Pardes Middle Schoolers Learn the True Value of Community and Team Building
August 20-23, 2018 – By every measure, Pardes’ inaugural Middle School retreat to California’s Camp Shalom was a huge success. The objective was to build community and foster teamwork. Students engaged in group challenges that required them to communicate, collaborate and build trust. They also worked on personal challenges, learning to conquer fears and reach beyond comfort zones. In the end, they learned that to succeed as a group they must take personal responsibility for contributing to the whole.
Every activity was designed with purpose, whether it was rock climbing or zip lining, working in the Biblical Garden, turning lemons into lemonade on the bike blender, or discussing Jewish values.
In just a few days time, the entire Middle School forged closer bonds, seizing opportunities to relate on so many levels. As one teacher noted, it was truly amazing to experience how maturely these youngster interacted not just with each other, but with the adults as well.
The takeaway? Students learned how Jewish values can influence a sense of strong community – and how a community.of engaged, supportive classmates working as a team with a common purpose can set the stage for excellence in school and in life.
“I could think of no better way for students to begin the school year,” said Head of School, Peter Gordon. “Having the opportunity to build on their community, sense of purpose, collective problem solving and risk taking in an environment where they can be together and bond, speaks to the seriousness and commitment our students and families are willing to engage in.”