Off-campus Retreats Build Community

Upper School students at University School of Milwaukee enjoyed several days off campus for the annual grade-level retreats, which are integral to building community and fostering connections within the Upper School. School faculty and administrators worked hard to ensure that all students participated in meaningful and impactful activities in a safe setting.

Participants enjoyed a wide variety of experiences throughout Wisconsin, including team-building events, survival training activities, service activities, and more.

The themes for the retreats varied amongst the grade levels, but all were designed to help students build a sense of community amongst their classmates, foster leadership, step out of their comfort zones, and engage in self-reflection. Seniors participated in an overnight, two-day experience at Camp Manito-wish YMCA in northern Wisconsin.

“At USM, we actively work to build a community where people care for each other, help each other, and commit to a life of inquiry, service, and learning,” said Upper School Dean of Students Charlie Housiaux ’02. “One of the first steps towards accomplishing this goal is for students to share common experiences, which is a key component of the retreats. Each grade level will build upon those shared experiences throughout the whole school year.” 

Many thanks to the tireless efforts of the Upper School class deans: Jean Plum (9th grade), Sue Baker (10th grade), Jenny Mielke (11th grade), and Sarah Titus ’00 (12th grade). They, along with support from advisors, created and managed these experiences with vision and hard work.

  • JEDI
Students build a fort in the woods as a team
Students take a group photo after winning at an escape room
Students take a group photo after a service project
Student take a group photo near a lake
Students take a group photo after winning at an escape room
Students hike in the woods
An advising group poses for a photo outside
Sophomores pose for a photo after a service project
The 9th grade class poses for a photo
Students sit in a circle participating in a team-building activity
Students participate in a group activity
Students participate in a high-ropes course