Ever year the Middlesex sophomore class is injected with a sizable collection of new students from around the world. On Monday the entire sophomore class, both new and old, traveled to Hale Reservation for their first opportunity to unite as a cohesive whole.
The idyllic Hale Reservation proved to be a perfect haven for the annual Sophomore Retreat, as the serenity of the camp’s wooded acres provided a respite from the fast-paced energy of the schoolhouse. Upon arrival students were divided into groups of ten, and after creating witty team names (along with personalized T-shirts), they spread across the reservation for a series of team-building exercises.
The activities were marked by a combination of mental and physical challenges, and while each puzzle differed in its objective, the fulcrum of each solution was universal: teamwork. Students remarked how surprised they were by the initial difficulty of each challenge, and how the requirement of distilling ten minds into one made their eventual success all the more satisfying. The most popular activity was also the most perilous, as many students challenged themselves on a rope course that carried them high into the maple tree canopy as they were encouraged by classmates below.
The Sophomore Retreat may have been only one day, but its lessons of teamwork, collaboration, and empathy will serve students in their communal goals back on the Middlesex campus, whether in the classrooms, the sports fields, or the dorms. And while the buses initially left with 14 “new” sophomores, they returned with zero.