How the first weekend retreat exceeded my expectations

I had high hopes for this retreat, but it was even better than I imagined. Everyone was kind and respectful. I felt included the whole time, like I was part of a group. It was nice to get to know everyone better. My first highlight was the lava river activity because it was entertaining, it felt good to be part of a team. I loved seeing how everyone encouraged and supported each other. My other (and favorite) highlight was in the evening after dinner, when we realized we had almost three hours to do whatever we wanted, in the dark, in a huge field. We played manhunt and flashlight tag, rolled down a hill, and scared each other. One of my friends lost her phone playing flashlight tag, but we were able to find it pretty quickly, although it still gave everyone a scare. My struggle was the sam struggle I always have; sleeping. Once I get to sleep, I struggle to stay asleep, and when I wake up, it takes me a really long time to go back to sleep. My other struggle was managing my free time. I wanted to do everything, and there just wasn’t enough time. I also wanted to hang out with everybody, but I couldn’t spend time with everyone at once, so I had to figure out how I was going to choose my activities.

My topic is Mental Health in LGBTQ+ Teens. We are hoping to see educators and administrators help create a more inclusive and accepting environment, which would improve mental health. I think it’s going really well. We get along well, and It seems like our skills will balance will, which makes us a good team. I really like the topic we chose, because it tyes in all three of my original ideas, and it’s something I’m really passionate about. We have a lot of our research planned out already, and we have good resources. We also have connections to people we can interview. I’m really looking forward to working in this group.

My team will prepare for the next retreat by keeping up with our weekly hangouts and getting more of our research done. I will complete my assignments on time so I don’t hold us up in the hangouts. While we’re apart, I can film some B-roll and do some more research. We can also fine-tune some aspects of our plan, like our overall goal. We can make plans about the style of our film and what we want to show.

I had a really great time this weekend, and I can’t wait to see everyone next time!

Photographer: agilemktg1

Ava Speers
I'm 14 years old, and I love music. Just the basics (;

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