Spring class retreats combine classic and innovative experiences

Each grade will engage in differing events and activities for spring retreats, including community service, workshops and overnights.


Update 3/18/2016: Sophomores Hannah Taschek, Kelly Rosanelli and Mary Crawford dye Easter eggs at El Bethel Senior Center. For their retreats, sophomores went out into the community, giving back to several organizations, including El Bethel.

Claire Kosewic, Senior Reporter

With spring retreats beginning, each grade will have a unique experience to bond with each other in multiple settings, with freshmen and sophomores staying on campus or in San Francisco, and juniors and seniors heading out on more secluded, traditional retreats.

“The retreats are PAWS-organized because we have found that when you do things as a whole class, you lose people,” school counselor Annie Egan said. “Sure we can have a whole class processing time, but then you may get 10 voices out of 60 whereas in a PAWS group you get all the voices.”

Freshmen are staying on campus, participating in a program through YouthSpeaks, focusing on the theme of “Finding Your Voice,” which is an important topic for high school freshmen, according to Egan.  

Sophomores will spend the day off-campus, serving the local community with the San Francisco Marin Food Bank, Walk SF, or an elder care center.

“I have mixed feelings about not going on an overnight retreat,” sophomore Ava Jones said. “I had great time last year on retreat bonding with people I didn’t really know, but with just having Costa Rica and everything, I don’t think the overnight is that necessary.”

Juniors left for their retreat today, an overnight at Camp Newman, while seniors leave tomorrow afternoon for St. Dorothy’s Rest, from where they will return on Saturday. Both grades will have more classic retreat experiences, according to Director of Student Life Devin DeMartini Cooke.

“Since this is the juniors’ and seniors’ third or fourth retreat with the school, it makes sense to have the class bonding that an overnight brings,” DeMartini Cooke said. “Both classes have had multiple service opportunities and workshops, so an overnight made the most sense for them.”

All students have wise free dress, with the freshmen and sophomores meeting Friday morning in Syufy Theater at 8:30 a.m. All students’ cell phones will be collected and kept in a safe place until retreats are over.

“Overall, I’m excited about going out into the community to serve others,” Jones said. “I love the fact that I get to bond with my classmates while also helping others — there’s no downside to that.”