Peer Support connects on retreat

Sophie Kupiec-Weglinski

A total of 54 Peer Support leaders and trainees bonded in team-building exercises such as a ropes course and an egg drop during their annual retreat at Temescal Canyon Gateway Park Sept. 20-22.

The retreat was organized by school counselor Luba Bek and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Kavita Ajmere.

Both planned to attend, but Bek became ill shortly before the retreat, leaving Assistant to the Head of Upper School Michelle Bracken and Ajmere to chaperone the event.

Students took a bus to the retreat after school Friday and returned at 9 A.M. Sunday.

Students played bonding games such as “CEO,” “Hiyah” and “Never Have I Ever”.

“It was a great opportunity for the group to get to know one another. And it was fun,” Bracken said.

A ropes course activity was included to foster team and trust building, useful abilities when leading Peer Support discussions.

“I enjoyed [Saturday] morning the most when we went on the ropes course and got to paint with one of the counselors,” Peer Support leader Jake Bracken ’14 said.

During the retreat, groups consisting of two trainees and two leaders were announced. These groups were constructed by Peer Support coordinators Angus O’Brien ’14, Gaby Romano ’14, Max Rothman ’14 and Sophie Sunkin ’14.

The coordinators spent four hours determining which combination of leaders and trainees would make the best groups.

After the announcement, the students gathered around a campfire and ate s’mores.

“I really enjoyed getting to know everyone and I think it will be a great year of Peer Support,” trainee Lili Cohen ’15 said.

The groups chosen will direct Peer Support conversations and discussions for the rest of the year.

   “My favorite part would probably be getting to know people, juniors and seniors that you don’t really talk to at school,” Sunkin said.