The Other Montecito

I went on the MAD Academy sophomore retreat to the Sequoia National Park at the Montecito Sequoia Lodge last week.

We arrived there in the afternoon on March 15th. While Dan and Pablo, our teachers, were checking everyone in, a snowball fight started in the parking lot.

 After Dan came or and broke up our skirmish, we went into the lodge and figured out who’s going to be in which cabins. I was happy with who was in my group, I immediately knew this would be a fun trip. 

After we unpacked, we all met out front of the lodge for a walk on a cross country trail. While we were waiting for Dan and Pablo, the teachers on the trip, a snowball fight started and went on for 15 minutes. 

Some people had never seen snow before, including London, who jumped into the first snow bank we saw on our walk. 
We stopped halfway through the trail below a hill, where (you guessed it) another snowball fight started. One group went up the hill and released a barrage of snowballs onto the victims below. My friend Josh tried to go up the hill, it did not work in his favor. See for yourself here.

We finished our walk and got back to the lodge. Dan told us there were sleds and tubes for us to use , free of charge, and a good hill near the lodge. It looked like a migration of high schoolers going up the hill. 

Sledding was super fun. We built small jump at the base of the hill and some people caught monster air. Plenty of people ate it on the hill but no one was hurt. 

After a couple of hours of sledding, we all migrated back to the lodge for dinner. The food there was great, and we had a full dining room to ourselves. After dinner, we all showered and met back downstairs for some group activities led by Dan. 

After the bonding activities, about 30 people piled into a 12×12 ft hot tub. It was fun, but very crowded. Thanks for the photo, Dan. 

After about 40 min in the hot tub, we all went to bed, ready for the next day. 

We took a long walk after breakfast on Thursday. We were going to go see some giant sequoias, but some people got lost so we didn’t have enough time. 

We stopped for a bit while Dan went to find the lost group. Another snow ball fight started and some people even built trenches for a war. 

Dan found the lost group and we started making our way back. Chase broke his ankle a couple weeks before but still went on the trip. On the walk, we pulled him in a tube. Halfway back, I had this idea: 

We got back to the lodge, had lunch, and went back out for activities. We found the rental shop and some went skiing and snowboarding while others went tubing again. 

We reinforced the jump and built another one. There were snowboarders, sleds, and skis left and right. It was awesome.

After an afternoon of that, we went back to the lodge for dinner, then we had a group bonding activity in the dining hall. I learned a lot about some of my friends from it. 

The next morning, we woke up and went out to the hill for more snowboarding. I got some great footage, and I strapped in and went a couple times, too. 

At 10:30, my friend, Sharp, his dad Brett, and I drove to Burbank airport to go to Utah for the weekend.

This trip was a lot of fun and I’m glad I got to experience it with my friends. I won’t forget it anytime soon. 


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