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Ambassadors Retreat 2019
Written by Rachel Lee | Published. 2019.10.09 16:32 | Count : 332

As the beginning of the school year approached this summer, I wasn’t only looking forward to going back to classes and seeing friends. The annual Ambassadors (the audition choir at Seoul International School) choir retreat marks the beginning of a year for us singers, and I was looking forward to the trip all summer. While our retreat had taken us to Jeollanam-do down south last year, it took us east this year to Gangwon-do, a beautiful mountainous region making completely different memories and experiences for us.

[Photo of the author posing at the lamb farm
(Photo Courtesy of Rachel Lee)]

Especially considering how 16 out of 24 members in the choir are seniors, the trip had a much more sentimental element to it. In fact, many senior choir members could not come with us, as they were busy with writing their college applications or preparing for the SAT. It made spending time togetheramong those who could so much more poignant. Some of the senior choir members recorded videos and made “vlogs” about this trip to preserve and cherish our memories together. You see, all the choir members are intimate friends, and we all felt a little sad that this was the last overnight trip we would take together before the seniors went off to college. Watching the vlogs after I got home, I realized that I would be able to reminisce about the glorious times ofmy high school years, many years from now.

[Photo of the choir in front of a beach in Donghae (Photo Courtesy of Whitney Meininger)]

Another thing that differed from last year’s trip was what time was spent doing; last year, the focus of the trip was working through songs before the official start to classes. Ambassadors learns and performs thirty to forty songs per year, and our choir director loves taking advantage of the 48 hours we get together on these trips to run through major concert and competition pieces. However, possibly because it was so many seniors’ last Ambassadors retreat this year, our director gave us lots of free time and held bonding activities instead. Much of the trip was spent going sightseeing around various Gangwondo tourist hotspots. For example, we visited beaches in Donghae, a lamb petting farm, and Seoraksan.

[Photo taken at Seoraksan during the trip (Photo Courtesy of Rachel Lee)]

However, the actual reason more time was spent sightseeing and hanging out instead of rehearsing may have been due to the weather. The trip had been scheduled months in advance, so we were unaware that a typhoon was projected to hit Gangwon-do during our trip. Although our director was adamant that we rehearse on the beach, the dangerous waves and heavy rainfall made it impossible to continue. Although the weather was really inconvenient for our rehearsal plans, I was actually a bit relieved that it rained so much during our trip. I just wanted to spend as much time as possible with my closest friends, just being together and maybe chatting late into the night. All in all, this retreat will definitely be one that I’ll remember even after years have passed. My high school years will be over before I know it, and I need to cherish the time I have left with the amazing people I’ve bonded with at SIS. I’m thankful for the videos the seniors made of this trip. I’ve already watched them a dozen times after coming back home.





Rachel Lee
Grade 11
Seoul International School

Rachel Lee  student_reporter@dherald.com

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