The retreat was held at the Black Sea, an hour north of Varna in a natural reservation; it was a great occasion for team-building and getting to know new students and teachers.
At the start of the retreat, students were split into four groups – each had to decide on a 'group name' and group flag, which they carried over the two days. Students participated in various activities to find clues enabling them to eventually decode a message and find their treasure.
Within groups, students participated in several activities each day. On the first day, they hunted for pieces of pottery based on their cardinal direction; they played tug-of-war and learned about Bulgarian history; they abseiled down into a cave located a few meters above the ocean; and they created artwork using sand, shells, and flowers.
On the second day, students rode bikes to a village library where they restored shelves. In addition, they rock-climbed down towards the sea, built a raft using only tires and wooden planks, and finally they zip-lined over the sea. The highlight of the retreat was definitely the zip-lining!
Throughout the retreat, students worked collaboratively in activities such as raft-building and also to find clues to decode their message. While rock-climbing, students had to abseil down with a partner all the while remembering one of the messages written on wooden sticks at the bottom. Then, while being attached to a partner, students had to climb back up, helping each other since the rope attached between them was very short, which meant they couldn't individually climb up all the way.
These activities definitely tested and strengthened students' abilities to work as team!
AAS-Sofia 12th grade student