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Portage Township Media

Portage Township Media

The Natural Helpers Retreat is Making a Comeback


Natural Helpers has been a part of the Portage High School community for more than 20 years. And this year, after a brief hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s back! The retreat invites roughly 40 juniors and seniors who are known as “natural leaders” to their peers.


One of the PHS sponsors of the retreat is school social worker Emily Evans. She said the goal of the retreat is to teach “advanced communication skills, team-building, and other self-care skills for students who are already naturally good at being supportive and helpful to others.”


The real unique aspect about the Natural Helpers retreat is that the destination is a secret. Teachers at PHS that have attended the retreat in the past have a little insight, but only a select few actually know the 2023 destination.


Ms. Jodi Newby, former chaperone of Natural Helpers and current PHS teacher, wants to make sure students are excited that the destination is a surprise. She explained that there are usually four locations they choose from and try to alternate, but no one will know for sure until they arrive.

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Although students aren’t able to know the exact activities, Newby said it is a lot of exercises both indoors and outdoors with a focus on bonding and communication.


“There are awesome surprises for the people that are going to go,” Newby said, “but the most exciting thing is how close everybody gets.”


For those students who were invited to go, all of the current and past sponsors want you to know that it is not an experience you want to pass up on. This three-day retreat includes fun bonding games and discussions that will benefit you as an individual as you near the end of your high school career prepare to enter college or the real world.


If you plan on attending the retreat, there is a meeting Monday, February 27th from 6-8pm in room 156 at the PHS-East building for you and your guardian for more information- except for the destination; that’s a secret!

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