Over the past few years the development of leadership skills for all kids at the school has become more formalized and intentionally placed at different points throughout their experience at SMUS. One major emphasis is the opportunity to take on leadership roles as students transition from grade 11 to become senior students. These roles include heads of clubs and councils, house prefects, heads of house, as well as other significant roles such as being a member of the Link Leader program which welcomes new students to the senior school in the fall. While some students will opt to put their name forward for some of these portfolios, others will do significant work behind the scenes, which while not in the spotlight, will require them to be a leader in their own way. As we read last week in the New York Times, leadership can take any number of forms.
Within Barnacle House, we have our own initiatives every spring to ensure the grade 11’s are feeling prepared when these leadership opportunities come up, and to help the group unite and come together to recognize that they will have a major role in running our residence next year. This past Saturday, along with several house parents, the grade 11’s spent the day away from campus exploring the beautiful coastline in East Sooke Park and some other exciting spots in the city.
Throughout the day, the boys were given several tasks and challenges- both individually and ask a group (aside from a demanding 7 kilometer hike!) to have them reflect on what they will bring to the house next year to ensure a successful and fulfilling year for themselves as well as those around them.
Aside from spending time out hiking on the coast and doing some meaningful reflection. The boys took part in some team building games in which they were tasked with creating games with limited equipment and teaching them to their peers. It was fun to watch the boys interact and work together in a limited amount of time to meet this challenge.
Following the team building, the boys sat down to a terrific meal at a local hot spot, Bin 4 restaurant, which serves gourmet burgers made from local ingredients. After they had some food in their bellies, we sat down as a group for a final reflection and sharing of ideas that let each boy express to the group their vision of what they will bring to Barnacle House next year.
It was an amazing day with an impressive group of boys!