The idea of former summer youth staff returning during Sorrento Centre’s 60th Anniversary arose earlier this year. Sorrento Centre staff reached out to a number of former youth staff and Kathryn Robertson jumped at the chance to reconnect with her 1986 alumni. She worked diligently and creatively, and her efforts were realized last week when nineteen former 1986 youth staff and their families gathered to reconnect, remember, and to create new memories.
Mid-way through the initial planning stage, Kathryn conveyed, “What I have found amazing and heartening is that people have such a good feeling about the summer of ’86, are open to getting together, and are making a real effort. Some people are coming all the way from the UK, Texas, and Ontario to attend the reunion.”
The reunion officially began on Wednesday, August 2 and the enthusiastic participants joined in many of the week’s popular activities including Sorrento’s Got Talent and the Friday night dance which featured a beach theme. SS86 provided the current youth staff with a special playlist featuring their favourite songs and the music ramped up a notch!
During their stay, SS86 enjoyed a tour of the farm and met with ED Michael Shapcott, AD Kathie MacDuff, and the 2023 SYS team. They organized three communal meals, played crazy games and rekindled relationships. They also banned together and made significant donations to the Centre, especially as pertains to the Giving Tree.
A most notable outcome was the strengthened bond both amongst the attendees and with Sorrento Centre. Kathryn noted, “The last time SS86 got together was in 2011 when two babies were in process. Those kids met this summer and had a great time. The next generation of SS86 is keen to meet up next summer and keep it going.”
Kathryn added, “The gathering was a time to reflect on the transformational experience being Summer Staff had on 24 young people and continues to have an impact on lives today. There is an interest in continuing the discussion on how to support youth through the Centre’s programming.
SS86, we love you and miss you already!