Thursday, October 10, 2013

Asian Pacific American Coalition Retreat

Natasha Cheng- Hong Kong

This past weekend I went on the APAC (Asian Pacific American Coalition) retreat for first year Asian Pacific American students. My friends and I had committed to be a part of the sponsor program this year and so far I am loving it so much! I have made some really close friends within the group which I am really grateful for. All the sponsors come from different backgrounds and we all have pretty different personalities but the group chemistry cannot get any better.

We rented out a cabin by Big Bear Lake for the weekend and we planned a bunch of workshops and activities for the first-year students. It was a lot of hard work and yelling but it was totally worth it. Everyone had so much fun and it was a great experience despite the unfortunate luck we had.

On the way up, one of our vans broke down. Meanwhile at the cabin, we did not have enough food for everyone. We divided up the work and we managed to have the situation under control. That night, we did a couple fun ice-breaker games and called it a night. Everyone was stressed and exhausted.

The next morning, we woke up at the crack of dawn and went on a nice nature walk. I got to talk to a lot of sponsees and find out their interests, it was great bonding time. We got back down by 2p.m. and went to hangout by the lake. The scenery was so beautiful there. A couple of the sponsees and I just laid on the grass and talked about life. It was great to relax and not have to think about homework and school for once. I was really present at the moment and I wished I could lay there forever.

We held a couple workshops when we got back from the lake including, the model minority model, four corners and 4 squares. Sharing experiences and challenges that we as Asians or Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders face. We also talked about our values and goals that we have now and in the future. We all brought something that we valued most and shared the story behind it with everyone. That night, we had a barbeque cookout and then we watched the movie White Frog. We got great responses from the movie and everyone were very engaged in the discussion. We also played signals which is the most intense game ever! Everyone got very intense about it. We were yelling and screaming and laughing. It was so much fun. We ended the night huddled by a bonfire and s'mores.

Sunday morning, we packed up early in the morning and headed back to Pitzer. No one wanted to leave, everyone loved being there. I got to know most of the sponsees really well over the weekend and I'm really excited to get to know more of them in the future!

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