Senior Retreat Recap: A Two-Sided Story: Part One


On September 25th, at 9:15 am, the class of 2023 showed up at Northern to prepare for one of the best weekends of their senior year. Despite the weather looking cold and rainy, the Seniors were nothing but smiles all around. As soon as we got off the buses, there were plenty of activities to choose from. Laser tag. The giant swing. A zipline. Archery Tag. It didn’t matter which activity you chose, they were all great choices.

If you’ve ever looked up at the ceiling while walking in the halls, you know that painting ceiling tiles is a tradition for the senior class. A giant tarp was set up near the rec center, and we got to choose from boxes full of paint colors. I loved seeing all the creative designs, and I look forward to seeing them around the school.

In the afternoon, we had plenty of activities to choose from. Even though the air temperature was chilly, some brave students got in the cold Lake Kimball waters to play water polo and race on the obstacle course. Gaga ball was a huge hit, and Alec Jansen’s commentary drew in a large crowd of spectators. Nine square was also popular, with some teachers even joining! A short walk away from the main camp was the archery range where students could try ax throwing and archery.

After dinner, we had a karaoke night. I thought that no one would dare sign up, but the turnout was impressive. A surprising number of students signed up to sing, and we even got to witness Mr. Johnson’s rendition of “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock.

Camp Henry organized a version of “The Amazing Race” where each cabin had to race to finish absurd tasks, such as answering riddles or trying to count to 20 out loud without making a plan. It was, of course, a very competitive race, but it was great to see our class bonding and working together to win. After the race, we could play dodgeball, flashlight tag, or go on a wagon ride. I was able to make it on the wagon ride, which was pulled by a Chevy truck. We drove through the pitch-black cornfield and woods, and I was scared going through the winding path with no headlights. 

By the time of the bonfire, it was nearly midnight, and most of us were exhausted from the busy day of activities, but we all made our way up the hill to sit around the fire. Mr. Howard asked the class questions about their elementary school crush, first kiss, most embarrassing moment, etc. Some students’ answers were hilarious and awkward, but it was a great bonding experience for our class. At the end of the night, we were even able to make s’mores, provided we found a stick to roast the marshmallows on.

The next morning, everyone was tired but in a positive mood. A few cabins decided to stay up for most of the night, so the coffee machine in the dining hall had a long line. After breakfast, we took pictures with our elementary school classmates, and not long after, boarded the buses to head back to Northern. I had such a great time at Senior Retreat; it was an awesome bonding experience for our class. I got to know my classmates better, and it makes me excited to finish senior year with everyone!