Questions and Answers
1. What happens at every retreat and what is the schedule?
The schedule is different for every retreat; however, some of the activities that we offer to the retreaters are similar. Some of these activities include games and other activities that may be entertaining or with a learning experience, we offer skits that are silly or serious, talks led by our staffers, praise and worship sessions led by our Music Staff, small group discussions led by Table Staffers, at times our schedule includes sacraments like reconciliation and Eucharist. The retreat leaders along with the parish decide what will compose the retreat.
2. How old is DYRT?
DYRT's story began in 2003 with an inspiration of a series of retreats named Living By The Cross and SMYRT (St. Mary's Youth Retreat Team) in College Station, TX. In November of 2003, Bishop Plácido Rodríguez approved the ministry and began serving in the Spring of 2004 with DYRT 1 being held in St. William's in Denver City, TX. For more information about the history of DYRT, check our Facebook page's timeline:
3. What are the requirements to be a staffer?
The DYRT Constitution has an extensive article on this topic. However, these are the most notable points to consider: Article III. Section I-A, "Members must complete a medical consent form, submit it to leadership, and update it a minimum of once per year. In accordance with the Diocese of Lubbock, members must attend a Safe Environment Training, provide information to complete a background check, and complete any steps required by Church authorities before staffing a retreat. Members should have a genuine devotion to youth ministry; thus, they must agree to place the retreaters’ welfare as the highest priority on retreats."
4. Can I join DYRT if I have never helped out put on a retreat before or if I have only attended a couple or none retreats myself?
Yes! As it is stated in our DYRT Constitution in Article III. Section I-A, "Members should have a genuine devotion to youth ministry." Therefore, if you feel called to serve the youth in the Diocese of Lubbock preparing for their Confirmation in their Catholic faith, you should join. You do not need experience to staff, yet your will to serve the youth and God is necessary to help you learn.
5. Can I join DYRT even if I feel like I don't know much about my faith?
Yes! A lot of us feel like that, and this is a place where we learn from each other and grow in Christ.
6. Can I join DYRT even if I'm not Catholic?
Yes! Some of our members are not Catholic. This is what the DYRT Constitution says in Article III. Section I-A, "Members do not have to be Catholic. Nevertheless, they should be aware that all DYRT retreats are based on Catholic doctrine, and they should be willing to support this effort."
7. What age group does DYRT put on these retreats for?
As we have stated it in the Policies and Regulations document, "DYRT plans and presents retreats for junior high youth (6th-8th grade) or high school youth (9th-12th grade)." (II Policies and Regulations. General-7)
8. Do I choose what staff to help with?
When we begin planning for a retreat, there is a sign up form where you may let DYRT Leadership know your first choice. Taking everything into consideration, they will decide accordingly on what staff to place you on.
9. I'm not sure if I can staff a retreat, What should I do?
In the case that you would like to help in the preparation of a DYRT retreat, but you are unsure you can staff or definitely cannot staff, the best choice is to join Fountain staff. In this staff you will help paint the retreat poster before the retreat and other materials needed for certain activities. You will also learn more about the faith and engage in discussion to expand your knowledge. Furthermore, we will miss you at the retreat, but since you do not have a specific task at the retreat, your absence will not affect the retreat plans.
10. What staff should I do to learn more about how DYRT operates and learn more about the ministry?
DYRT offers four staffs you may join to help at every retreat. These are music, fountain, skit, and table. While some people coming in for the first time join the more "challenging" staffs (music, skit, and table), a great starting point is fountain staff. In this staff you will help paint the retreat poster before the retreat and other materials needed for certain activities. You will also be led in discussion about important topics like the Bible, the Catholic faith, or your personal relationship with Christ.
At the retreat you will help with whatever activity the retreat leaders need help with that does not involve either skit, table, and/or music. This allows you to see an outside overview of the retreat and feel more comfortable as you choose future staffs.
11. How can I prepare for retreats on my own time?
Listen to your staff head (a member of DYRT Leadership) and the advices that he/she will make, and approach them or someone whom you consider your spiritual leader (such as the Spiritual Director of DYRT) if you have questions. Go to Adoration and pray for yourself, other staff members, and the retreaters. Offer your prayers at Mass for the retreat and the leaders involved. You may also read today's readings below and/or watch some of the videos by
Word on Fire
ministries and use them as prayerful and learning resources.
12. Do staffers have to attend all DYRT meetings?
No, but as it is stated in the DYRT Constitution under Article III. Section II, "Members are strongly encouraged to attend regularly scheduled meetings; however, no requirement shall be established calling for mandatory attendance at these meetings. Members are expected to be present at any meeting in preparation for a retreat which they have agreed to staff."
13. How many retreats does DYRT have a year?
This may change on a yearly basis. For the past few years we have aimed to have six retreats each academic year, plitting them evenly three each semester.
14. Who are the retreat leaders, and what do they do?
The retreat leaders are different for each retreat. They are "members of DYRT who are responsible for planning the retreat activities and guiding the retreaters throughout the retreat weekend." (I Definitions, Retreat Policies and Regulations)
15. How will I be able to lead a retreat?
The retreat leaders for each DYRT retreat are chosen through a discernment process that DYRT Leadership goes through each semester. In this discernment process, DYRT Leadership gathers and invites the Holy Spirit to guide them to see who He wants to lead the retreats. All staffers of DYRT who have not led a retreat before or are a member of DYRT Leadership are considered as the DYRT Constitution says in Article VI. Section III-A, "For each DYRT retreat, two experienced members of DYRT are recruited to plan, guide, and direct all the retreat activities for the weekend."
16. How is DYRT Leadership chosen?
DYRT Leadership for the following academic year is chosen through a discernment process that is held by all members of the current DYRT Leadership. As the DYRT Constitution states in Article VII. Section I-(A-B), "The objective of discerning new leadership is to use a prayerful means by which to appoint new leadership for this organization. Since the primary purpose of DYRT is to promulgate the Good News and the love of God, the leadership should model a since trust in God's divine wisdom with all its decisions. Therefore, it is suitable that prayerful and thoughtful consideration of the will of God be the basis for every step of the decision making process for future leadership of DYRT. Nominated Directors must have previously served as a member of leadership of DYRT."
17. Can the newly discerned Director of DYRT disapprove the future membership of a person to DYRT Leadership?
Yes. Although this is a rare case, if the newly discerned Director believes that someone won't be helpful to DYRT's ministry and the leadership team, he/she may disapprove. The Constitution of DYRT explains this well under Article VII. Section I-D, "The new Director of DYRT must approve each member of the rest of the new leadership. In the case of a disagreement of the Director not approving of a newly discerned member of leadership, the Director will meet and consult with the Campus Minister to discuss the decision and express the reasons for this disapproval."
18. How much time do staffers prepare the retreat for?
This varies depending on the DYRT retreat schedule for the semester (
Upcoming Retreat Dates
). DYRT Leadership manages how many meetings the retreat leaders may have to prepare a specific retreat. We never take less than two weekly meetings to prepare the staffers for a retreat.
19. Does the parish have any input on what they we want the retreat to focus on?
Yes! As it is stated in the Policies and Regulations document, "DYRT will plan and lead the entire retreat. Retreat Leaders and Coordinator are open to suggestions and input before the retreat and will try to accommodate them. The Host Parish Contact should inform the DYRT Coordinator of these request at least four weeks before the retreat." (II Policies and Regulations. General-1) These suggestions frequently include whether a parish wants to have adoration, reconciliation, or mass in their retreat. The parish also suggests in occasions a specific theme they want the retreat to focus on according to where the retreaters' weakness is.
20. Who is the coordinator, and what does the coordinator do?
The coordinator is often seen as a mediator between the parish and DYRT. As it is extensively stated in the DYRT Constitution under Article VI. Section IV-(A-B), "The Coordinator of the retreat is one of the six members currently on leadership. As the primary extension of DYRT leadership on the retreat, the Coordinator is in charge of the administration and supervision of the retreat staff and activities. During the preparation and actual retreat, this individual must remain in close contact with the parish contact and the Retreat Leaders to advise them as necessary. The retreat Coordinator should assume the role of a staff member to the retreaters. The specific duties of a Coordinator are to maintain contact between the parish contact, retreat leaders, and leadership on the preparation of the retreat. At the retreat, the Coordinator is in charge of administering and supervising the retreat staff and activities. Some key elements of the retreat require consultation with all of leadership before implementation."
21. Can a member of DYRT Leadership lead a retreat?
No. Each member of DYRT Leadership has a specific task for each retreat led by other staff members. A member DYRT Leadership may be considered during the discernment process for retreat leaders once this member is not in leadership.
22. What does each member of DYRT Leadership do before and during a retreat?
Besides the responsibilities of each member of DYRT Leadership towards the staffers (Director, Assistant, Spiritual, Music, Financial, Communication), each member of DYRT Leadership serves as a leader depending on the retreat we are preparing for. Four members of DYRT Leadership lead the four staff meetings (music, fountain, skit, and table) at each of our weekly meetings, the fifth member will serve as a coordinator for the retreat, and the remaining member of DYRT Leadership works closely with the speakers in their preparation of their talk. This member serves as a guide for them, showing the speakers the resources we have such as the Chaplain, Director of Campus Ministry, and other religious in St. Elizabeth's University Parish. During a retreat, each member of DYRT Leadership supervises their staff, speakers, or helps with the coordination between staffs and the parish. These responsibilities are rotated each time the planning for the next retreat has begun.
23. What does each member of DYRT Leadership do on a regular basis?
For this question to be answered, we invite you to visit our
DYRT Leadership sub-page here
24. What is the chain in command for certain situations at retreats or other DYRT sponsored events?
In a retreat, unexpected situations may arise. For these situations, staffers, retreaters, and chaperones need to know who to refer to. Staffers will direct to the staff head of the staff they are serving in. The Constitution of DYRT states who the retreaters and chaperones should get in contact under Article VI. Section VI-A, "The Retreat Leaders will lead all activities concerning the retreaters, and the Coordinator will lead all activities concerning the staffers only. Special concern should be taken to ensure that the retreaters view the Retreat Leaders, not the Coordinator, as the ones in charge of the weekend. The chaperones, however, should be asked to handle all of their communication with DYRT through the Coordinator."
25. How much does it cost to have DYRT come and lead a retreat for our youth?
To have DYRT come to your parish to staff a retreat "DYRT requests a donation of $2 per retreater to cover ordinary expenses that are incurred in the preparation and execution of a retreat." (II Policies and Regulations. Expenses-1) "A parish wishing to book a retreat with the Diocesan Youth Retreat Team will be expected to pay a deposit of $200 to confirm the reservation of the specific weekend for the retreat for the parish. This deposit will be refunded upon the completion of the retreat, or the donation for the performance of the retreat can be deducted from this amount, depending on the preference of the parish. Failure to exceed the minimum headcount of fifteen (15) retreaters present throughout the retreat or the cancellation of the retreat less than 30 days prior to the date reserved will result in the forfeiture of the entire deposit." (II Policies and Regulations. Expenses-4)
26. Will DYRT provide a priest for mass/adoration/confession for retreats?
No. As stated in the Policies and Regulations document, "In the event that the Host Parish requests an activity involving a priest (i.e., Mass, Reconciliation, etc.), the Host Parish is responsible for those arrangements. DYRT will not provide a priest for retreat activities." (II Policies and Regulations. Liabilities and Responsibilities-4)
27. What is call-in day?
Call-in day is a specific day and time set and specified in the yearly mail-out sent to your parish. In this day you may call to reserve a retreat date. Leaving a voice message is encouraged if the phone call did not go through due to another call or technical difficulties.
28. What if all retreat dates are taken?
There is a waitlist where your parish will be added. In the case another parish decides to cancel their retreat date, the Director will contact you to let you know that a date has been opened.
29. Can two or more parishes join in a retreat led by DYRT?
Yes! The Host Parish Contact must let the Coordinator know when an additional parish will join the retreat. "The Host Parish and any Additional Parish taking part in the retreat must sign and agree to [the] Retreat Policies and Regulations, using Section III or IV of this document, before the retreat begins." (II Policies and Regulations. Additional Guidelines-2)
30. Is there a minimum and a maximum number of retreaters to have at a retreat?
Yes. "The maximum number of retreaters from the Host Parish and any Additional Parish(es) allowed on the retreat is sixty-five (65) total. The minimum headcount requirement for the number of retreaters is fifteen (15)." (II Policies and Regulations. Retreaters and Chaperones-1) The maximum number of retreaters can be extended if there is advance notice and it is approved by the Coordinator and Director, if the Coordinator is not the Director.
31. How many chaperones do we need at the retreat?
As stated in the Retreat Policies and Regulations, "Adult to youth ratio for middle school age (6th-9th grade) is at least one (1) adult for every six to seven (6-7) youth. Adult to youth ratio for high school age (9th-10th grade) is at least one (1) adult for every eight to nine (8-9) youth." (II Retreat Policies and Regulations. Retreaters and Chaperones-4)
32. We want the retreaters to stay overnight, how can we prepare?
The Retreat Policies and Regulations states it best, "The location for overnight retreats should have enough sleeping facilities to separate both males and females, and staff and retreaters. The DYRT Coordinator should approve the location at least two (2) months before the retreat weekend." (II Policies and Regulations. General-4) "There must be no fewer than two (2) chaperones per cabin or room on overnight retreats who must agree to maintain special responsibility for the retreaters in that cabin or room throughout the weekend, especially nights. As per diocesan guidelines, no adult is allowed to be alone with retreaters at any time. The number of chaperones should be proportional with regard to gender (i.e., one (1) male chaperone for every eight (8) or nine (9) high school male retreaters.)" (II Policies and Regulations. Retreaters and Chaperones-4)
33. What is SET?
SET stands for Safe Environment Training and it is a requirement by the Diocese of Lubbock for any employees or volunteers who will be interacting with youth. This training helps staffers have a more alert mind to identifying child abuse and it serves the purpose of preventing any abuse to the youth we will be ministering and others outside of DYRT retreats.
34. I have a similar training to minister to the youth from my home diocese, will that work?
Yes! If the training you received in your home parish is recent, please contact the Assistant Director to take care of the situation.
35. How often do I have to receive the Safe Environment Training?
The Diocese of Lubbock allows a person who has received the training to renew it only every five years, or as the person needs it accordingly.
36. When are the Safe Environment Trainings?
The Safe Environment Trainings are scheduled in a semester or yearly basis. You may contact the Assistant Director directly or visit the
Safe Environment Training sub-page here
37. I can't go to the training, what can I do?
If you definitely cannot attend a training, you may staff one retreat without the training. However, you must first contact the Assistant Director to be aware of this case. You will not be able to continue staffing retreats until you have completed this requirement set to us by the diocese.
38. Who provides the meals for DYRT Staffers, retreaters, and chaperones at a retreat?
The Host Parish will be in charge of organizing the meals along with any other parishes involved. The Retreat Policies and Regulations document says that "The Host Parish is responsible for the supplies, preparation, serving, and cleanup of all meals. Generally, the chaperones will cook meals for the retreaters, chaperones, and staff or pay the retreat site to provide meals. The Host Parish will supply all meals for DYRT staff from the time they arrive at the retreat site until the time they depart." (II Retreat Policies and Regulations. Liabilities and Responsibilities-3)
39. Is there someone who DYRT Leadership can approach in case of solving an issue?
Yes! DYRT Leadership has an advisor who is stated in the DYRT Constitution under Article V. Section I-A, "The Advisor to DYRT is either St. Elizabeth’s Director of Campus Ministry or appointed by the Director of Campus Ministry." Section II, "The Advisor is available for consultation and guidance as they work to achieve the goals of DYRT. The Advisor is available to review the activities, talks, and skits before they are presented on retreats."