The theme of the senior retreat was challenging and building unity among the students. This theme was meant to guide the class in their actions during the retreat. The retreat was organized by the senior class representatives: Kazunori Fukuhara, Rui Miura, Riki Story and Taewon Yoon. The grade was also accompanied by the school’s staff who helped chaperone the students and made sure the seniors acted responsibly. 

The first day consisted of traveling by bus to Chiba and by midday, the grade began the high ropes course at the Izumi Nature Park. Then they were divided into four groups, all of which had the chance to rotate through all the courses. The theme of unity was incorporated into the activity by challenging the students with their athletic ability. Once the activity was finished, the class traveled to the hotel. After dinner, the grade met and had a discussion about what they would like the next guest speaker at St. Mary’s to talk about and the legacy the seniors would like to leave behind.

On the second day, the students traveled to Nokogiri-yama. The class was challenged to hike to the top of the mountain. Teamwork was encouraged to help others along the way. At the top there was an observatory where the class was greeted by a view of the ocean. On the descent, the grade stopped at Nihon-ji to see the Buddhist temple and have lunch. The seniors would then travel to Okinoshima Beach to spend time walking along the shore. That evening, the students played the game Times Up to encourage teamwork and competition. Teams worked together to gain points and beat the other teams. Ultimately the winners came down to how well the teams were able to communicate, which demonstrated how strong their bonds were.

The third day started with students packing up and leaving for Mother Farm, a tourist attraction that is a mix between a farm and amusement park. At the location, the seniors spent the morning working together to cook curry rice in an area away from the attractions. The results were mixed among the groups, with some struggling more than others. 

The retreat was successful at bringing the class of 2020 together for their final year at St. Mary’s. The bonds built and strengthened on the retreat will be memories that will last far beyond the end of high school. 

Article by Keannan Silong