URBAN PLUNGE RETREAT
The Sophomore Urban Plunge is a 24 hour mandatory retreat that is a chance for students to “Plunge” into the wider community and participate in community service. Students stay overnight at Prep, participate in community building activities, cook a meal for those in need, and spend time at a social service agency doing community service with marginalized groups followed by reflection and prayer.
Goals of the Urban Plunge:
- Build community: prayer, Sunday Mass, small group discussions, working and doing service together
- Christian service: An introduction to the marginalized of our world, community service at two social service agencies, small and large group reflection and prayer.
- Have fun: Icebreakers and activities
The retreat starts Sunday at 1pm in the Prep cafeteria and ends Monday at the end of the school day. Students will miss one day of school (excused school related absence). This retreat is mandatory- please double check sports commitments, family events etc. We are unable to switch retreat dates for students. As with all our retreats there is a Catholic Mass.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Sophomore Urban Plunge Retreat
What is the Urban Plunge retreat?
The Urban Plunge Sophomore Service Retreat is a mandatory 24 hour Christian Service based retreat. There are three Urban Plunge retreats in the fall. The sophomore class gets split into three groups who attend a Plunge based at the Seattle Prep Campus. The retreat runs from 1:00pm Sunday till the end of school Monday in October and November.
Why do you have the Urban Plunge Retreat?
The Mission of the School is to help students become women and men for others. Our Catholic / Christian duty is to help young people understand and help the poor and marginalized in our world. The Urban Plunge Service retreat is an effective way to introduce our sophomores to the ideals of service and help them to discover their role in giving back to society.
What are the goals of the Urban Plunge retreat?
- Christian Service
What retreat is my daughter or son assigned to?
Each year sophomores are assigned to a particular retreat date based on student classes.
Where do students report on the day of the Plunge?
Students should report to Commons on the first floor of McDonnellHall. See the Prep campus map.
When does the retreat start and end?
The retreat starts at 1:00pm on the assigned Sunday and concludes by the end of school on Monday, 2:40pm. Students should be able to catch their normal transport home at the end of the day or attend normal afterschool activities.
Is this an excused absence from Prep?
Yes, this retreat is counted as an excused absence from school. All teachers are notified that students attending the retreat will be gone.
Is my daughter or son responsible for homework?
Teachers have been informed regarding students participation in a retreat. Students are still responsible for communicating with teachers regarding class work.
Can we switch Urban Plunge dates?
No. Due to the complicated logistics of this retreat, it is difficult for us to make last minute changes. If there are unavoidable conflicts (i.e. a family wedding), please contact Community Ministry by early September.
Can my arrive late to the retreat?
We cannot take any late participants. The students receive a safety orientation and training to help them have a successful retreat. Not attending this orientation early in the retreat is detrimental to the success of activities on the retreat such as community service.
What should students wear?
Students should wear weather-appropriate clothing in accordance with Seattle Prep’s dress code. Students should not wear shorts or skirts to service placements, since these are often outdoors. In the evening it gets cold, so students should have an appropriate jacket as well. Finally, students should wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes for working in kitchens and outdoors. No flip-flops, sandals or high heels.
What should the students bring?
- Sleeping bag & Pillow
- Sleeping Mat and a camping pad (Therma-rest) (Students sleep on the cafeteria floor)
- Change of clothes and shoes
- Rain gear and warm jacket. Students will be outside for parts of the retreat.
- Basic toiletry kit (there will not be shower facilities available)
- If student-athletes have practice on Monday, they should bring their athletic gear.
- Most importantly, bring an open mind and a willingness to learn through service to others.
- Students should not bring their cell phones or extra money.
My child has an injury/ illness, how do we deal with the sleeping in the floor and heavy service work?
We can accommodate individual needs. The different service placements offer a variety of activities, so we can place students accordingly. If students have specific overnight needs, please contact Community Ministry.
I understand the students will be going to shelters and other service sites, how do you ensure the safety of my child?
All social service sites that Seattle Prep visits on the Urban Plunge retreat have been pre-screened and have site-supervisors who are familiar with the Urban Plunge experience and who monitor all activities. In addition, part of the retreat involves a safety training where students are briefed and safety and acquire and practice skills for helping others while maintaining healthy boundaries. In addition, there will be a Prep faculty, staff or parent chaperone with students at all times while they are at their service placements.
Will my child be hungry on the retreat?
On Sunday the students cook food to deliver to the poor. Students serve this food and eat it at the social service agencies. On Monday students are given the challenge of feeding themselves on $2. Over three billion people in our world survive on $2 a day. Depending on the student’s choices, they can be fed adequately and nutritiously during the day. Some students do not make as good of choices. If a student has a specific medical / nutritional need please contact us.
What is the simulated shelter all about?
As noted above, one of the goals of the Urban Plunge retreat is to give students a lived experience of urban poverty, including the uncertainty and discomfort that comes from sleeping in communal space, using screening criteria and facilities similar to those used at shelters throughout Seattle. After mass Sunday evening, students line up and are checked into a simulated shelter. This process is intended to give the students some insight into what hundreds of homeless people go through each night accessing shelter.
My child gets sick on the day of the plunge, whom do I call?
Each Urban Plunge has a specific contact person. Please check the retreat information letter or the Community Ministry website to find the contact information for your student’s retreat. Please do not call the main Seattle Prep phone number on Sunday, as there will be no one in the office to receive those messages.
If I want to be a parent volunteer, who should I contact?
We would love for you to participate in this retreat. Please contact Brian Mack at 206-577-2173 or email@example.com
I signed up to be a parent volunteer, what do I need to do?
You will be contacted by a volunteer coordinator, usually 4-6 weeks before the retreat. If you signed up to help and have not been contacted by the week of the retreat, please contact Community Ministry.
What if my child has a sports activity and needs to leave early on Monday?
Students should bring all necessary athletic gear with them on Sunday. We coordinate with coaches to make sure student-athletes get where they need to be.
What social service Agencies does Seattle Prep team with to do service on the Urban Plunge retreat?
The Blaine Center
- Cascade Women’s Center
- Compass Center
- First Place School
- Francis House
- Full Life Care
- Hammond House
- Home step House
- Jesuit Volunteer Corps
- L’arche Community
- Mary’s Place
- Matt Talbot Center
- Northwest Harvest
- Operation Sack Lunch
- Roy Street Shelter
- St. Martin’s on Westlake
- Tent City 3
- Tent City 4
- Union Gospel Mission – Hope Place
- YWCA-Angeline’s Day Center