The annual Year 9 Outdoor Retreat is always a different type of learning experience for students, but that is what makes it great. It is learning through a hands-on experience. Some students learn that they never want to experience the outdoors again, while other students learn that the outdoors is one GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most beautiful and creative gifts to humanity.
As students ventured up the windy road, carrying all they would need for the next three days, a combination of excitement and nervousness could be seen on most faces. Upon seeing the bamboo huts that were nestled in a small mountain valley in Puncak, cheers erupted out of relief that their hike would shortly come to an end.
With no hand phones or computers, students shift their attention to each other and the events happening around them. A variety of outbound activities and fun team games were organized and enjoyed, including a high ropes course, two different flying foxes, and an epic game of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cheetos tossingÃ¢â‚¬Â in which one member of each House group covered their face with shaving cream, while all other members of the House tossed Cheetos chips towards their face, hoping to stick them in the shaving cream.
But the most enjoyable events according to the students were the hike to the waterfall and the annual Year 9 Talent Show. A semi-difficult hike, which was mastered by the students, led them to a small oasis near the top of the mountain. A small swimming hole at the base of the waterfall was perfectly sized to fit most of the students. The chilly water was a welcomed relief after the long, sweaty hike.
The Java RhinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Year 9 group was the winner of this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Talent Show, as they performed a rousing acoustic rendition of The Lion KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can You Feel the Love Tonight?Ã¢â‚¬Â While all the groups had creative and entertaining performances, showing off their individual and group talents, the Java RhinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s group had people singing even into the next day.
While most students fell in love with being in the outdoors, wishing they could experience the Year 9 Outdoor Retreat again, others were more than happy on the bus home as they thought about sleeping in their own bed. Yet the retreat continues to be one of the most valuable events during Junior High, from educational, character building, and pure enjoyment perspectives.
Ã¢â‚¬â€by Brady Mordhurst
(See all the pictures of this story in the Gallery of Events by clicking here.)