Eighth Grade Retreats for Bonding

Hailey T.
Students participate in team building activities on the beach. 

Hailey T. 

December 17, 2018

There was enthusiastic chatter amongst the eighth graders. The excited buzz running throughout Mudd was obvious, as the students were eager to begin the first day of their retreat and find out what the advisors had in store for them. The retreat is always something eighth graders look forward to each year. This year was no different. Although the original plan for the eighth grade retreat was to spend an overnight in Malibu, the camp was burned down by the Malibu fire.  Teachers and administrators wanted to avoid cancelling outright. Rescheduling was another option though that too posed challenges. With some creative collaboration, the eighth grade advisors put together a Plan B retreat--part beach and part Mudd.  


On the morning of November 15th, the eighth graders stuffed their beach bags and headed to Manhattan Beach for some relaxation and team building activities with their advisories.  The activities usually had a first place prize to accompany it, most of the time it being candy.


Returning to campus, student donned their pajamas and settled into another round of fun.  Even the teachers got in on the action with a fully choreographed dance to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. All of these experiences were bonding opportunities, as Isa A. ’23 stated, “ I thought the retreat was fun and a nice way for our class to bond away from school. I honestly got to know my classmates better in just two days. I also thought it was really cool to see different sides from my classmates than I usually see at school.”


The advisors hope the eighth graders had fun but also learned something from the retreat. “We wanted to find a [retreat] where we could have reflective moments and have time to bond,” Ms. Heydorff, Dean of Student Activities explained.  


The retreat is a favorite Middle School tradition, and although original plans were forced to change at the last minute, students and faculty adapted with enthusiasm,  and the bonding between students and their teachers proved memorable.