Sophomore Retreat

Just over two weeks ago, the sophomore class of ‘19 travelled to Camp Becket in the Berkshire mountains for the annual Sophomore Retreat. The class left The Island early Sunday morning on the 26th and returned the following evening.

Upon arrival, the sophomores were greeted by Camp Becket staff and a few quirky games quickly ensued. The entire class competed against each other, both within large groups and individually. Enthusiasm was half-hearted at best, but everyone had a smile by the end. The activities helped warm up everyone’s bodies from that chilly Saturday morning. The sophomore class then broke up into smaller groups led by seniors and staff.

The rest of the afternoon was spent within the groups to allow team-bonding for everyone. Each group, consisting of approximately 10 people, was challenged to a large variety of activities ranging from ropes courses to silly games such as the well-loved ‘ninja’. Similar to the rope courses here at Loomis, each activity requires strong teamwork to achieve success. Each person found their own way to contribute to the activity at hand, whether it was designating themselves as the leader or suggesting ideas.

Later that day, students enjoyed a refreshing dinner consisting of meatballs mixed with pasta, and following that up was the highly-anticipated “hoe-down” dance. The dining hall was soon transformed into a dance floor. As the evening began to settle down, everyone danced to his or her heart’s content to classics like “YMCA” and “Cotton Eye Joe.”

That night, the dining hall shook with livelihood and sweat. All that was left between the worn-out dancers and a good night’s rest was the campfire. Students and staff huddled around a large, bright fire and share jokes with each other. The day ended with s’mores and a chilly night sky as everyone returned to the rustic cabins.

Early next morning, a nature walk was held to explore the surrounding wilderness in the hopes of spotting an exotic animal. The only downside was how early everyone had to wake up, as the sun was still rising through the freezing morning air. After breakfast, the sophomores chose a recreational activity to spend their next hour or so doing. Gaga seemed to be the most popular choice as tons of people crowded the pit.

Competition hit its peak at midday with people cheering and shouting for friends. The sophomores spent the rest of their afternoons canoeing in a beautiful lake. Just before their final departure, students worked with their groups one last time to complete a final series of tasks imposed upon them. Alas, the year’s sophomore retreat concluded with the grand shoe game. Shoes flew through the air as people scrambled to win it all. Soon, the students would return back to their normal lives, living each day in the same routine as before.

However, new friendships have blossomed. Relationships between friends and peers have tightened. Memories have been created and will be cherished throughout the rest of each and every one’s fulfilling lives. A question to consider, however, would be… why solely the sophomore class? This Loomis tradition has been going strong for decades; why hasn’t there ever been a freshman or junior retreat?

The main reason could be due to the fact that freshman year is simply too early, and as the newcomers to the school, they aren’t accustomed to the journey that still awaits ahead of them. Juniors seem to already be well emotionally fit, and are busy striving towards their future careers. With enough experience to cooperate and three more fulfilling years yet to be spent on the island, sophomores seem to be the ripest fruit to pick from. Nonetheless, this year’s retreat was genuinely a success and the Loomis heritage are proud to offer this amazing experience to everyone.