High School Retreat

high school retreat


The annual tradition of the high school retreat continued this year as over 280 students loaded onto busses early in the morning on the very first day of school.  Upon arrival at Camp Ponderosa, the high school students immediately began team-building and confidence-building activities designed to break down social barriers and create a positive, supportive culture for the school year. 

The high school retreat was an excellent opportunity for new students to get to know their peers and the staff, just as it was a chance for returning members of the Vanguard community to reconnect with friends and mentors.  As the three days progressed, students engaged in problem solving tasks such as the low-ropes course, physical challenges like the Leap of Faith, and team games like human foosball (yes, that is a real game).  Students also had opportunities to socialize in the dining hall and relax with friends in the game room. 

A further purpose of the high school retreat is character development.  This was done chiefly through community bon-fires and character talks.  Each evening, students gathered in groups and discussed virtues like how to be a gentleman, the responsibility of freshmen year, and adhering to the school honor code.  This all culminated with Mr. Kennington’s rousing character talk with the whole school on Thursday night—A traditional event that allows the student to get to know their assistant principal while learning some valuable life lessons. 

trust building

Each day began before 7:00 AM and ended around 11:00 PM.  With such a full schedule, it’s easy to see why the busses on Friday unloaded exhausted but excited Coursers, ready to tackle the weeks and months ahead (after a bit of rest).  With the foundation of these three days, this year promises to be the best yet for our students as we all create a truly outstanding Vanguard Experience together.