Choir takes annual fall retreat to Mo Ranch

photos by Mary Beth Burns

Juniors Nick Carlson and Jule Russel along with Freshman Kevin (last name) laugh as their feelow competetors' canoe tips over in a rowing contest durning the anual Westlake Choir's Mo Lympics located at Mo Ranch on Sept. 6, 2014

Every September, the choir students and their directors pack their weekend bags and guitars for the annual fall Mo Ranch retreat. This year, the choir traveled in great number with more than 350 students.

Freshman Aniston Zabawa was introduced to the Mo Ranch atmosphere this year as a first-time participant.

“I expected Mo Ranch to be more like a summer camp where there is a very detailed schedule,” Aniston said. “We were given so much room to just enjoy ourselves after two busy weeks of school.”

Senior Kendal Lyssy has gained her own positive outlook on Mo Ranch and reflects on why she returns every year.

“The whole bonding process [at Mo Ranch] is so cool,” Kendal said. “Throughout the weekend, you automatically make new friends. It really doesn’t matter what grade you’re in, because choir really is a big family. When you put that many people together for three days, you find people with whom you have things in common.”

Westlake choir has become the largest organization on campus. Due to its growing size, changes were implemented to Mo Ranch. For example, only the upperclassmen traveled to Hunt in the Texas Hill Country on Friday night. They were joined by the underclassmen on Saturday.

“I got to spend a lot of great time with seniors and juniors this year that I didn’t know very well before,” Kendal said. “Getting that extra bonding time with those people was really important for me since we will be spending time together during the New York trip.”

On Saturday evening, all students, chaperones and directors filed into the Mo Ranch auditorium. Kendal said this is the most important part of Mo Ranch because it is a representation of what Westlake choir strives to be.

“I believe good leadership triggers a positive response from the underclassmen,” Kendal said. “At the talent show, if a senior is being attentive and cheering friends on, the underclassmen will see that and follow the lead. Watching the freshmen and sophomores make good choices is a rewarding thing for the juniors and seniors to see.”