All School Retreat and Freshmen Lock-In

Abby Fritz, Greta Schrag, Sarena Gerber

Last Friday evening our student social organization, Y-Co, once again planned a night of fun activities for our students to welcome new students and enjoy getting to know each other. Y-Co divides students into small groups called Sibling Families. This “family” consists of 12th-grade “parents”, 9th-grade and other new students as their “children” and other grades of students as the “siblings”. It has been a tradition used for many years at IMS. Y-Co faculty advisor, Lynn Yoder, says that they have been in place at least since 1982.

Sibling Families have experienced some changes over the last several years. It used to involve only Seniors and Freshmen.  The seniors were called Big Brother and Big Sister, and the freshmen were called Little Brother and Little Sister. There were just 4 members in each group (unless there were odd numbers). Now Sibling Families involve our whole student body and most sibling family activities are planned by Y-Co and held on campus. This provides times where the whole school comes together on campus for fun activities. It is a great community building tool!

Y-Co is under the faculty supervision of Lynn Yoder, Bryan Neuschwander, and Alisa Kandel. They are there to provide some organization and direction for the group but really encourage the students to do a majority of the planning. Lynn is an IMS graduate. Her Big Brother was Mike Litwiller and her Big Sister was Ruth Brenneman. Her favorite part of today’s Sibling Families is, “Watching the upperclassmen adopt this sense of responsibility for the new students. They really take them under their wing and try to make the year fun for their own ‘kids.’”

Some favorite things about Sibling Families according to some of our senior students:

  • Cole Ours, “My favorite thing about sibling families is the connections you make with the other members of your group as well as all the fun things that you get to do together.”
  • Payton Hart, “My favorite part about Sibling Families is the immediate connection that students have to lower or upperclassmen. This connecting of students provides a way for new students to get to know students in other grades outside of time in the classroom.”

Some of the games and activities from Friday evening included: Find my Mommy (Hide & Seek with a twist), Boggle, Dodgeball, coloring, Dutch Blitz and board games.  Popcorn and lemonade were also shared.

After the All-School Party, Freshmen stayed for a Lock-In. The lock-in was supervised by freshmen class sponsors, Aaron Gingerich and Sierra Cheney; and director of enrollment, Candi Schmieder.  They spent a lot of time in the gym playing basketball, volleyball and spike ball.  While they were playing a game of hide and seek in the darkened school building, Candi baked cookie bars for them in the FCS kitchen. They enjoyed the fresh warm bars with ice cream. They ended the evening (morning) by watching a movie.  Parents picked up students at 6:30 a.m. and reports are that many of them slept most of the rest of the day.