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Benedict XVI Retreat Centre (NSW)

20170829_142102(0)Over the past couple of years myself and Pete Griffiths have been very busy visiting literally hundreds of camps, including new, existing, past and potential members. All of them are special or unique impressive in their own way – whether it is the setting, the buildings, the passionate people that run them or the programs that they offer.
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting new ACA member Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in the Grose Vale NSW. Owned and built by the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, this is really a sight to behold, with a major rebuild and additions only completed and opened in 2014. The attention to detail is like nothing I have ever seen in a camp before. I’m no builder, designer or engineer, but the tolerances are incredible with not an imperfection to be seen anywhere.
Set on extensive grounds and surrounded by bush,  it felt very private and remote. The very heart of the camp is the magnificent, architect-designed chapel. After entering through the big red barn style doors, I stood inside this magnificent chapel staring up at the cathedral ceiling. To think it was built only three years ago is hard to believe. The style it has been built in made it look centuries old, like something out of Europe. It really is a wonderful place to be in and I can see why it would make a peaceful place for reflection. It can easily seat up to 200 people.
The level of accommodation was extremely high, with all rooms ensuited. Loads of break out rooms, a minor hall, major hall, dinning hall and kitchen. Everything built to the highest standard. All detailed beautifully.
The grounds featured playing fields, basketball court, tennis court, volley ball, and swimming pool.
Many thanks for site managers Jacques and Catherine Robert for taking the time to show me around. They really do embody the passion for running this high class facility.
Cheers,
Steve Hamilton
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