On Friday the 15th of August, immediately after assembly, several students new to Middle School, peer helpers, counselors Ms Baker and Mr Estin, and some new teachers boarded buses and headed for the annual New Student Getaway: a 2D1N holiday, destination Rose Garden.
First stop was a half-hour tour through the Human Imagery Museum, where everyone got a glimpse of life-like wax figures of famous icons, such as America’s Abraham Lincoln and Thailand’s Royal Highness the Princess Mother.
Then, they got their first glimpse of the hotel they were to spend the night in: Rose Garden Hotel. Situated next to a lake and a Thai ‘village’, amongst gardens overflowing with various fauna and flora, Rose Garden Hotel was an appropriate place for everyone to get to know each other and relax and enjoy the Getaway.
After a lunch of sandwiches in the conference room, the students were split up into their groups and got to explore the Thai ‘village’ and try their hand at some Thai activities, such as Thai martial arts, dance, pottery and even silk-weaving. This village was to become the venue for an elephant show (which everyone also attended) and shopping for most during their free time.
Ice-breaker games in the conference room rounded out the day and everyone was released to go to their rooms. Students were allowed to visit each others’ rooms and at 10.00 (Lights Out) the counselors visited each room to check that each student was going to sleep. (Needless to say, some didn’t.)
The next day dawned with a 6.45 wake-up call, sumptuous breakfast and then a boat ride to the Wat, a temple where everyone got to see the Thai Buddhist customs- first steps into a temple for some. Buses awaited and everyone headed back to ISB.
These two reporters both attended the getaway, and write about their favourite picks of the trip, as well as what others have to say about the trip.
For Grace, her favourite part of the trip was the ice-breaker games at night. She can successfully conclude that she has got to know even more people through the games, and grown closer to her friends who also attended the getaway. Her favourite game was the ‘I have never…’ where students and teachers get in a circle and put their hands on the floor, all ten fingers out. Each person takes their turn to say something they have never done, and if someone else has done it already, he/she (the person who has done it already) will put down a finger. The last person with at least one finger still out, wins. Specific targeting was used, much to the groups’ amusement, such as a Chinese boy saying he had never been to Korea before, causing the Korean students to ‘lose’ a finger. The games were a really good way to warm up and grow close to schoolmates, and if given a choice, Grace would definitely do it again!
For Margaret, her favourite part of the getaway was having free time after having lunch and finding out our hotel rooms. At free time, we couldn’t go to our hotel rooms unless we were sick, but we could stay at the “Thai Village” which had lots of things to do. It had something like making umbrellas, making flowers prettier, paddling, riding elephants, riding bikes, fighting each other with sticks, shopping, making rice ourselves, making patterns with bamboo leaves, and a whole lot of other things. We had about an hour to play at the “Thai Village”, but that wasn’t enough time to do everything. Still, we bet every single person enjoyed the free time. The best thing that Margaret thought was paddling the boat by ourselves, and riding elephants.
New student Sasha thought that the best thing about the Getaway was getting to walk around with his friends, feeling that that was the ‘climax’ of the Getaway (being with his friends). However, he felt that the games were a little boring and if he had to improve the Getaway, he would just do away with the games altogether. (Grace: “Aww.”)
Other new students had their own points of view as well. Maggie said, “I loved this trip and it was good to make friends.” In agreement, Allen said, “I think the best thing was making friends.”
All in all, the new students seem to have enjoyed making friends and being with their friends (newfound or longtime) during the New Student Getaway.