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Annual retreat bonds senior class

Known for traditions such as team building initiatives, the night hike and wrestle mania, the senior retreat at Calvin Crest annually provides a weekend of excitement for students.

With already a month of school under their belts and their football squad in the winners circle, the class of 2010 headed up the mountain to the Oakhurst-based camp, Sept. 12-13.

Upon arrival the students were placed into pre-determined teams, in which they would earn points through various team-oriented challenges. With the theme of the weekend being preparing for college, teams such as Pine University, the University of Doug Daniel and Stud University emerged.

Each team collaborated to create a banner, fight song and mascot which they presented to their classmates. They also joined ideas to make up skits based on different assigned scenarios.

The emphasis of the trip was on building new relationships between classmates that, besides being seniors, have little in common in everyday school life, according to event coordinator Robert Foshee.

“The goals of the senior retreat are to get them closer to other classmates, get closer to God and have fun,” Foshee said. “The night walk was the coolest part; it’s just a hike, but when you get down there and see what God has created, it’s amazing. The kids really hung out and got along together. Every class has unity, but this year everyone was especially into it.”

After hiking along a trail for a quarter mile through the dark forest, the class arrived at an amphitheater where they gazed at the stars, admiring the natural environment of the area.

“When we went on the night walk and sat in the amphitheater, it was completely dark and all we could see were the stars,” Sarah Hollingsworth said. “We were all saying what we thank God for. I felt like the senior class was one. I’ve never been at a school where I felt like my peers were my family before.”

Competitions included rock wall climbing, kickball and most creative entry into the pond via the flume water slide. Led by Gerald Bell and Tyler Revis, team UC David used a 3-1 win in the kickball championship and a 2nd place in the skit competition to pull away from the pack and win the overall points contest.

Following a night hike through the forest, the group arrived back at Calvin Crest for an ice cream social where they interacted and formed new relationships.

“My favorite part of the retreat was the ice cream social because it was a great way to get to know everyone by the games we played,” Cathy Robbins said. “I also liked when we played ‘Skeleton in the Closet’ and had to ask questions about who was hiding. We really learned a lot about each other.”

The senior retreat is famous for Saturday night wrestling competitions between classmates, and this year followed suit. Guys and girls packed separate cabins with mattresses, and crowded into the rooms to view the spectacle.

On the girls’ side, Kayla Haydock and Jenn Boudreau had a particularly intense bout, they said. Lasting over 10 minutes long, both participants pinned each other multiple times during the wrestling match. A video of the tussle between the two girls was uploaded to YouTube the following day.

The boys also experienced a number of intense matches, staging scuffles such as Landon Martens vs. Riley Endicott, Tim Miller vs. Eric Johnson and Daniel Hopper vs. Nathaniel Nyberg.

However, the Doug Daniel-Nick Methgen match-up proved to be the most exciting according to most participants, including Aaron Hedrick.

“Methgen had over a 100-pound advantage, but that didn’t phase Doug,” Hedrick said. “Doug got him in a chicken wing: He took Methgen’s arm, put it behind his back and forced him to tap out.”

Sunday morning, after breakfast, the students had a time of worship followed by a student-led Bible study. Soon afterward, a more united class packed into buses and rode down the mountain on their way to Pizza Factory.

“I felt like the senior class really bonded,” Revis said. “There were new relationships made and we all learned about each other. I liked how the teams were diverse and a lot of us were with people we didn’t quite know.”

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