Since 1970, the very first Summer Family Program at the Center, the Marianists have asked one family each week to serve as a “Host” Family. The local staff, with the input and recommendation of Volunteer Summer Directors and Assistant Directors, specially selects this family. We require that a family have been here at least 2 summers before we consider them for host family.
The central role of the host family is twofold, one is to be of service to our visiting families and the other is to be a role model for all family activities, prayers and rituals.
What do we have to do for the families in terms of service?
Host families are asked to:
- Write a “welcome” letter to each family prior to the retreat
- Welcome and orient each family upon arrival
- Meet with the parent(s) of each family the first evening to discuss house rules/regulations
- On a daily basis maintain overall cleanliness of the houses (bathrooms, wastebaskets, floors, living room etc.)
- Assist with the cooking of breakfasts
- Wash dish towels, bath mats and return to supply
- Assist the Marianist Family whenever needed throughout the week
What are we expected to do in terms of being role models?
Our permanent Program Staff takes great care in the preparation of our Family Program. Once the program is set in motion, we rely heavily on our Volunteer Staff and the Host Family to lead and execute each element of the program.
The host family will be asked to “go first” when families are asked to present family activities or prayers. Likewise, the host family will go first when families are asked to participate in the forgiveness and commitment services. By setting the tone for these type activities, the retreat families will feel much more comfortable in their own presentations.
The children of the host family also play a vital role, not only with assisting their parent(s) with daily chores, but also in being role models for visiting children. Being attentive and participating in their respective peer groups, as well as role modeling appropriate dress and language are essential. In addition, host children are asked to be inclusive of all types of children that may be present on any given family retreat.