Every year, the Pepsi Scholars get to spend a weekend reconnecting and bonding as a team through a fun retreat. This year, our fall retreat took place in Columbus, Ohio! The scholars were excited to spend the weekend together and participate in fun activities that built and reflecting upon their leadership and teamwork.

To kick the weekend off, the scholars piled into a van and went zip lining! In the beautiful setting of Hocking Hills in Logan, Ohio, the scholars embarked on an adventure to take on the SuperZip. Tackling the zip line “superman style” all of the scholars zoomed over a river and through the woods to the finish line! After zip lining concluded, we got to be tourists in Columbus, exploring the food and area in the Arena District.

Saturday morning, the scholars woke up early and met to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio (RMHC). RMHC is an organization in Columbus that seeks to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. The Ronald McDonald House in Columbus is the largest house in the world with over 137 rooms for families to stay in. The scholars received a tour of the house and were able to bake cookies for the families staying in the house and receiving care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


After volunteering, the scholars grabbed a quick lunch and then headed off to Escape Room USA! We took on the challenge of solving the DaVinci Heist, a room where our objective was to steal the Mona Lisa! We solved Sudoku puzzles, found clues, fought with locks, and made our way through the Escape Room! We stole the Mona Lisa and freed ourselves from the room before time ran out at 60 minutes.

Escape Room

The retreat was a great way to challenge the comfort zones of the Pepsi Scholars and bond them as a team. With just a few weeks left, the Pepsi Scholars are moving into the final stage of the program: Evolve. In the coming weeks, the students will take what they learned from the program and present a project proposal for how they plan to be a leader on campus. We can’t wait to see what these scholars do next!

More information about Pepsi Scholars can be found by visiting https://www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership/leadership/pepsi-scholars.cfm.

By Kendra Lutes, Graduate Assistant for Special Projects at the CLDC



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