For the first time in the history of Lennox Academy, students from 9th through 11th grade were able to assist the Pali Retreat located in Running Springs, California. The purpose of the retreat was for both grades to be able to connect with their Teacher Assistant buddy and get to know each other a bit more. At the same time, students had the opportunity to refresh their minds away from school by enjoying the company of friends, going on hikes, karaoke and much more.
Students had to arrive by 7 a.m. at Lennox Academy and report to their TA. Buses started rolling 30 minutes after and the ride to Running Springs was approximately four hours. Once arriving at the retreat, students and teachers were welcomed by the Pali staff and were seated at the dining court.
From there on, students were assigned to their cabin, and along with their chaperone, they went to drop out their backpacks. Free time was given for the students to go out and explore the beauty of nature before going back to the dining hall for lunch. The first meal at Pali Retreat was very appetizing, different toppings of pizza was served along with salad, juice and ice cream for dessert.
After having a great lunch, we were ready to start our day with team activities. All students were paired up with there TA buddies into groups. The team activities all consisted of teamwork, communication, cooperation and socializing. As the students engaged in the activities, TA buddies were able to build a bond with each other.
When the activities were done, students and teachers had a break so they could take a small hike with friends or take a small nap in their cabin. After the break, it was time to have dinner. Dinner consisted of spaghetti, lasagna, salad, fruits, different soda flavors, hot chocolate and brownies for dessert. After finishing dinner, we stayed in the dining hall hanging out for a while until teachers and staff gave us further instructions for the night activities.
It was night time at Pali Retreat and so far, students along with teachers, were having a great time. Yet, the fun was just starting as the moon started to come out at Running Springs, California. Students were assigned four activities to do at night. One of them was karaoke. There was two room of karaoke, the first room was full of girls singing and shouting the room was so loud, but the girls were having a great time. The second room had a karaoke battle between boys vs girls.
In that same room, there were table games and many students took advantage of them. In the dining hall, many students were working on arts and crafts where they were able to make bracelets, paint their own photo frame, play board games and make a letter to their TA buddy. Outside of the dining hall was a fire pit where a group of students enjoyed looking at the stars while singing to songs.
The night was coming to an end, which meant that the students had to go to their cabins to rest for the next morning and last day. Breakfast consisted of french toast with a cookie, and hot chocolate. The very last activity was a challenge and self confidence activity. Students had four rope activities where they had to walk through thin strings, while managing to balance.
There was one course in particular where it was a two person activity. Two people had to help each other climb through six big wooden stairs. This activity was the most time consuming but the most important thing about this course was how the people that participated never let their partner alone. They all helped each other to make it to the top and no one showed greediness of who will made it first but rather work together to get to the top together.
We spent around two hours with 30 minutes on the rope courses. We headed back to the Pali retreat and waited in line for the dining hall to open and serve us our last meal. The last meal they gave us was Chinese food with a fortune cookie as the dessert. When we finished our lunch, we all headed back to out cabin pick our belonging and report to our buses. The bus wheels started rolling around 1 p.m.. Everyone in the bus was sleeping because we were all tired. We arrived at school at 3:20 p.m., just when I woke up the Pali Retreat felt like a dream.
The Pali Mountain Retreat 2018, was a success, as juniors and freshman were able to have a closer connection with each other and also able to meet new people.
We want to thank the teachers that where chaperones, the Pali staff, Mr. Mena, Mr. Villanueva and Ms. Jimenez because without them the retreat would of no been possible. We hope to see Pali mountain retreat as an event that Lennox Academy continues to do for the years to come as it created positive memories for our students.