the 7th graders from The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, NY exchanged with the 7th graders here at Ursuline Academy of Wilmington. The exchange is happening in two parts; UA Wilmington is serving as the first host school and then The Ursuline School will welcome our 7th graders to New Rochelle in Spring 2016.
The exchange started with a fun activity where girls met their “families” for the next 24 hours and shared lunch in our cafeteria. Following lunch, we officially opened our retreat with a prayer service in the UA chapel. Students read and sang together in the spirit of St. Angela – combining voices into one unified sisterhood.
The afternoon continued with crafts, service projects, and team building activities all centered around the theme of confidence and compassion. The goal of the exchange was to empower our girls to stretch beyond their comfort zones and to meet new friends through the Ursuline network.
It was so wonderful to watch our girls connect through the common bond of Serviam. The families of girls completed several service projects including care packages for soldiers, school supply kits for our sister school Brescia House in South Africa, holiday placemats for the Emmanuel Dining Room, and Patient Playbooks for kids suffering from serious illnesses.
The evening continued with a delicious taco bar and then the girls had the opportunity to participate as a family in a lip sync battle complete with choreography. How fun!
The evening closed with the girls all snug in their sleeping bags in our gym for freshly popped popcorn and a showing of “Inside Out”. Most of the girls were asleep soon after the end of the movie after a long day of activities together.
When the sun came up, our exchange continued with breakfast together and several team activities that deepened connections and our themes. Girls enjoyed quiet time in their families and had a lot of fun posing for our roving camera!
We closed with a prayer service and lunch before sending our new sisters on their way back to New Rochelle. During the prayer service, some of the girls shared during reflection time about their experiences during the exchange, saying that they had “fun learning about Wilmington from their sisters” and that they “loved that our schools have so many things in common because of the Ursuline network”. One student remarked that initially she didn’t want to come on the exchange but her mother “forced her” but she was so pleased that she did “because (she) met so many new friends and also learned that she enjoys traveling and learning about new places”.
The bonds of Ursuline never cease to amaze – within 24 hours the girls have connected with new friends and sisters brought together under the guidance and spirit of St. Angela & St. Ursula.