Fall Retreats

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We’re looking forward to fall retreats!

These outdoor learning experiences help establish a positive social dynamic within the class and are an important opportunity at the beginning of the school year for 6th – 9th grade students to meet new friends and become acquainted with their classmates. Students learn valuable lessons about themselves, others, and the natural world–kicking off the school year with a special bonding experience, the memories from which last forever. All trips are led by naturalist/outdoor adventure leaders and Kirby faculty.

This year we’ve planned the following:

6th grade students will venture to the salty air of Montana de Oro State Park near Morro Bay. We will depart on Wednesday morning, August 16th and return Friday afternoon, August 18th. The trip will be led by experienced instructors from Boojum outdoor adventures, a leader in outdoor education for over 40 years. Students will begin their journey with kayaking to view marine wildlife in the gorgeous estuary, while the following days will be filled with tide pooling, hiking, and team building activities. The specific focus for the 6th grade will be developing skills to make healthy new friendships. Here’s the 6th grade packing list.

7th graders will travel to the high Sierras to spend time in the stunning alpine environment. Their specific focus is on maintaining friendships and incorporating new friends into social circles. Our trip will be facilitated by Gateway Mountain Center, an organization specializing in cooperative place-based learning for middle and high school students, based at the historic Clair Tappaan Lodge next to the gorgeous Donner Lake. We depart on Wednesday morning, August 16th, and return Friday late afternoon, August 18th. Trip leaders will guide students in rock climbing, hiking, and reflection, while allowing plenty of fun time to swim in the lake and hang out together. Here’s the 7th grade packing list.

8th graders will spend three nights at Kidder Creek adventure camp near Mt. Shasta. We will depart school on a bus Wednesday morning, August 16th, and return Saturday afternoon, August 19th. This retreat is led by Mt. Hermon adventures who operates Kidder Creek camp. The specific focus for the 8th grade class is developing and maintaining healthy friendships through empathy and compassion. Some of the activities students will participate in to help foster the development of these skills is whitewater rafting and ropes courses. Here’s the 8th grade packing list.

9th graders will spend three nights camping in Big Basin Sequoia group camp. We will depart after school on Tuesday August 15th and return at around 4 pm on Friday August 18th. The specific focus for the 9th grade is the development of new and lasting friendships. We will do lots of team building games and challenges, explore unique environments, cook food, do silly skits, have some solo reflection time, and enlightening camp fire discussions. Our final day will conclude with the epic Skyline-to-the-Sea trail hike down to Waddell beach. Here’s the 9th grade packing list.

Packing lists, permission forms, and itineraries are available in the online registration process. There will be optional class retreat informational meetings on Sunday, August 13th, at Kirby School, at 11:30 a.m. should questions arise about retreats after you register.

(Correction: 7th graders leave Wednesday morning, August 16th. The back-to-school packets incorrectly stated students would leave Tuesday morning, August 16th. The 16th is a Wednesday.)