Classes Reunite at Fall Retreats

Fall 2022—“These retreats build class unity and help students understand themselves as a class,” remarked Head of Lower School Sharon Jones Phinney. At the beginning of the school year, Class I–Class VI went on a variety of retreats to help bond and build community as students eased into the academic year. 

Both Class I and Class IV students spent a day at Hale Reservation in Westwood, MA. Class I students took risks on the rope course and “everyone had a ton of fun!” reflected Class I Coordinator Ms. Qiu. “Students and adults alike enjoyed this bonding experience and got to learn more about each other's personalities and abilities.” Class IV students honed their leadership skills to prepare for their year as the leaders of the Lower School. They collaborated in small games and tackled ropes course elements. “In working together, cheering for one another, and facing challenges, they united as a group and gained confidence in their own abilities,” said Class IV Coordinator Ms. Parsley. Although most of the day was spent connecting with their classmates, Class I and IV students also had time to get to know their buddy in the other grade.

Class II had the opportunity to bond over a fall favorite—apple picking. Their day began by heading to Carlson Orchards where they picked apples, toured the farm, and ate a fresh outdoor picnic lunch. The retreat was the perfect way to both reunite with old friends and forge friendships with new classmates. 

“Beginning the school year with an intentional program supports student wellness as they begin the school year together,” reflected Class III Coordinator Ms. Moran. Class III spent the day at Be Well Be Here in Concord, MA. At Be Well Here students learned several techniques to help them cope with stress and anxiety all while bonding as a class and having fun. The retreat was a fantastic opportunity for self-reflection, learning, and connecting. 

After a day full of adrenaline-pumping activities, community building, and leadership training at Boundless Adventures in Berlin, MA, Class V students returned to Winsor where they enjoyed more class bonding and a pizza party. The ropes courses at Boundless Adventures offer “different challenge levels to meet every kid's level of excitement for adrenaline,” noted Class V Dean Ms. Lieberman, “many of the chaperones zipped through the treelines as well.”

Class VI took a trip to the New England Aquarium where they began the day with a hands-on scavenger hunt that took them through all of the aquarium exhibits in their advisory groups. Students then enjoyed a picnic lunch along the waterfront and an IMAX movie. Before they returned to Winsor, they had an hour to explore nearby areas of Boston with their advisory groups. After returning to Winsor, Class VI played games in the courtyard, completed more  bonding activities, practiced their cheer for the pep rally on Red Day, and concluded the day with a pizza party. Their retreat was the perfect opportunity to not only bond with the class as a whole, but also to bond with their new advisory groups, which will be their advisories for the rest of their time at Winsor. 

Later this year, typically in the spring, Class VII and Class VIII will have different forms of retreats. Class VII usually takes an overnight trip to Cape Cod before embarking on their senior year. Class VIII has days off for college visits and also Senior Circles, which are workshops held in May ahead of graduation.