Last week many of our long-term Somerset students joined our new-to-Somerset students on Mt Tamborine for a week of bonding, combined with adventure and personal challenge.
Hopefully by Friday last week our new students felt like they have been at Somerset forever and our older students feel like they’ve made some new friends. Based on their engagement in the activities, I certainly couldn’t tell who was new and who was old. One new student made a point of telling me that “everyone at Somerset is so friendly”. Starting at a new school can be a stressful time and I'm proud of our students when I see them make everyone feel so welcome.
The weather gods shone on us this year, and while I often write after a camp that the inclement weather served to make us more resilient and grow as people I, and all the other happy campers were very relieved that we didn’t face those tests of endurance this year. The weather was fantastic.
The whole of Year 7 can feel very proud of their efforts. The staff were astounded at the politeness and niceness of the group. Parents deserve a pat on the back; you can all feel very proud of your children, as not one student gave us cause to consider our chosen career path. From the Monday, where setting up a tent and sharing that tiny space with a new friend is a big challenge, to the adventure-based activity days on Tuesday and Wednesday, through to our House activity day on Thursday where the student leaders join us in a day of activity, or sleeping, in Dr Brohier’s meditation session. We were amazed that all students embraced the challenges with good humour through sleep deprivation and tiredness that would have challenged an SAS recruit.
For students whose ages range from 11 to 12 years, the prospect of abseiling, or high ropes or eating vegetables can be met with catatonic fear, yet this year all students gave every activity an attempt and many overcame extreme fears to undertake the challenge of the abseil. That first step backwards over the cliffs edge always gives you an adrenaline rush, regardless of how many times you’ve done it.
The final and greatest challenge for many students is the Camp Concert, and while those students who chose to so cleverly mimic certain staff (I will gain my revenge on Year 8 camp) showed the ultimate in bravery, everyone played a role and contributed and that’s all we ever ask.
Congratulations, Year 7. You are delightful group and I look forward to enjoying your company for the next 6 years.
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