Southport Middle School sixth grade students enjoyed an engaging, positive, and busy day at the Guidance Department’s annual Student Retreat! Students participated in various activities and games throughout the day as well as small group discussions where they had the opportunity to learn about each other as well as themselves. They talked about likes and dislikes, shared personal stories and bonded together. Faculty and staff had the chance to make connections with students as well in their role as team leaders.

Students were divided into teams with an assigned faculty or staff team leader who facilitated the activities, games and discussions throughout the day. Each team participated in several team building activities, such as Building Bridges, where students had to work together to make a “bridge” of PVC pipes and get their team members across. The students had to continue to build the bridge in front of the person walking across it without letting them fall. Teams also built obstacle courses, which they had to navigate while blindfolded, guided only by the verbal direction of their teammates.

At the end of the day, students wrote letters to their future selves which Guidance collects and returns to the students next school year. Each student also received Palanca letters, which are letters of love, support and encouragement from their teachers, school staff, parents and family members. This is a very special part of the retreat.

Our 6th grade students made great memories and hopefully lasting connections with their school, their teachers and their peers.