Building Community at Grades 7–11 Retreats

While it is tradition for our 9th graders to go on a 9th-grade retreat, it isn’t typical to have retreats for every grade level at Bosque School. However, after an atypical school year that left us feeling a bit out of touch with one another, finding space to build community before the school year was a top priority. Out of this desire to feel more connected with one another, our staffulty planned an afternoon full of community-building activities for each grade.

Grades 7–8 began their afternoon by breaking into grade levels and playing games that included a campus-wide, Bosque School-themed scavenger hunt and trivia questions. Students explored and discovered new things such as the number of murals on campus, the names of the three founding MRC students, the 2019-20 Bobcat Award winners, and much more. After running around, they had time at the end of the day to find their lockers and load a few supplies into them to prepare for the first day of school.

Ninth graders had an experience like no other ninth-grade class has had before. They also went on a scavenger hunt, but instead of staying on our campus, they explored Old Town and surrounding areas. Using the GooseChase app, advisory teams were able to compete against each other in a friendly competition. The teams completed challenges, submitting photo and video proof on the app. Some of these challenges included tasks like walking like an Egyptian in front of a storefront, finding a plaque with the year Albuquerque was founded, taking a picture at an Italian restaurant, and so much more. Word on the street is that Ms. Doss’ advisory group dominated the competition, but their win was disputed by Ms. Bode’s advisory who claimed a shortcut may have been taken. Ms. Doss assured that her team played honorably, albeit creatively. At the end of the day, every team was deemed a winner for completing the tasks, having fun, and building relationships.

Grades 10–11 separated into grade levels, taking turns completing a scavenger hunt and walking through the bosque. On the banks of the Rio Grande, students split into advisory groups and went on an adventure, led by Mr. Shaw, that spanned thousands of years. They traveled back 10,000 years to the Pleistocene era to see mammoth tracks and stone tools. They viewed the 1,200-year-old footprints of yucca-fiber woven sandals that the ancestral Puebloan people left behind when harvesting corn, beans, and squash. They saw horse footprints that the Spanish settlers left 481 to 200 years ago, and they left their own footprints to mark the Anthropocene period that started 100 years ago. Lastly, considering culture and technology, they pondered what tracks they believe will be made 25 years into the future.

Through the amount of laughter that could be heard on campus, it’s safe to say that our Bobcats had a lot of fun, and we hope that it helped them feel a bit more connected to one another. We look forward to continuing to build community as the school year goes on.