Freshmen embark on annual retreat

Eden Jablon

News Editor

This year’s freshmen left for camp Hess Kramer on Monday, August 29 for their annual overnight retreat.

“The focus of the retreat was to start the process of building community and relations among the class of 2015, while doing some environmental service learning and taking care of the logistical and emotions needs of starting high school,” Mr. Beau Lindsay, Latin teacher and ninth grade advisor, said.

Retreat 1
Freshmen gather on the lawn for a BBQ dinner. Al photos courtesy of Noah Kaufman.

The students participated in various activities, including bonding games, Israeli dancing, gardening and a beach cleanup at Zuma Beach.

The Vatikim, or senior mentors, were one of the key components for the success of the retreat. This group of students from the class of 2012 worked with individual advisories and assisted with activities.

In fact, a highlight of the retreat was when the incoming freshmen had time alone with the Vatikim. During the activity, they wrote questions and concerns about high school on note cards, and the Vatikim allayed fears by addressing each issue.

“It helped me feel better knowing there were older kids I could ask questions of,” Jacquelyn Wax ’15 said.

Ms. Francine Landau, vice principal of the ninth and tenth grades, explained that this year’s Vatikim went through particularly rigorous training organized by Ms. Shauna Donfeld, school guidance counselor.

“The Vatikim were fantastic, super involved and very well trained,” Landau said.

The freshmen returned Tuesday, August 30.

Retreat 2
A freshman plants as part of his community service project.
Retreat 3
Advisories gather to discuss the day.