For now, annual class retreats on hold


Class retreats, like the sophomores hosting a field day on campus for Elam Alexander students, are still up in the air

What were you doing on Thursday, November 12?

Chances are, you were sitting in English class. Or maybe taking a math quiz.

In any other given year, you might have been taking a tour of the Woodruff House on Coleman Hill, the original site of Stratford Academy. You might have been working with elementary school students from Elam Alexander Elementary at a field day on campus, doing community service projects and going on a downtown scavenger hunt, or attending the annual senior picnic.

All upper school class retreats, typically held in early or mid-November, have been placed on hold because of the pandemic, according to Assistant Head of Upper School Mr. Willis Kallay.

The senior retreat has a higher possibility of taking place, since it is an outdoor activity. Others, like the sophomores hosting students from Elam Alexander on campus, are less likely to happen.

“It also depends if people want to bring their kids over,’’ Mr. Kallay said. “Right now, it’s more of a strict protocol and people don’t want to intermix. Especially younger kids. Because nobody knows what anybody does out of school or wants to track that.”

Since Mercer University owns and oversees the operation of the Woodruff House, Mr. Kallay said there will be a wait-and-see approach to the freshman retreat.

“Things are kind of up in the air for how Mercer is handling their COVID protocol,” he said

The junior retreat typically involves community service in the morning with local non-profit agencies, including the Rescue Mission, Community Food Bank and the Forest Hills Methodist Backpack Ministry. The juniors then meet at the Armory Ballroom downtown after lunch for fun and games, including a scavenger hunt.

“Now the juniors, their retreat is all about community service, so their retreat also depends on businesses,’’ Mr. Kallay said. “If they are going to want people to volunteer, or are even open.”

Juniors do community service at Forest Hills Methodist in 2019