The first day of school hit us freshman very quickly. Summer was a lot of fun, but it was now time to begin Upper School. The first two days were half-days. Freshmen learned about their classes, reconnected with friends, and tried to find their way around the Garth campus. It was somewhat chaotic, but luckily, we were able to relax and have fun the next day at the freshmen retreat at Camp Maranatha. This is the third time the freshmen class has gone on a retreat at the start of the school year.
To my surprise, the freshmen were not the only ones at the retreat. There were many seniors who came on the retreat to act as our “counselors.” This was pretty cool, because I got to know my senior counselors pretty well. Although I was a little skeptical at first about going to this camp, it turned out to be a lot of fun. There were activities such as team building, the trust-swing, canoeing, swimming, archery, paintball, and rock climbing.
My favorite activity was the trust-swing, which involved students pulling their classmates up to the top of a pulley system and then letting go. It was very exhilarating, and it reminded me of a ride at an amusement park that goes back and forth. Freshman Mariam Hassoun’s favorite activity was also the trust-swing because, “It involved the entire group to make it work, and it felt like I was flying.”
One of the most important things at this camp was the team-building exercise. It forced us to work together and communicate to achieve a common goal by incorporating all of our ideas. This is a very important skill to have going in to the Upper School, as there will be many challenges that we will have to overcome together during the next four years.
New 9th grade student Charlie Wright thinks that team-building activities are important. “The intimacy you experience facing challenges with your peers helps you establish strong bonds with them.”
By working together and spending time with one another we reconnected with our classmates and got to meet and learn about our new ones. Another new student Cheney Wood said,“ In our smaller groups I got to know everybody’s name.”
Throughout the retreat, we supported each other, encouraged our classmates, worked together with one another, and enjoyed our time together, which is exactly what we need going into Upper School.
Photo: Brent Bell via Twitter
Saahil, Mariam, and Charlie returned to Camp Maranatha when they were seniors. You can read their reflections here.