Oakgrove Retreat is Approaching

Elisa Martinez, Features Reporter

Club Oakgrove organizes a retreat at a campsite every semester for everyone and anyone to attend. This semester, Oakgrove will be held on Nov. 16-18.

Every semester, anyone that has attended Oakgrove at least once has the opportunity to try out to be on the council team. From the council members, there are two people selected to be co-chairs, which are the leaders of the council team. They are in charge of leading, organizing and training the council for the weekend of Oakgrove. This semester, Axel Hernandez and Ulises Peralta are co-chairs. This is both their first time being co-chairs. Hernandez has been to Oakgrove three times, once as a camper and twice as a council member. Peralta has been to Oakgrove twice, once as a camper and once as a council member.

“The purpose of Oakgrove is to help you connect with others and provide a safe place where you’re free to talk about experiences you might not be comfortable to talk about otherwise,” said Hernandez. “It gives you a sense of freedom to express yourself and make meaningful connections with fellow campers. It’s also a place where you can search for self improvement and get a chance to learn from others.”

“I like that it is a place where you can meet different people of different backgrounds, connect and understand one another,” said Peralta.

Besides eating snacks all day long, at Oakgrove, everyone is placed into a group with people they don’t know and that group becomes their family for the weekend. This allows people to build new friendships and grow close to one another. There are different panels that anyone can go to talk about different topics, ranging from childhood and dreams to abuse and addiction. Everyone is given equal respect and listened to.

“Many teenagers, especially during high school feel like they do not matter and that what they have to say is meaningless, but at Oakgrove everyone’s feelings and thoughts are valid,” said Guadalupe Antonio.  Just like the phrase “Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” Oakgrove has their saying of “Whatever is said at Oakgrove stays at Oakgrove” and “Whatever happens at Oakgrove stays at Oakgrove.”

“This is our number one rule,” says Guadalupe Antonio, also known as Guap.

Antonio is a council member this semester. She has been to Oakgrove twice, both times as a camper. She is super excited for this semester’s Oakgrove because it is her first time being a council member. She was once a newbie to Oakgrove just like many.

“So before going, I was excited because I’ve been wanting to go since my freshman year when my friends first introduced me to it, “ said Antonio. “I was scared because I didn’t know what to expect but once I got on the bus I immediately felt good because everyone was super friendly and just wanted to include everyone. Now I still feel the same way but even better because I try to talk to as many people as I can and really live up to the hype.”

Many who have gone to Oakgrove have created new friendships and even strengthened friendships they had prior to Oakgrove.

“I would 1000000% recommend everyone and anyone to attend Oakgrove at least once because trust me if you do it your last semester of high school you will regret it. It really is amazing,” said Antonio.

The price for Oakgrove is $200 every semester. There is opportunities for scholarships, but not everyone is granted one so keep that in mind. Do not let that discourage you from going! Keep your eye out for those Oakgrove packets as they will be handed out very soon! Maybe as soon as October!