Saturday morning our juniors were served breakfast by the seniors, which the juniors absolutely loved! After breakfast, we packed up and headed out to Park Springs Camp in Providence, North Carolina.
Once settled in at the camp, we had five team building challenges that ended with a canoe race. With the challenges complete, we gathered together and each group discussed the lessons learned from each challenge and from each other.
After lunch Colonel Brown held a town hall meeting. The juniors had the opportunity to express their concerns and opinions about Hargrave to the President. This is always a good time for us to be able to listen to these young men and take their concerns into consideration when tackling the new school year.
The juniors had the rest of the afternoon to play frisbee, basketball, corn hole, go fishing, canoeing and ride trikes on the lake. Major Roach and his wife, Debra grilled delicious steaks for dinner for all the juniors to enjoy while watching the UVA/Auburn game.
Evening activities began with a tiki torch-lit path to a bonfire for "senior witness", a time when the seniors talk to the juniors about their journey to Hargrave and how Hargrave has impacted their lives. The juniors did not make a peep as they intently listened to the stories of overcoming adversities and how much Hargrave helped the seniors do that.
The juniors had a moment of reflection around the fire which set the tone for the next activity. They quietly traveled to a candle-lit gym, sat down in their groups and wrote something positive about each Cadet in the group. They had to tell each person at least one positive attribute they learned about them and they also wrote it on a piece of paper for that person to keep. This was so rewarding to watch and man, did I see a lot of smiles!!
Each Cadet was given a candle and their letters from family, faculty and staff to read by candlelight in peace. The juniors all took their time and read each letter carefully. This was by far one of the most rewarding moments of the weekend. There were a lot of tears shed while reading these letters, which is when we saw hearts open up. They hugged each other and comforted those who were crying or feeling emotional. It was a beautiful thing to witness and helped create lifelong bonds.
This activity ended the night which was followed by ice-cream sandwiches with cookies made by Colonel Brown and his family.