Second Wičhóni Wašte Day Builds Connections for Freshmen and Sophomores

Posted on: October 18, 2023

Sunday, October 15, provided the opportunity for nineteen freshman and sophomore students at St. Joseph’s Indian School to explore life’s peaks and valleys through critical reflection on their purpose in life on the undulating terrain of the Badlands. The goal of the Wičhóni Wašte (Good Life) Retreat, now in its second year, was a day of community, culture and relationship building.

Mission Integration Director Joe Tyrell and Religious Studies Teacher Kim Schneider accompanied the group.

On arrival, freshman Mario Bernie said, “This is such a beautiful view.” Asked what he saw looking toward the Badlands, classmate Paul Luedke commented, “I see the history of my people.”

Sophomore Earl DeNoyer noted, “I never got these opportunities at my old school. This is awesome that we can get this experience.”

Summing up the day, freshman Ava Appel confessed she didn’t want to go, at first. “Not for any reason. I just didn’t want to go out. I’m glad I came, though.”

After consulting with Mount Marty University and the University of Notre Dame regarding similar experiences those schools provide, St. Joseph’s developed the retreat a year ago in response to student feedback. The first semester of a high school year can be difficult, and the day is meant to provide perspective.