Junior class enjoys bonding day at HFEC


Olivia Buckel

On April 1, the junior classes of Villa Maria Academy and Cathedral Prep had a retreat/“bonding day” at the Hagerty Family Event Center. The goal of this event was to start bringing the two classes together and allow the students to get to know each other before the students at Villa attend Cathedral Prep next school year.

Overall, the day was highly successful in bringing the two classes together and allowing the students to have some fun. The smiles on all the students’ faces were proof of that.

The day began with a video about the true meaning of happiness. It asked students to think about what they seek in life, and what truly matters in the long run. It set the focus for the rest of the day on valuing being in the present moment and talking to those around you.

The day then transitioned into the religious retreat portion of the day with adoration, penance, and Mass. Students had the opportunity to pray in silence, participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, and receive the sacrament of the Eucharist before the second portion of the day even began. This was a time of peace and calm before the actual activities began.

After a quick lunch of cheese pizza, the “bonding” portion of the day started. This was when students had the opportunity to sign up for events for the annual celebration of Sports Day taking place in May of this year. Sports Day is combined this year between Cathedral Prep and Villa for the first time in years, and the students were very excited to sign up for both the coed and single-sex events. Students were running all over the track, trying to find the best events to sign up for.

After Sports Day sign-ups, students broke off into groups and began a competition. There were eight different groups of students and four different events that each group took part in. These events included an egg race, free throws, a hula hoop relay, and building a tower out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles. Each group faced off against the other, and whichever group won the most challenges won the entire competition.

This segment of the day was Villa junior Mally Mourton’s favorite part of the day. She especially liked the egg race portion.

“My favorite activity from bonding day was the egg relay,” Mally said. “I was in the violet group and we were racing the blue group first. Each team had to spread out across the walkway and the first two people in line had to put a hard boiled egg on a spoon and weave through their teammates without dropping the egg. They had to do so until they got to the end of the line where one of the teachers was standing and gave them permission to go back to the starting point and hand the egg off to the next person. It was my favorite event because the whole time everyone was cheering their classmates on and all you could hear was laughter and cheers.”

Cathedral Prep junior Nathan Bruce agrees with Mally. He really enjoyed the activities that the students could participate in, and he really liked the camaraderie that he felt with his classmates.

“My favorite activity from bonding day was the ‘Highest Noodle Tower’ activity,” Nathan said. “I thought it demonstrated the cooperative ability that Prep and Villa students both have. It was a great activity for us to talk with each other and strategize. It made me even more excited for the campus to be coed next year.”

Just like Mally and Nathan said, the activities and bonding day as a whole was a huge hit, and the students feel much more comfortable with the merging of the two schools taking place during the 2022-2023 academic year.