Students Fly Through Eighth-Grade Retreat

The eighth-grade class geared up for a quick bus ride to Chesapeake where they spent the day at Triple R Ranch, the perfect place for a group of middle-school students to get to know each other and challenge each other.

The grade was separated into rotation groups before setting out onto only a handful of the camp’s 385 acres. Human foosball was a popular stop where students acted as the foosball players holding onto sliding ropes that only let them move side to side. The foosball court wasn’t far from a large animal pen that held goats, pigs and turkeys that were delighted (except for the turkeys) to be pet.

The low ropes course was another popular bonding exercise in which students had to navigate mazes of chord and walk tiny tightropes with only an overhead wire to grab. One at a time, students made it across the progressively-more-difficult rope structures until they had to work as a team to balance on a large, wooden platform. With roughly 15 students in each group, it wasn’t easy to set the scales just right, but each group managed it.

Students enjoyed scaling the 40-foot climbing tower and many made it all 40 feet up to ring the bell at the top of the tower.

“I loved climbing the rock wall,” said Colin Patterson ’23. “I didn’t get to the top, but that was on purpose. I have a big fear of heights. I really wanted to do it so I didn’t miss out on anything. It ended up being pretty fun.”

Immediately next to the climbing tower was the highly-anticipated Flying Squirrel, a relatively simple contraption that allowed one students at a time to fly through the air with the help of his or her teammates. Under camp-faculty supervision, one student at a time buckled into a harness attached to a rope. The rope was attached to a pulley system that allowed half a dozen students to clip into. After a “three, two, one” countdown, the six students would run forward, and the student in the harness flew into the air (safely)! It was a class favorite—students continue to talk about it on campus.


“My favorite part was the Flying Squirrel,” said Ahmon Reddix ’23. “It was something I hadn’t seen before. It felt like your life depended on your classmates, which was scary, but it was a cool feeling. It was really fun.”

Students also had the chance to play soccer, two-hand-touch football and a game that resembled foursquare but overhead and through PVC pipes called ninesquare.