How Bishopians found themselves running from the weather.


Sydney Chan

As the juniors took the bus ride back to San Diego, the plumes of smoke from the wildfire approached closer than before.

Retreats have been anything but normal this year. From a tropical storm to a wildfire, upper school retreats became a game of cat and mouse with the weather. Luckily, everyone escaped safely with the help of weather forecasts. 

Like any other year, the freshman went to Pali Mountain. When they arrived in the evening, the students were able to take night hikes around the mountain. The next day, they could climb the ropes courses and ride the ziplines. It was two days of cycling through different team bonding activities. However, when the last day rolled around, everyone it was time to pack up and prepare for their last activity before they left the camp. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Kay crashed the party. The ninth graders had to leave the camp earlier than planned, leaving no time for any more fun games. “Archery was one of the activities I was most looking forward to, so I was pretty sad when it got canceled,” Celeste Oder (‘26) said after reminiscing over the retreats. 

Similar to the freshman, the sophomores traditionally go to the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, and play games like charades and volleyball on campus. Sophomore Nirvana Shiwmangal said, “We played tug-a-rope and dodgeball, but my favorite activities during retreats this year were Pictionary and Taboo.” Luckily, the tenth graders were able to get a full day of fun on campus. But when it was time to head to Mission Bay, Tropical Storm Kay, once again, swept by and washed all the plans down the drain. At this point, the rain had claimed two different retreats, but the juniors got a little bit of a different treatment from the temperamental weather. 

Heading to Idyllwild, the Juniors already noticed something was amiss. Renee Wang (‘24) said, “ We saw the smoke clouds as we were driving up.” As it turns out, a wildfire was very close to the camp. But that didn’t stop the eleventh grade from having fun.  The two days at Idyllwild were spent with the poor air quality before being notified that the fire was only a few miles away. If they didn’t leave immediately, they would likely be stuck for the next few days. Hearing this news Renee said, “ It was kinda scary at the moment, but we knew it wasn’t any legitimate danger.”

Sharing a very different experience, the seniors went to Whispering Winds, Julian. “ Since we didn’t have a very strict schedule, my friends and I went stargazing together at night,” said Grace Sun (‘23). During these few days she made the most of it, laughing, having fun, and playing the classic bonding activities like senior confession. Once again, Tropical Storm Kay swooped in to cut the retreat short. If the seniors didn’t leave at the right time, they would have been trapped until the weekend. Luckily, the staff at both the camps and school safely maneuvered everyone around Mother Nature’s lovely gifts.