Fall Retreat 2014: A Dynasty Is Born?

The Latest from HLS Clinical Programs 2014-12-27

HLABVia the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

This fall, HLAB headed out to the woods around Camp Burgess for a day of bonding and reflection. Members engaged in thoughtful discussions of what it means to be a student-run organization and the goals for the upcoming year. The group then tackled a high-ropes challenge course.

Members took a pause from their deliberations around midday to engage in the time-honored Bureau tradition of “Huggy Bear.” President Cassie Chambers served as announcer, yelling out numbers with great gusto. A shout of “three” was a signal to grab two nearby members and envelop them in a bear hug in order to form an unbreakable group of three. With every shout, members raced to configure themselves into groups of the appropriate size. Any member who found himself or herself outside of a group was immediately disqualified. The competition for the title of Huggy Bear champ grew fierce.

Steve Hassink ’15 was playing to win. “I wanted that sweet taste of victory,” said Steve. “After dominating last year, I knew I could do it again.”

However, Cassie, in her role as announcer, quickly disqualified Steve for his “overly vigorous” play. “Huggy Bear is an opportunity for Bureau members to demonstrate their love and caring for each other,” said Cassie. “Not to break ankles.”

Andrea Mathews '15 is cruelly pushed out of the Huggy Bear group by Dami Animashaun '16 and Steve Hassink '15.

Andrea Mathews ’15 is cruelly pushed out of the Huggy Bear group by Dami Animashaun ’16 and Steve Hassink ’15.

Upon disqualification, Steve turned his full energies towards coaching his 2L mentee Dami Animashaun ’16. “Even if I couldn’t play, I wanted to make sure that my HLAB mentee had all the knowledge he needed to succeed at his disposal,” said Steve.

“Adrenaline was high,” said Dami. “I definitely didn’t want to let my 3L mentor down.”

After throwing Andrea Mathews ’15 out of the center of the field, Dami was crowned the champion. “It was a tough loss,” said Andrea. “But well played, Dami, well played.”

Dami hopes to continue the mentor-mentee Huggy Bear dynasty. “Whomever I mentor in the 2L class next year is destined for greatness,” said Dami.