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Principal's Blog

Found in: Leadership Blog

Busy, Encouraging and Engaging

I very much enjoyed the end to last term. I had the privilege of accompanying the Year 6 and Year 7 students on the Eastern States Trip and then returned to lead the Year 8 Camp. This was our mammoth double up trip and the first time we have included Year 6 students. I used to get kind of “dad cranky” just moving my family of five through airports. What a “trip” getting 70 students through! From an organisational perspective the whole trip has these elements of huge production, just getting places, eating, checking into   hotels etc. etc. involves vast amount or work and organisation. Teachers work hard on these camps from early in the morning until late at night. Thank you to Mr and Mrs Anderson, Mrs Holmes, Miss P, Miss Van der Ross, Mr Barker and Mr Melvin for your hard work and dedication.

The great encouragement to me is that our students scrub up well and are well-behaved, courteous and friendly. We receive regular compliments from airlines, accommodation and bus drivers. I was impressed by students’ amiable good-nature and care for one another. I also appreciated their engagement with learning opportunities throughout the trip. It was a good chance for me to get to know students.

The Year 8 students were at Boshack Camp, somewhere near Bolgart about 2 hours north. The activities at the camp are run by their staff and involve herding sheep (the sheep won), building shelters, canoeing and lighting fires and assorted farm/outdoorsy stuff. I have not experienced students enjoying a camp more. The staff members who worked with the students all day were very complimentary. They said that in the 7 years of operating Boshack, they had not seen a group of students look after each other more. How encouraging!

It is these experiences that build the spirit of our College, reinforce core values and cement relationships. Thanks to Mrs Green, Mrs Luzi, and Mr Giles for being on the camp.

P.S. There was one incident I must relate. At the camp, Year 8 students shared communal tents. They went off to sleep very obediently. There was one girls’ tent (yes, you know who you are), however, that woke the rest of us up early the next morning with shrill  giggling renditions of “One Direction” songs. There is no worse way to start a day………… and “Sorry, didn’t think you’d hear us”, simply doesn’t make up for it. Fortunately by the end of the camp, said girls were tired and reluctant to wake up. Mr Giles and I were able to help them with a spirited rendition of “When the Saints go Marching in”, accompanied by the beat of crashing saucepans. As it was only about 3 degrees at the time, I can truly say …………….revenge is a dish best served cold!

Rod McNeill