Seniors Go Beyond the Screen With Retreat

Param Desagani , Senior Editor

Every year seniors look forward to Retreat, a long held Sage tradition, which includes team building activities, pool parties, shaved ice, and even fashion shows. However, the graduating class of 2021 enjoyed a very different experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic which closed down schools, cities, and business within the United States and globally since early 2020. 

Since then, Sage, much like many other schools in Orange County have moved to primarily online courses until the risk of transmission is reduced within Orange County. Due to this, senior events including retreat have been shifted to an online format. 

On September 16, seniors participated in a virtual retreat which included team building challenges, advisory activities, and an electronic communication webinar. Students participated utilizing the Zoom platform to engage with their advisory and buddy advisory groups. Participating teams earned points for each challenge submitted and each member of the winning team earned a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Utilizing apps and cellphones, students were able to engage with each other and share pictures and videos of themselves completing the challenges. Challenges included displaying your dexterity through writing your signature with both hands at the same time, demonstrating how you’ve been staying active throughout quarantine, and sing-alongs.

What was missing from the event was the personal connection of building memories in person and not through a screen, as well as the physical outdoor activities such as swimming or just basking under the sun in Town Square. 

“While it’s disappointing to not be able to participate in an in person retreat for my last year at Sage, it’s better that we all stay safe and healthy,” senior Omar Abousaif said.

This message is a commonly felt sentiment among parents and students as the safety and well being of seniors and other students is the biggest priority. Yet, seniors like Abousaif cannot avoid the pangs of disappointment as much anticipated senior milestones pass in quarantine. No one knows what the immediate future will hold for the Class of 2021, but hopes are high for a return to normalcy before the end of senior year.