Students Build Connections at Retreats

Students in 5th and 7th grades enjoyed off-campus retreats in October. Seventh grade students traveled to YMCA Camp MacLean in Burlington, Wisconsin, where they spent two days participating in unique physical challenges, including high- and low-rope course activities, that build trust and bonds amongst the grade level. Fifth grade students, meanwhile, visited the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in nearby Bayside, Wisconsin to bond with one another through a variety of activities, including canoeing and examining reptiles and amphibians. They also went on a nature hike to the beach and participated in a river clean up to kick off their study of fresh water and its importance both locally and beyond.

Retreats are an integral part of USM’s Middle School and Upper School experiences. While the locations and activities vary amongst grade levels, all retreats are designed to build community, foster leadership, and provide safe spaces where students can take risks and push themselves. The other Middle School grades will be taking retreats at different points throughout the school year, and Upper School students had their retreats in September

Many thanks to the Middle School faculty members and administrators who made the retreats possible.

5th grade students receive safety instructions before canoeing
A 5th grade student rides in a canoe
A close-up shot of a woman holding a turtle
Two students ride in a canoe
Students hold up a garbage bag of trash they collected on a river clean up
A sign that reads %22Welcome University School of Milwaukee%22
Students participate in a team-building exercise
Students put on helmets before using the high-ropes course