Retreat: Is It Necessary?

By Isabella Welling

On October 5, I woke up ready for the thrill of an exciting and bug-free retreat. Just kidding, I knew that when I woke up that early Thursday morning, I was ready to go back to sleep and I didn’t want to face the bumpy and uncomfortable bus ride to Simi Valley. Am I saying I’m not grateful for the opportunity to go to a unique camping experience? No, I am just raising the question “Is it necessary?”. Personally, I didn’t exactly feel much closer to my peers than when I left. But I can see why some students felt it was a bonding experience as well. The main reason I didn’t feel closer to my classmates, was because I got put in a group where I already knew everyone and there wasn’t someone new that I should get to know better. This particularly meant that I couldn’t really get engaged in getting to know someone that I hadn’t before. I also know that other groups had students who were mostly returning and only one or two that were new. This is hard for the returning students because they already know their fellow classmates. I would say though, that the ropes course was quite fun and that I will remember climbing that course. The activity that I personally bonded the most with my group though was when we had to make a skit. It was interesting to see the ideas we came up with. Besides those key moments, I feel that I didn’t get much closer with my peers. A suggestion would be to have more time with our advisories because those were the people I particularly wanted to bond with. I understand that this retreat was built to ‘bond’ with our classmates but I didn’t really get to. The seniors also go on a retreat at the end of the year. But with that trip, it is more to have one last adventure and not so much as to get to know each other. The senior retreat is more detrimental, in my opinion, than the freshman retreat. But other than the snake in our bathroom and dead rats in another cabin, there wasn’t too many animal encounters. But, of course, nature isn’t something that can be controlled. Overall, adding more time with our advisories and sorting the groups better would defiantly add to the experience. But also spending time with classmates at school would be enough.

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