On May 13, excited Venice High students took off for the Oakgrove retreat they’ve been waiting for all semester and the trip was, yet again, a great success.
About 70 students attended the weekend retreat at Los Angeles Crest Camp and they had a great experience. Repeat participants said that this camp site was the best one they’ve been to.
“I love Oakgrove because there is noting like it out there,” said senior and council member Gabe Paxton. “It really opens up your eyes and lets you reevaluate what’s going on in your life.
The Oakgrove trip has been taking place for many years here at Venice and has had many positive effects on students’ lives.
“The purpose of Oakgrove is to increase awareness of personal and interpersonal experiences,” said council member Andrea Hernandez.
Hernandez is a senior and has only been to Oakgrove twice, but she loves it just as most people do. She loved every minute of it, especially because she was on council.
When asked what her favorite part about Oakgrove is, Hernandez said, “Absolutely everything about Oakgrove was a favorite. It’s so hard to choose, but it would have to be my awesome council.”
On Saturday and Sunday, campers, council members and alumni get together to go to different discussion groups called panels, where participants talk about and share past experiences. Some panels are on anger and aggression, family, addiction, love and relationships, sex, and more. Not only do they go to panels, but there are also different activities throughout the day. People can hang out with friends outside, relax in their cabin, or even go on hikes. There is also an All Night Room, with games where participants can stay up all night!
Many students who have been to Oakgrove try to go every semester. Senior Sara Babakhyi has been to Oakgrove three times and absolutely loves it.
“I love Oakgrove because there’s a sense of peacefulness there that I can’t find anywhere else,” said Babakhyi. “It’s such an amazing experience to go into the mountains with people from school to see the vibe change completely as people are more social and really want to make new friends and bond over experiences.”
Students say Oakgrove is great because it brings people together and is an experience that everyone should have.