The Spectator

First Ever Freshman Retreat- A Success or a Bust?

Kennedy Hayes, Staff Writer

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Earlier this year at the end of preseason, the largest freshman class to date embarked on the first ever retreat. The class of 96 members from over 18 countries and 11 states left Thursday August 24th, and returned Saturday August 26th. They were hoping to form newfound friendships before the official start of school, and learn more about themselves and their places in their new LFA community.

Matt Nink, one of the head faculty that organized the trip, discussed the overall goal of the trip.

“It was really just engagement, getting the freshman to know each other and getting them comfortable in the LFA context, and having a lot of fun really while learning about themselves”

The LFA community had been discussing the idea of having a retreat for a long time, and this was the perfect year to start.

Nink said, “the trip was really successful in a lot of ways, we had some really good conversations using the 5C’s and we were able to just have a lot of fun.”

But just how successful was it to the freshman and what did the freshman think? A few freshman were eager to share their opinions with me about how the trip unfolded.

I teamed up with freshmen Yvie Gerber, Dagny Birkerts, Reed Kovas, Morgan Garrick, Brianna Murphy, Lisa Schwarz, and Ramiya Herman to get the scoop on the retreat.

The freshmen were able to do a bunch of fun outdoor activities such as a high ropes course, canoeing, hikes, a boardwalk through a marsh, bonfire and s’mores. Out of all the activities, all the freshman I talked to agreed that their favorite parts of the trip were the ropes course and the canoeing.

Amidst the fun, there were a few challenges that the group did not enjoy. Those challenges included the loss of electricity and running water. The entire freshman class had to be moved to a separate cabin. Some freshmen also wished they were able to change their watch (activity) groups that they were assigned to during the beginning of their trip, so they had an opportunity to meet more than just the people in their group during the retreat.

They were asked: If you could change anything about the trip, what would it be?

Lisa Schwarz- “We stayed in the same group the whole time, but if we made different groups then we could have met more people.”

Ramiya Herman- “Everything was great because we got to meet new people, but we would probably want running water and electricity next time.”

Morgan Garrick- “We had to move out of our cabin due to the electricity going out, which was not a fun experience.”

Reed Kovas-“To do some more Large Group activities as a whole grade.”

Lisa Schwarz-“I still would like to know everyone’s name in the grade, I only know half, but I really liked getting to know the people I met in my group, that was really fun.”

Reed Kovas“To do more large group activities as a whole grade.”

Morgan Garrick- “Even though I would have liked to meet people outside my group, we got to know the people within our groups really well.”

The freshman were asked if they thought the retreat helped their grade come closer together, and their answer was a resounding, “Yes.”

Kovas added, “We learned a lot about people we have never met and also people that we already knew.”

Brianna Murphy- “We see each other in the halls and are like oh my god, Hi I know you, instead of just walking past and knowing no one.”

Lisa Schwarz -“ I liked how we went and we met everyone before school started so we didn’t just go into school like who is this?”

The overall goal of the retreat to engage the freshmen and help them get to know each other seemed to be a success for the group, despite a few setbacks.

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First Ever Freshman Retreat- A Success or a Bust?