This week, our Year 9s have had a little more confidence in their step and been noticeably more connected within the cohort. This growth has stemmed from their camp last week in the Flinders Ranges and its link with The Rite Journey.
Throughout the year, The Rite Journey has provided the students with a series of ceremonies, guided discussions and challenges to support them on their passage towards becoming self-aware, resilient and mature individuals. A significant undertaking in this program is for the students to complete the overnight solo camp, one that creates a space for young adolescents to experience solitude, reflect and evaluate their development and future. Before the camp the students, through discussions and frameworks, conceptualised the event and prepared accordingly. The full spectrum of emotions was communicated in the weeks leading up to the camps, from excitement, fear, determination, trepidation and avoidance! Whatever the case, the moment arrived when students had to take the bold step out of the 4WD and walk over to their patch of wilderness, not to be seen or contacted until the next day.
This night was simply part of the wider camp experience. Through shared experiences of long, steep hikes, carrying packs, in the heat, overcoming fears to abseil over 60m, working as a team to deal with a simulated bush survival situation (erecting shelters, cooking food, caring for the injured), cooking self-planned meals, not having phones!, setting up tents, dealing with flash-flooding and stories and songs around the campfire, the students within each camp group grew individually, developed a greater sense of their own abilities and resilience, and importantly further developed mutual respect and relationships with others within the group.
Staff went the extra mile supporting, participating and observing this happening for our students. We encourage the students to continue to relate with others whom they’ve now shared this experience with, to build on those friendships and to draw on their camp experiences in times ahead. Whilst in the Flinders, there were trail signs highlighting the theme of Boom and Bust concerning the resilience of the plants and animals there and how they deal with drought and heavy rain. Similar could be said for the students – they dealt with the hardships and diverse weather conditions so well; it was such a rich and valuable experience.
Lord Mayor Visit
A highlight for Year 7 last week was the private forum with the Lord Mayor. Mr Haese visited our new JBC for Performing Arts to speak with the students on what the city is doing for environmental sustainability. The Lord Mayor helped clarify for students the scope of local government and where it fits with the levels of government in across the nation and spoke enthusiastically and informatively about the achievements of the city and future plans. The students engaged so well in the discussion and left feeling proud and encouraged to join the discussion and work for our wonderful city. We were very grateful to host the Lord Mayor and he gave valuable insights, advice and encouragement to our students.
Head of Middle School