On Monday, August 27, while the seniors were returning from their weekend-long retreat, the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes participated in a day-long retreat. Although the plan was to go off-campus, unfortunately, due to rain for the second year in a row, the retreats had to be held around the YISS campus.
Though they were stuck inside, the freshmen made the most of the retreat as they participated in a variety of fun events, including a dunk contest (with Mr. Hannah holding the backboard) and dance-off, and more serious activities during which they discussed and reflected upon the choices that would be afforded to them in their upcoming high school years. As a group, the freshmen recognized their weaknesses and developed a plan to become a more unified and stronger whole.
For the sophomores, one of the highlights of the day was having small groups of students walk onto the stage and act out a jumbled composite of storylines, like the Avengers in Cinderella celebrating New Year’s Day. The activity was emblematic of the rest of the retreat: a diverse mix of students trying to make sense of their settings, their characters, and their plotlines. Afterward, the sophomores were invited to reflect and set goals for their futures, as both individuals and as a class.
The junior class started off with some icebreakers to get them moving. Afterward, they were guided by a series of questions to help them create individual goals as well as goals to accomplish as a grade. After brainstorming the strengths and weaknesses of the grade, the juniors came up with their top two goals for this year: unity and maturity. Many spoke up and emphasized the importance of respect and a sense of maturity. Unity was a goal that was mentioned last year as well, but the juniors realized that in order to be more connected, they needed to work together by being willing to be more open and venture out of their bubbles.
The class retreats were a meaningful time that helped remind students not only of what was important to them individually but also how to create healthy class dynamics. Each grade hopes to make the rest of the year as memorable and productive as possible.