Upper School Retreat: Setting The Tone For The Year

One of the oldest and most enduring traditions at Powhatan is the Upper School Retreat. A wonderful event that encourages teamwork and collaboration through two days worth of fun and sometimes challenging events, it is an experience that bonds classmates and teachers alike. “It sets the tone for the year,” says Ann Robb, Upper School Coordinator. “It reinforces our sense of community. It is an important part of the Powhatan experience and brings together the classes, especially the eighth grade, as a special milestone event.”

A centerpiece of the retreat is the Full Value Contract. Almost immediately upon arrival at camp the students begin to work on how they will make the most out of the experience. Students work in small groups with their faculty adviser to create written guidelines taking personal responsibility for how they will contribute to and make the most positive impact on the retreat. As Retreat comes to a close students are reminded that the Full Value Contract is not just for Retreat, but is a contract for the rest of the school year.

“I think it is a very valuable use of academic time,” says Mr. Bell, a master teacher who has taught at the school for 42 years. “We take two days aside to say we want to see how socially we are going to make a great Powhatan community.” This was the 34th year of the retreat and it was held on September 3rd & 4th at Camp Rim Rock in West Virginia.

Does your school do something similar?

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