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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Wells

Junior Retreat–The Next Wave of Senior Leadership (Lucy Guilbert-Neal)




After a hectic first week back from spring break, the Juniors hit the ground running by heading to Camp Whittier for a weekend “retreat.” This two-day adventure offered a transformative experience aimed at nurturing the junior class’ potential as the future leaders of Cate. As the first step into the mindset of an upcoming senior leader, the juniors worked closely with faculty members to sharpen their skills and fine-tune what the class of 2025 hopes to bring to the community as the next senior class. 


With seniority, comes the opportunity to lead by example and set the stage for future leadership. For most Cate students, transitioning into senior leadership positions marks a pivotal moment in their Cate experience, met with newfound responsibilities and balance. As the class of 2025 steps into these roles, they are tasked with not only navigating their own academic and personal ambitions but also fostering a sense of community in all aspects of Cate. 


The first step in this transition is Junior Retreat. Through a variety of team-building activities, reflective exercises, and bonding through shared meals, the junior class was empowered to harness their potential. As a class, they were challenged to explore their strengths, weaknesses, values, and leadership styles. Facilitated group discussions encouraged the students to envision their role in shaping the community and offering a welcoming and supporting environment for the next class of incoming freshmen and the school as a whole. The vulnerable and safe nature of the small groups gave students the ability to resonate and learn about their classmates before embarking on their last year at Cate together. The junior class has worked to cultivate skills in communication, organization, and empathy throughout the last three years in not only their seminar classes but also outside of the classroom in different areas of the community, whether that be their respective dorms, a variety of clubs, leadership positions, and more. Kern Ducote, one of the Class of 2025 advisors, stated, “It’s always a curious thing when you have a team building exercise with a group this large. There are corners which individuals can escape to, the opportunity to disengage. I was so impressed with how well the class was able to engage with one another and the activities. While we will certainly miss the current class of seniors, I'm happy to say that I think the school is in good hands.” 


One of the many activities the juniors participated in was the class mosaic. Each student was given a tile to paint as part of a bigger canvas. When all were put together, the unique pieces joined to create a beautiful mosaic that can now be seen in the Booth dining hall. Not only did this activity leave the class with a physical memento of junior retreat, but through conversation and even a breakout of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way,” the class left the junior retreat feeling excited and ready to take on senior year!  


Yangchen Sherpa, a member of the class of 2025, expressed, “I think we have the potential to be a great senior class, and the junior retreat really helped us solidify a clear vision of the leaders we want to be and what we want to bring to the Cate community.” With leadership decisions out for the 2024-2025 school year, the next wave of senior leadership has been decided, and the community is excited to see the Class of 2025 step up!



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