The annual two-day 9th grade retreat at Camp Pecometh welcomed 45 students to the Class of 2026, where they spent the day and evening getting to know each other through various outdoor challenges and team building activities, completing a Challenge Course Program. After some time cooling off in the pool, day one culminated in a picnic dinner with fall athletics coaches, along with activities and discussions led by fellow upperclass students. After spending the night at camp, 9th graders continued the retreat program back on Gunston’s campus, where they were joined by 14 incoming upperclass students from the U.S. and abroad, as well as returning Gunston student leaders.
Various information sessions on central school values were led by upperclass student leaders as part of Gunston’s Annual Leadership Institute.
Sessions on Technology were led by senior Catherine Hansen, juniors Annabelle Sinatra and Turner Day, and sophomore Logan Kille.
“Important Things You Need To Know” was led by seniors Julia Buchanan, Nick Abell and Maddie Algier, juniors Kate Porter and Maren Kneeland, and sophomores Benta Owino and Ezra Lillie.
A session on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was led by seniors MacKenzie Smith and Olivia Amygdalos, juniors Alice Crouch, Amber Tormey, Ellie Hodge and Josie Merton, and sophomore
The session on environmental sustainability was led by seniors Zach Mozher, Isabelle Wagner, Autumn Watson, Lane Parkhurst, Brielle Tyler, and Zach Adams, and sophomore Louise Mullock.
“Our orientation and leadership programs with their peer-to-peer learning and mentorship model are extremely important in creating bonds between students, a strong class spirit, and setting up a strong school year,” explains Head of School John Lewis.
Gunston’s formal orientation is just one of many initiatives that reinforce psychological “protective factors” which include “a safe and supportive peer culture and strong relational attachments to teachers and healthy adult mentors,” among others, with the goal of integrating academic, athletic, artistic, and social experiences in a beautiful natural location that promotes adolescent mental wellness and resilience.
- 9th grade orientation
- Camp Pecometh
- Class of 2026
- Student Leadership Institute