HDOR 2022

Los Gatos, California – From July 29-31st, the Harker DECA Officer Team spent a weekend together bonding through various team-building activities at the 2022 Harker DECA Officer Retreat (HDOR). 

“HDOR was a great start to our 2022-23 DECA year. Through games, meals and conversations, we all began to bond as a team. I’m excited for what this year has in store, and we are ready to host a great DECA Launch this August,” said Executive Vice President Rohan Gorti (12).

Once the officer team arrived at the upper school campus and unloaded their suitcases, they kicked off day one with a trip to the grocery store to buy snacks and ingredients for the next day’s subteam cookoff. After that, the team drove to the Airbnb in the Los Gatos mountains, got settled, ate dinner, and relaxed. Later that night, the officers played board games and made s’mores over the firepit in the backyard. Chapter advisor Mr. Glass wrapped up the night by leading an activity diving into the meaning of this year’s DECA membership theme, “Get the Edge.”

The next morning, everyone woke up to the smell of fresh french toast made by the operations subteam. After breakfast, officers played card games—such as Apples to Apples and Chameleon—and left for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. They stopped for lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant, Achilles by the Sea. Once at the boardwalk, the team enjoyed the arcade, the beach, and the Santa Cruz wharf. 

Following the boardwalk activities, the team made their way to Aptos for a once-in-a-lifetime team-building experience: a goat walk on the beach. Officers became acquainted with the rest of the team while walking five adorable baby goats on the beach. Their guide, Billie, also shared fun facts about the history and different kinds of goats.

“One of my favorite parts of HDOR was the goat walk,” said Director of Testing Gia Emelie (10). “I got to know the rest of the officer team while participating in a unique activity.”

Afterward, the team made their way back to the Airbnb for the subteam cookoff. The kitchen was extremely busy— the competitions team was making Vietnamese Spring Rolls for the appetizer, the public relations team was cooking Gigi Hadid’s pasta recipe for the main course, and operations was baking a chocolate cake for dessert. Dinner was full of lively conversations and great food. Later that evening, officers socialized and used the hot tub on the deck. 

The last day of HDOR started with blue, DECA-themed crepes made by the competitions subteam. Following breakfast, officers packed their suitcases, and the team made their way back to the Harker Upper School Campus, with a quick boba stop at Teaspoon. Once on campus, the retreat concluded with a subteam competition in a workshop called “The Box” by Team Business, who taught officers about problem-solving with respect to the ever changing environment of the B & E world. 

“HDOR this year was definitely a memorable one,” said Chapter Advisor Juston Glass. “We have a fantastic team of officers assembled, and I am excited to see how we get the edge this year!”

About The Harker School DECA

Harker DECA is an International Competitive Business Organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Our DECA chapter integrates classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business, and promotes competition in order to prepare the next generation to be academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, and experienced leaders.

Contact Information

To learn more about this story, please contact:

Ariana Gauba, Director of Communications