By | Ellis Cho
As we continue to live through this pandemic, students will go on to lose multiple bonding experiences and activities. To give a few examples, students at Notre Dame have lost the opportunity to join sports teams and play competitive games, explore their creativity in the art club, argue in debate club; now they may lose their annual grade-level retreat.
Although most retreats take place later in the year, the senior retreat to Evans Lake takes place in October, meaning that changes will likely be made due to the measures taking place because of the novel coronavirus.
After reaching out to a few teachers about this specific retreat, Ms. Lopez (the coordinator of the Grade 12 retreat) responded, “the plan [this year] is to book a date for the Grade 12 retreat at Evans Lake for the spring (in hope that the conditions with the virus get better).” Mr. Pavan adds that “Mr. DesLauriers, Mr. Bukowski, Mr. Tagulao, [Ms. Lopez, and I] were discussing this back in June and are trying to see what can be done”.
With Grade 12s holding a slight bit of doubt, an alternative, hypothetical situation for this retreat was presented to teachers and administrators. If Evans Lake falls through, the prompt was for the grade 12s to have the retreat at Notre Dame, with a sleepover in the gym (where it is possible to social distance from each other) to continue the bonding experience.
This alternative will only be considered if Evans Lake is no longer an option and health conditions in BC change. Though there are both pros and cons to having the retreat at school (it is definitely not ideal) students have no choice but to make do with what they can get. Mr. Pavan says it best as he recognizes that “one thing this pandemic has definitely taught us, is to appreciate the little things that we took for granted in the past”.
For many senior students, this camping retreat is something to look forward to, and it’s quite important. The gathering is seen as the last place where the graduating class can be together without worrying about school work. With the loss of this retreat, seniors will miss out on bonding time that is crucial in our final year, and which ultimately allows the graduating class to make as many positive Notre Dame memories with friends as possible.