Those Stargazing Sophomores

Hikoi Winter Retreat 2005


As I’ve mentioned before on previous posts, my grade at church was pretty split.  The girls kept to themselves, as did the guys (not that us guys made it easy for the girls to talk to us).  On top of that, we were all pretty clique-y.

For whatever reason, it usually takes one retreat or Summer camp to spur some change.

Maybe it was because we were sophomores and all this was still new to us.  But we made the most of it by forcing ourselves to eat together and interact during free time.  It was all pretty cool, but the big turning point came on the second night.  The edge group leaders (when the concept still existed) gathered and decided to do a grade bonding activity.  Thanks to all the poetry I was learning I was a budding romantic, which lead me to have the clever idea to go stargazing.  I was surprised that it was considered a good idea.

So the lot of us (counselors included) went out in the chilly evening to a dark spot under the stars.  As we looked up into the night sky, the floor was open for anyone to speak.  Without much hesitation, there were a couple girls that had plenty of harsh things to say about the guys.  Before their tirades got too far, the counselors shut them down.  After they were done, we had a chance to have real talk.  That is, we agreed to be more intentional with others in our grade.  The theme for the year was “No Borders” after all.  We looked to break down cliques and talk to those that were more or less outcasted.

As we came back from Camp Sky Meadows, I thought that retreat was so cool, I needed to remind myself everyday of those events.  So, I folded an origami star everyday, numbered it, and placed it in this jar:


This would also serve as a reminder for me to read my Bible.  Sure, our fire for interaction would die down within a few months, but this was a huge step in our development as a grade.  This stargazing moment would become iconic for the remainder of the Hikoi year.

It’s funny, in recent years, I’ve confronted some of the girls regarding their animosity towards the guys and they 100% deny it.  Then again, not everyone has a memory as good as mine.  I mean, it’s cool, there’s no bad blood or anything like that; I just wanted to know how annoying we were.


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