Last week the 7th grade class participated in their first EXCSEL program of the year traveling to Big Bear. The students (and staff) had the opportunity to engage in activities that took them outside of their comfort zones, allowing for personal growth, teamwork, bonding, and FUN. The retreat involved many teambuilding challenges (that progressively became more and more difficult as we got deeper into the program), which required all of the students to overcome their fears, build trust within themselves and with their peers, provide positive and motivational support for one another, and challenged themselves on both a physical and emotional level to think, feel and act outside of their comfort zones. It was an incredible scene and the students broke through personal barriers that evoked many emotions for all.
Each night in Big Bear, we all came together and sat around the campfire, while reflecting upon the day and giving out “appreciations”. This was one of the most meaningful parts of the trip, as the students were able to be vulnerable around their peers and whole heartily thank those who helped them during the trip. Again, emotions flowed freely and the students and staff grew closer together.
This fun filled, action packed trip not only fostered the core values of empathy, perseverance, leadership, trust, self-discovery, and teamwork, but also provided everyone (staff included) with 3 days filled with smiles, laughs, amazing memories.