Orientations at both campuses, 6th Graders now at the Hickory Campus, rotations through classes, House activities, the Kindergarten gingerbread tale and hunt, and the annual Rockbridge retreat for Middle and Upper School students packed the weeks with excitement, preparation, and friendship-building for the year. "The surge of energy and enthusiasm that enters our campus each orientation day is such a blessing, especially after a few weeks of in-service that are full of anticipation for our students' arrival,” said Spencer Burton, Head of Middle School. “It was especially wonderful to welcome the Class of 2026 and their parents as the first 6th-grade class to enter the Hickory Campus as part of our Middle School,” he added.
After Orientation at the Hickory Campus, all students in Grades 6-12 embark on a two-day retreat at Rockbridge Young Life Camp in Lexington, Va. "Covenant is such a special community and we are so grateful to the Lord and to Young Life that we have the opportunity every year to kick off the year with this overnight retreat,” said Burton. At Rockbridge, students can swim in the pool or the lake, play sports, play pool, fly down the zip line, participate in House games, and spend time with friends doing a host of other activities. Students also eat meals together and worship together at Chapel. “Our speaker this year, Mr. Lewis Lovett, did a wonderful job in our large group gatherings of setting up this year's chapel theme of "Story", said Burton. “Our House Leadership Team led us through some spirited competitions; a tip of the hat to Iustitia for seizing the lead in House points! And, of course, our team of nearly sixty parent volunteers made sure we were well fed.” Despite a torrential downpour and thunderstorm disrupting the end of the “Annual Rubber Chicken Gump Race”, students also powered through 3 laps of the annual race that spans the entire camp and ends with a zipline to the finish on the second day of the retreat.
Burton remarked after the retreat, “I had the pleasure of taking it all in, seeing new friendships form and existing friendships deepen around campfire discussions, during chicken fights in the pool, during rousing games of gaga ball, over breakfast burritos in the dining hall, and in quieter moments walking or lounging on the beautiful grounds of Rockbridge. I received an email from a parent of a new 7th grader the morning after our return, sharing that his son came back feeling very much like a part of the community. Exactly!"
This 35th school year is shaping up to be one of the best ever. Check out this video
about Rockbridge, created by Junior, Lily Caldejon.