Students bond in retreats

Seniors+Sarah+Hegarty+and+Brooke+Thomas+take+a+moment+to+embrace+one+another+at+the+Peace+Pole+in+Bishop%27s+Ranch.++SOPHIA+REDFERN+%7C+The+Broadview

Seniors Sarah Hegarty and Brooke Thomas take a moment to embrace one another at the Peace Pole in Bishop's Ranch. SOPHIA REDFERN | The Broadview

Madison Riehle
Reporter

The Freshman Class had music blasting from an iPod connected to speakers and had taken over the Center by 9:30 p.m. as part of its class retreat on March 22 that included dinner, a reflection service, making bracelets and exploring the depths of the Flood Mansion. All classes had their annual retreats over the 2-day period in which the Main Hall is used by the Celebrate Spring luncheon and boutique.

Earlier on Thursday morning, the Senior Class left for its overnight in Healdsburg. Sophomores and juniors attended separate challenge courses focusing on team building and leadership activities.

Seniors Sarah Hegarty and Brooke Thomas take a moment to embrace one another at the Peace Pole in Bishop's Ranch.  SOPHIA REDFERN | The Broadview
Seniors Sarah Hegarty and Brooke Thomas take a moment to embrace one another at the Peace Pole in Bishop's Ranch. SOPHIA REDFERN | The Broadview

“Retreats are an important component of schools that have a religious foundation,” dean Rachel Simpson said. “The idea of having a retreat is for the students to be part of a spiritual community and to learn how to reflect and develop an inner dialog.”

Traditionally, freshman have visited retired Religious of the Sacred Heart at Oakwood on the Sacred Heart Schools’ campus in Atherton. The RSCJs have asked to not have the large groups come to Oakwood because it is physically tiring for the small community to entertain large groups people, according to Simpson. Instead, sophomore theology teacher Kate McMichael lead a period of reflection after which class members wove friendship bracelets and wrote letters of gratitude to the sisters in the spirit of the four schools’ theme of Gratitude this year.

The sophomores bused to Westminster Woods Challenge in Occidental where they engaged in team bonding challenges including zip lining, a suspended log walk and jumping from heights while suspended by a supporting wire.

“We got to play challenge games that had us work together as a team,” Caroline Coulter said. “It made us closer because I had the chance to work with girls that I don’t often get to hang out with.”

The Junior Class ventured to Camp Jones Gulch in La Honda where members split into groups for problem-solving activities. Teams participated in a ropes course as well as projects on the ground.

“From the day, I learned having a positive attitude when trying to solve problems is imperative,” Danielle Pulizzano said. “Even once frustration sets in, it’s important to take a step back and refocus into a positive mindset.”

Seniors had their traditional overnight retreat to Bishop’s Ranch, spending two days hiking and spending time hiking and relaxing and time to share with one another their high school experience before graduation.

“The various activities that we did helped us bond together as a class before we get ready to leave Convent,” Sarah Hegarty said. “We didn’t really know what we were going to do until we got up there.”

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