The Incentive Grade 8, 9 and 10 classes recently returned from our annual Fall retreat, held from Wednesday, October 12th to Friday, October 14th at the Easter Seal camp on the shores of the Squamish River in Brackendale, BC. Throughout the three days, our teaching staff and student campers were treated to a mix of glorious sunshine as well as stormy autumn weather!
During camp, the students were put into nine multigrade teams of nine or ten students each, together with a Grade 11 or 12 Incentive student who acted as a team mentor. The teams then went through a series of activities designed to promote team-building and the formation of connections between students in different grades in the Pre-AP/Incentive Program. Aided by the mentors, Palmer Pre-AP/Incentive teachers ran carefully planned activities that centred around this year’s theme of “Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)”. Activities included teacher-led team-building games, a simulation game based on The Hero’s Journey, a critical-thinking treasure hunt, a First Nations drum-making workshop led by Squamish resident Tsawaysia Spukwus, a mentor-led team-building session, a chant-writing and performing session, a creative-thinking Destination Imagination Instant Challenge, and of course the traditional campfire sing-alongs. Some of the activities allowed teams to earn points, which were tallied at the end of the two-and-a-half days to determine the top team at camp. In addition, teams were assigned into three Houses (Cheakamus, Chilcotin and Cowichan), each consisting of three teams, and the House with the highest aggregate team points at the end was awarded the Camp Squamish Grafton Cup as the Top House.
At the end of a close and intense but friendly competition, it was Team 8 (led by Grade 11 mentor Eric Kuo) who won the Top Team medals, while Cowichan (comprised of Teams 7, 8 and 9) won the trophy for Top House.
Kudos and thanks to the following mentors for their excellent work at camp: Joanne Chi, Rachel Ku, Amanda Kuo, Eric Kuo, Ryan Lam, Andrew Lee, Cecilia Lee, Oscar Liu, Vandy Liu, Antonio Pablo, and Joey Wong! Kudos as well to the teachers who were involved in the organization and planning for camp, and who accompanied the Pre-AP/Incentive students for the three days: Mrs. Calaciura, Ms. Epp, Ms. Naidu, Mr. Sidhu and Mr. Wong. Everyone is already eagerly looking forward to next year’s Camp Squamish!