Class of 2027 retreats to El Capitan Canyon


Flavia Zuniga-West '02

Aaryan Medhi Williams ’27 and librarian Jehan Giles play a fun game at the ropes course on retreat at El Capitan Canyon.

More than three-quarters of the Class of 2027 paraded onto school buses at the middle school before setting off to El Capitan Canyon on Monday, Oct. 10. This retreat provided a more “glam” experience in comparison with the Joshua Tree retreat, with students spending the night in cabins, as opposed to tents.

The 170 students in attendance were split into 12 groups of around 14 people, led by a Naturalists at Large leader and a Harvard-Westlake faculty member. These groups were together for the entirety of the trip, building strong bonds and getting to know each other.

Students enjoyed activities such as hiking to a llama farm that allowed them to hold and pet baby goats, sheep and llamas, as well as kayaking and boogie boarding at the beach. Students also got the chance to challenge themselves and reach new heights on a ropes course. Despite the sometimes rainy weather, students still managed to have fun during activities.

“Ocean kayaking was one of my favorite experiences during retreat,” Hanna Shin ’27 said. “At first I was really nervous, but as soon as I was on the water I really enjoyed it.”

During free time, students could be seen playing baseball or soccer on the grass fields as well as relaxing in their cabins. The retreat not only supplied fun outdoor activities, but also free time to relax and socialize with friends.

To finish off the day, students were gathered in an evening program, which often included group games, s’mores making and even a talent show with skits created and performed by students. These programs provided a fun end to the day before retiring to cabins.

“The activities that we did on retreat were both new and fun, and I feel like I grew stronger bonds with my friends and classmates,” Olivia Reed ’27 said. “Overall, retreat was a really great experience.”