Students and mentors bond at annual STRIVE Retreat

Oct 23, 2018|Written By: Dylan Rosenthal

For the sixth straight fall, STRIVE students and mentors descended on Watermarks Camp in Scottsville for an overnight retreat on October 12-13. Because of STRIVE’s reliance on one-on-one relationships, the annual retreat is not only a great way for mentoring pairs to bond with each other, but with other members of the program, as well.

Upon arrival, counselors showed each group of seven to its “cabin” (a converted school bus). “Glamping” this was not. Following dinner, the campers took a short bus ride to a clearing in the woods for field games including Capture the Flag. Out for revenge after last year’s domination by the mentors, STRIVE students used some questionable tactics (e.g. prisoners physically restraining their guard) to take two out of three and win this year’s crown. Unfortunately one student required an ER visit after sacrificially diving for the flag, but thankfully the diagnosis of a sprain allowed him to return to camp and be a full participant despite the pain. The students and mentors closed the evening by making s’mores around a lakeside bonfire before retiring to their respective buses.

Saturday began with breakfast and a devotional by special guest and business owner Will Taylor, followed by separate student and mentor breakout sessions. STRIVE Coordinator Richard Feero led mentors in a motivational interviewing training, while Assistant Coordinator Dylan Rosenthal led students in a get-to-know-you ice breaker and a motivational interviewing exercise. Next, the group came back together and split into teams by cabin for the low ropes course, creating some friendly competition as they attempted to overcome obstacles faster than the other team (pictures and videos below). After conquering the course, the group played a few rounds of gaga ball, ate lunch, cleaned their cabins, and played some old-fashioned two-hand touch football.

As is customary on this retreat, STRIVE saved the best for last. Students and mentors donned helmets and camouflage for a spirited paintball battle in the woods. After paintball, Dylan distributed STRIVE t-shirts to our newest students and mentors and took a few group photos to commemorate another successful retreat. Thank you to Watermarks for being such fantastic hosts!


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