Freshmen Scale Walls, Bond at Retreat

A small group of freshmen stood under a 15-foot wall of wooden planks. The challenge was to get every member of their homeroom and their mentors over the wall. One by one, the students scaled the towering barrier until everyone was on the other side.

Designed to help the Class of 2017 bond and learn to work as a team, scaling the wall was just one of the challenges the freshmen tackled during their Aug. 23 retreat to Hephzibah Children’s Home on Zebulon Rd.

freshman retreatThe students dealt with mental as well as physical challenges, including building a replica of a molecule made of gumdrops and toothpicks.

“In a quest of intellect we had a scientist, a runner, and two builders who had to work as a team,” freshman Tarab Ajjan said. The runner was the messenger between the scientist, who could see the original molecule, and the builders who had to recreate it. This required improving communication skills within the group.

“We had to use teamwork, work together, and figure out the problem,” freshman Kevin McGean said.

In addition to scaling the wall, the freshmen went through physical challenges like archery and tire swings that each student had to cross without touching the ground in between.

“The hardest part was probably the tire swings. That one really took everybody to work together with such cohesiveness that it seemed impossible, but by the end we were getting better” freshman Carly Wanna said.

The freshmen said that working together with their classmates, mentors, and advisors helped bring them closer together. As freshman Jonathan Barron said, he “gained knowledge about my classmates and how to get through challenges together.”