January, 2016

Dear Parents and Students,

The freshmen and sophomore Creative Writers are invited to attend our second annual Penn Center Writers Retreat held at the Penn Center in Beaufort, South Carolina on March 2-4, 2016. The purpose of the trip is to introduce our students to natural wonders and amazing story-telling traditions of the surrounding Sea Islands, along with exposing them to racial history and the human condition. The curriculum connections and standards follow:

– Students will learn, practice and document the stages of the writing process.

– Students will create written work that has a clear focus, sufficient detail, coherent organization and effective use of voice.

– Students will learn about the Civil Rights Movement and race relations.

– Students will learn about Gullah and Sea Island history, its folklore and rich story-telling tradition.

– Students will learn to work as a group in order to improve individual writing skills.

SOA teachers Danielle DeTiberus, Rutledge Hammes, Beth Webb Hart, and another community member to be announced will be our chaperones. Our bus service will be provided by our school’s activity bus. The total price of the trip is $250, which covers food, lodging and transportation. Several $50-$100 scholarships will be given to students who demonstrate need and explain how the trip will benefit them. Scholarship Applications, which can be found in this packet, are due on February 1, 2016 with the full payment and paperwork.

We will depart from school at 7am on March 2. Please arrive at 6:30am sharp so that we can load the bus and depart on time. If we do not depart on time, our group will not be served lunch at the Penn Center. Each student will be allowed only one small bag. We will return to the school on March 4 around 4pm; your child will call you on the way home if we are going to arrive at a different time.

Since your child will be traveling with a school group, we will need a copy, front and back, of your health insurance card and numbers where you can be reached in case of a medical emergency. Included with this letter is other information that you will need:

  • Writers Conference Agenda
  • What to Bring
  • Address and telephone number of the Penn Center
  • CCSOA Behavior Contract
  • Emergency Contact Information Sheet
  • SOA Medical Information Form
  • Permission Slip
  • Scholarship Application

Please make note of the following due dates:

Feb. 2              Parent Information Meeting (5:30 pm sharp at SOA)*

First Payment ($150) due

CCSOA Behavior Contract due

Emergency Contact Information Sheet due

SOA Medical Information Form due

Permission Slip due

Copy of Health Insurance Card (front and back) due


Feb. 16            Second Payment ($100) due

(Due to the small number of students attending this trip, refunds                             cannot be given if your student is unable to attend.)


*There will be a parent information meeting on February 2nd at 5:30 pm in room 4133 on the SOA campus. If your child is planning to participate in this year’s field trip, your attendance is required. If for any reason you are unable to make it, please contact me.

Our hope is that this year’s Writers Conference will enhance your child’s writing process and will also provide an opportunity for bonding, friendship and fun. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 529-4990.


Danielle DeTiberus

Creative Writing Teacher


Penn Center Retreat

9th & 10th Grades

March 19, 20 & 21


March 19

7am                 Depart

8:30 am           Stop at Old Sheldon Church

9:30 am           Arrive at the Penn Center and unpack

10:30 am         Gullah Storyteller

12 noon           Lunch at the Penn Center

1:00 pm           Tour of Beaufort, Fort Fremont and Ghost Tales

6:00 pm           Dinner

7:00 pm           Break

8:30 pm           Campfire & Lowcountry Ghost Stories

10:30 pm         Lights out


March 20

8am                 Breakfast

9am                 Depart for Hunting Island

– forest and beach walk

– climbing the lighthouse

– reflection time and journal writing

12 noon           Bag Lunch on the beach

1:00                 Depart for Beaufort

2:00 pm           Workshop I

3:30 pm           Break

4:00 pm           Workshop II

6 pm                Dinner at Johnson Creek Tavern

8:30 pm           Conference Room

Movie – TBD


10:30               Lights out


March 21

8am                 Breakfast

9am                 Writing and sharing works

12 noon           Lunch at the Penn Center

1:00                 Pack, clean dorm and load bus

2pm                 Depart

4pm                 Arrive at SOA


What to Bring

  • wash cloth and towel
  • comfortable walking shoes (hiking shoes or tennis shoes)
  • rain jacket / windbreaker (for inclement weather)
  • beach wear, including sandals and a beach towel
  • PJ’s
  • flashlight
  • toiletries
  • current medications
  • Notepad/journal, pens/pencils
  • Bag breakfast for the ride up

Drinks and snacks will be provided in the meeting room.


Address and Phone Number of Penn Center

 Penn School National Historic Landmark District
P.O. Box 126

St. Helena Island, South Carolina 29920
Phone: (843) 838-2432
Fax: (843) 838-8545


Teacher Contact Numbers


Rutledge Hammes 954-579-4281

Danielle DeTiberus NEED NUMBER

Beth Webb Hart NEED NUMBER


PENN Center Trip for 9th and 10th graders – spring 2016

Leave a Reply