Inspired by Academy’s founder Richard Wendlek, Academy’s retreats began in 1995 and have continued every fall with retreats tailored for the Middle and Upper Division students.
While the retreats are division specific, the goals are the same – to set the school culture as defined in our school’s Core Values: We are a caring and compassionate community composed of many different beliefs and traditions seeking points of unity in common experiences.
During these retreats, students bond and form friendships. New students and faculty learn about Academy’s culture; returning students and faculty are renewed by it.
The original retreats began at Starkey Wilderness Campground in New Port Richey. Currently, 5th and 6th graders participate in a “lock-in” in the gym on the McCormick Campus, while 7th and 8th graders visit Lakewood Retreat in Brooksville. Seniors spend a night at Warren Willis Camp in Fruitland Park, and are then joined for a second night by all Upper Division underclassmen.
One of the most anticipated and exciting traditions during the retreats is the announcement of new student House assignments. Each student’s house assignment remains a secret until the retreat at which time it is revealed, and the student is enthusiastically welcomed into his or her new house.
Want to learn more about Student Retreats? Visit our blog.