News from the Field Studies Centre

News from the Field Studies Centre

There are times in life when we need to put our heads down and slog through something difficult, often wondering when it will end. Wishing something away is an easy trap to fall into. This may have been the case for some of the boys as they were tested by the challenges that they experienced at times on their final expedition in the Field Studies Programme. The days following the six-day expedition, however, provided each boy with an opportunity to rest, reflect and in many ways, acknowledge just how much they have achieved. The students from each of the pastoral groups have enjoyed reconnecting and sharing their experiences with one another while back ‘home’ at the FSC.

Following an afternoon of exploring the values journey that they have been on during the term, the students came together with their tutors on Wednesday evening for a final cook out and fireside debrief. It struck me as I went from group to group that evening, just how comfortable the boys had both become in the outdoor environment and in terms of sharing their thoughts and reflections with each other. The campfire circle provides a safe space to share and look back on achievements and to provide feedback to their peers. It is a place where the boys can be themselves and connect deeply with others.

The final cross country run and Woollamia Olympics are a feature of the final days and provides an opportunity for both individual and collaborative efforts to shine through. The students pushed themselves along the cross-country running course on Thursday morning, avoiding the mud patches on the trail, with many of them showing significant improvements in their times and fitness over the term. The Woollamia Olympics combines a range of ‘outside the box’ activities that students engage in to earn points for their respective team.

On Friday morning the final rite of passage activities wrapped up on site at the Field Studies Centre with the ceremonial ringing of the camp bell, which signifies the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next. The staff and students then boarded the busses and travelled back to Summer Hill where they were welcomed back into the School community at a special Quad Assembly. Some of the lessons that each boy has learnt during the FSP will be immediately obvious to them, while others will take weeks, months or even years to be fully appreciated. There is little doubt, however, that some significant steps along the path to manhood have been taken by each of the young men engaged in the FSP #2 2022.

Tim Knowles | Head of the Field Studies Centre (FSC)

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