Off to camp, off to camp, off to camp we go…
Did you pack your sleeping bag?
Where is my hat?
Can I sit next to you on the bus?
Mr Brennen, I get car sick!
Look kids, a kangaroo!
Taking 29 students on camp may sound like an easy exercise. While it is very rewarding, it is also a great amount of work for teachers to plan and execute.
The classroom teacher has to find the right camp with the right program to support student progress in the classroom. She also needs to carry out risk assessments and get parental consent. Mr Brennen needs to find room in the school budget, the bursar needs to pay the bill, our school secretary needs to make sure all student medical needs are taken care of… and remind the principal to not forget his phone (or his keys, lunch or pillow for that matter).
What makes all of the planning and stress worthwhile is seeing the students trundle off the bus into the countryside and run into the fresh air. Seeing them enjoy the beauty of God’s Creation. Seeing them engage in activities which build their character and learning. All of these things bring joy to even the most tired and frazzled of teachers.
While great effort is rightly put into what we do at school, much of what really builds student character and learning happens outside of school. It is not only the off-campus school activities like camps and excursions that build healthy young people, but their involvement in life outside of school including church, sporting groups, language school and family events. All of these things help students to develop across the domains of wellbeing.
In Psalm 34, the psalmist encourages us to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’. A life lived in the richness of friends, family and different experiences should encourage us to remember that the Lord is indeed good.
I consider myself greatly blessed to serve as principal of this great school community. It is my sincere hope and prayer that all of us – students, staff and parents – give thanks to our loving God who has blessed us so richly.
May our thankful response to God be to share his love, his teachings and the resources he has given us with our brothers and sisters both near and far.