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Senior Retreat: The heartfelt experience for enjoying last moments as senior students

The+Class+of+2017+and+staff+members+that+attended+this+years+senior+retreat.
The Class of 2017 and staff members that attended this years senior retreat.

The Class of 2017 and staff members that attended this years senior retreat.

Photo Courtesy of Ms. Sophie Yu

Photo Courtesy of Ms. Sophie Yu

The Class of 2017 and staff members that attended this years senior retreat.

Kaitlyn Valenzuela, Reporter

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The class of 2017 has had remarkable achievements in their four years at Lugo. They have a lot to be proud of, to remember, and to celebrate, but now with only 16 Friday’s left before graduation, seniors have departed on one of the most reflective opportunities offered to the senior class…senior retreat.  High above the San Bernardino Mountains in the small town of Idyllwild, the picturesque view of pine trees and snow offers a senior the serene environment they need for deep thought and reflection.

Some seniors wonder “What’s all the fuss about”, while others blow off the experience because of the cost, or because they’ve determined they simply don’t need it. But the seniors who have just returned from the retreat will tell you that they have a completely different perspective; one as surprising as the experience itself. Senior Joshua Bautista said, “After returning from senior retreat, if you were to offer it to me again at $20 more, I’d still go! That’s how amazing senior retreat is!”

Seniors like Josh have determined that maybe, just maybe, you can’t put a price tag on the epiphanies that senior retreat provides. Admittedly, seniors confirm that they were placed in groups without friends or significant others. For some, that was scary. For others, it was a bummer, but Activities Director Farrah Rigo-Witt explains, “We w

ant students to branch out and be with other seniors they haven’t seen in a long time or don’t know. It’s part of the overall experience.”

Besides the group sharing that’s done in teacher led small groups, retreat goers agree it’s the motivational speaker that is worth the whole experience. Keith Hawkins talks to seniors about the ‘grass being greener on the other side’. In short, the future is upon them, and it’s okay to not know: what they’re doing, where they’re going, or how to deal w

ith fear. He offers the green light to seniors to make the decisions they need to make so long as they pick themselves up, learn from them, and are grateful to the people who helped get them where they wanted to be. Like their eighth grade to freshman transition, students struggle with fitting in, finding their groove and getting organized. Hawkins explains that this same transition will happen again as they leave Lugo and find their place in the world. Whether it’s a new college campus, military, or work-force, the change is inevitable.

Hawkins message of “change is coming, be ready!” is the kick-off invitation for seniors to come up and share an experience that has changed them, a fear they have, or an achievement they’re proud of. But the sharing doesn’t stop there! Hawkins invites teachers to share their invaluable life experiences and lessons with the class. “Do what you need to do! Be successful! But don’t forget to have fun!” shares 2017 Class Adviser, Mr. Myers. One by one, seniors had the courage to share personal and valuable experiences with their classmates, but the heartfelt experience didn’t end there.

Seniors final day together at open-mic night gave seniors a chance to publicly thank their friends, teachers, and of course Dr. Cabrera, all of which came to an emotional head. Some might wonder, “What’s with all the crying? I’m glad I didn’t go.” But seniors are having an experience full of humility and reflection that offers relief more than sadness. Senior Class Adviser, Mrs. Deming said, “Students and staff cry together out of pure joy for moving on. Some become emotional because they realize this is the beginning of the end, it’s hard to say goodbye to this four year journey. While others offer thank you’s for changing their lives or ask for forgiveness so they can close the door on this final chapter and move on.”

The heartfelt experience that senior retreat offers can’t be duplicated, but it also isn’t an experience one can explain fully. The Class of 2018 should know that the weekend away to the mountains offers them an opportunity to bring closure to their four years, and that’s worth it’s weight in gold.

Photo Courtesy of Ms. Sophie Yu

Motivational Speaker Keith Hawkins, talks to ASB President Isaiah Ruiz about what it really means to be a leader.

 

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"WE HEAR YOU!"
Senior Retreat: The heartfelt experience for enjoying last moments as senior students