Senior Retreat


Coyne Altamirano

“I want you to be doing Better Than Good” – Keith Hawkins

Coyne Altamirano, News Reporter

The class of 2023 went on a retreat recently to the camp of Idyllwild Pines and it was amazing. It was a bit hectic leaving for camp, since the buses were late and traffic was pretty bad, so we left way behind schedule on our first night there. But once we reached that beautiful campsite we were treated to a delicious dinner of spaghetti as the staff gave us a rundown of everything we needed to know during our stay. They explained how the food and water would be handled and were overall very kind and patient when dealing with a bunch of exhausted and hungry teens. Then, the school staff planned out party activities at this great hall farther along a hill and split us up into 8 small groups to do activities before we were sent off to bed. The bunk situation was a little odd, housing around 34 girls but only 4 showers and 6 bathroom stalls. Getting ready to go to bed was a bit of a disaster, I could hear the commotion coming from my room and I decided to simply wait until later in the night so I could get ready in peace.

The staff also informed us that they had a coffee bar going on from 7 in the morning to 7 at night, so my friends and I planned accordingly. Not only did we end up staying up late to get ready but we woke up early too and it was so worth it. The coffee bar was amazing, they had pitchers of iced coffee and even pitchers with sweetened iced coffee for certain preferences and the espresso machines worked wonderfully. I must have had 10 cups of coffee during the trip since it was open all the time. After getting our coffee we had breakfast. It was simple pancakes, eggs, and bacon but everything was cooked to perfection. They even put homemade whipped cream on the pancakes for anyone that wanted some. All of the students were asked beforehand for any dietary restrictions and the staff prepared everything to adjust to them and had special food at the ready for anyone who couldn’t eat certain things.

They gave us around 2 hours of free time after breakfast to simply wander around and explore and this led to students having snowball fights, grabbing random sticks to sword fight, picking up moss, and playing in the creek. Everyone just had a blast exploring the wilderness, we don’t see scenery like this often back here in Chino. After our break, we were called back into the great hall to be split into our groups to play a scavenger hunt. As someone who is not particularly active, this destroyed me. The amount of running up and downhill combined with the elevation of being up in the mountains left me woozy, but luckily for me, we were given some time to breathe before a guest speaker came. Let me tell you, the presentation left me in tears, he spoke a lot about individuality, love, family, and growing from the trauma inflicted by the past. He shared a lot of his own experiences to connect with the students

Pullquote Photo

I’m doing better then good!

— Keith Hawkins

and it made many of us open up to one another. We played games that helped us learn more about one another and I left feeling more connected to my peers than ever. We, unfortunately, had to pause the seminar halfway through to eat lunch since it ran late, but the lunch was great too. It was just a burger and fries but it was all homemade and tasted absolutely delicious. I personally got a veggie patty and I’m not sure what brand they used or if they made their own but I want to eat it again so badly.

That same night we were once again split into groups to talk about our thoughts on the presentation and make our own key chains, which was very fun. Then we were sent back into the hall for an open mic night, and it was just as heart-warming as the presentation. It was a lot of us telling our friends how much we appreciated one another, and the love we all shared that night left me in tears. Though there was one student who had us all bursting into laughter when he walked up to the microphone, looked over to his friend, and said, “Thank you for introducing me to the love of my life. Your mom”. It was comedy gold, completely unexpected, and I still chuckle about it. As great as the day was, the dinner was alright and it was another busy night of trying to get the bathroom but since we were leaving the next morning there was the additional headache of trying to pack most things to be able to load up early.

The next morning was very similar to the last, woke up early, got some coffee, and ate a big breakfast. The breakfast was pretty good but I think I preferred Saturday’s breakfast more. I just ate some eggs and oatmeal this morning since nothing else was all that appetizing to me. We wrote some letters to our future selves that we’ll receive in a year and then set off back home. We left at around 9 and came home at noon. I know that I was exhausted and fell asleep immediately after getting home but even so I had an absolute blast and if I was ever given a chance to do it all again I would take it in a heartbeat. The trip was amazing, I met new friends and grew closer to the friends I already had. I sincerely hope that the class of 2024 has an experience that is just as amazing, if not better. Thank you, Lugo, for giving us this trip, and thank you to the class of 2023 for making it the most phenomenal camping trip I’ve ever taken.