The 2016 edition of the SDHS Cross Country team made their annual trip to Whitewater Memorial State Park in Liberty, IN, for some intense training and team bonding. It was the 20th version of the trip (affectionately known as “The Retreat”), and the memories keep getting better.
The team starts each morning with an extended workout, a wonderful breakfast, and team bonding games. They continue with the games throughout the day, including cross country croquet, scavenger hunts, Let’s Make a Solemate Deal, team jeopardy, and a very serious badminton tournament.
A good team never neglects tradition. They have the Senior Slate, which all seniors since 2004 have signed and is proudly displayed at the team camp; playing Beach All-Ball; Coaches’ Corner, when each athlete get a chance to meet with the coaching staff; fireside chats; Paper-Rock-Scissors See Who Gets to Eat First Competition (PRSSWGTEFC); and chocolate muffins. The team even has a master chef attend the retreat to make sure they get the best food possible.
The team used to rough it—tents, cooking on grills, gym-type bathrooms, and lots of bugs. Now, however, the team rents large family cabins with beds and ice-cold air conditioning.
“The importance of The Retreat to our team cannot be understated. The kids look forward to this each year for good reason. It’s just not going camping, it’s an experience of a lifetime. Some kids have said this is the most fun they have had in high school,” says 6th-year Coach Jeremy Baney.
Senior Shelby Beil says, “It is something that I have looked forward to going to each season and will miss going back. It is the best experience, and it gives you another family and is the most fun I’ve ever had.”