Volume 31



Joshua Tree trip hangs in the balance

Eighth graders enjoy the 2022 trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

Update:  The federal government averted a shutdown so the Joshua Tree retreat will continue as planned.


The eighth-grade trip to Joshua Tree is in jeopardy. If the federal government shuts down this weekend, all national parks will close. Eighth graders originally planning to attend the retreat to Joshua Tree National Park will have the option of joining the alternate eighth-grade Catalina Island retreat.

Head of Middle School Jon Wimbish said any adjustments to the current retreat plans would be communicated to students on Monday morning if the government shuts down.

“If the government stays open, the trip will carry on like normal and nothing will change,” Wimbish said. “If the government shuts down, then the students will get information immediately on Monday morning: ‘Guess what? You’re going to Catalina so get your snorkel!”

The Joshua Tree retreat was canceled because of a government shutdown in 2018. All eighth graders went to Catalina Island instead.

Wimbish said the Catalina Island trip was able to accommodate extra students in 2018 and can do the same this year.

“We got through [that situation] as we do any challenge on retreat,” Wimbish said. “When students shift from Joshua Tree to Catalina, we have to maximize all the housing options…We have to use tents and other accommodations. We have to ask faculty to bunk together in ways that we hadn’t before. Naturalists at Large does an amazing job at making accommodations. We have plenty of food for everyone, plenty of water.”

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Tali Gurule
Tali Gurule, Editor
Tali Gurule ’27 is an editor and reporter on the Spectrum. Gurule is passionate about news reporting. “I love uncovering compelling stories and sharing them with the Harvard-Westlake community,” Gurule said. Gurule also co-writes Wolverweek, a weekly column about life at the Middle School. Gurule enjoys many leadership positions at Harvard-Westlake. In addition to being editor of the Spectrum, she is co-chair of the student ambassador program and a leader of LAHSO and JCAAC.
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