Honors students get funky

LMC’s Honor students and professors gathered around in a circle on College Road as they listened to Honors Director Jennifer Saito give announcements and an inspirational speech before taking off to this year’s Tenth Annual Honors Retreat.

For the past several years, The Honors Club have been going to Camp Tuolumne Trails, but due to the forest fires in Yosemite, the location was changed to Camp Lodestar in the city of Wilseyville.

“This year was dramatic. Almost overnight we had to change location because of the Yosemite fire, but the business and staff were flexible so the retreat wasn’t cancelled,” said Director Jennifer Saito.

There were 30 students and 10 Honors professors that went on the retreat to bond over a weekend of hiking, swimming, and stargazing. This annual event gives new and veteran students the opportunity to create strong bonds with each other and the professors.

Cande Salazar, who is new to the Honors Club this Fall 2013 semester, expressed her feelings about the retreat.  “I loved the experience. It’s the best opportunity to get to know other members of the Honors Club.”

The weekend getaway started on Friday Sept. 6 in Wilseyville with two icebreaker games and then dinner. The first night ended with roasting marshmallows to make s’mores and then stargazing with Professor Scott Cabral. Afterwards, the faculty retired to bed and many students stayed up most of the night to play games or go on a night hike on the many trails.

The next morning, three different workshops took place. In the first workshop, Miguel Mauricio spoke about a summer study abroad experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the following workshop, Professor Danny Ramirez led the students and faculty outside for a mini philosophy lesson. Students and faculty had to make a connection between their hero and themselves. The final workshop was led by Amber Woods and Michael Walker in which they taught students and faculty a dance routine to loosen up the nerves for the later evening’s dance.

After the workshops, the students and faculty went their separate ways. Some students retired to the cabins to sleep or work on homework. Others played games like telephone pictionary. Many went on a short hike to a creek, while others went to the swimming pool.

In the evening, the students and faculty showed off their creativity skills with the annual Bad Poetry Contest, where they were forced to abandon being a perfectionist about grammar and   think outside the box. Before the night ended with a glow-in-the-dark dance, a few students and faculty gave an emotional goodbye speech in honor of Ramirez’s last Honors Retreat.

The retreat concluded with two different hikes on Sunday before going back to the realities of home, school and work.

Andre Thompson, a veteran to the Honors Club, said, “I loved the activities spent with friends and the final hike was so intense.”

The unforgettable experience of the annual Honors Retreat is always difficult for students to go back to reality. Even though the location was changed, there were so many amazing memories shared and left students wishing to go back for another getaway with nature. It is highly encouraged that students should take the opportunity to go on the Honors Retreat when given the chance every Fall semester.