News From the Field Studies Centredeveloper
The boys are encouraged to engage in reflective practice throughout their time on the Field Studies Programme. This often takes the form of journal writing and fire side debriefs at the end of the day’s activity. In the final weeks, the students on the FSP prepare a reflection that is incorporated into their end of term report. I am consistently amazed by the insights that the boys share in these reflections. An overview of the challenges they have faced and a record of highlights that they experienced regularly feature in these reports. One thing that is often shared and is a surprise to many of the boys, is the depth of relationship that is formed with peers with whom they may have had very few interactions before the FSP.
This week each of the groups is taking charge of their final expedition and we are seeing examples and hearing reports of the boys assuming the leadership roles that were modelled to them by the FSP staff, early in the programme. The final six-day expedition is designed to help the boys step into another level of independence and interdependence. The remote nature of the terrain and campsites requires the boys to plan and prepare thoroughly and manage the risks that they encounter on the journey.
In just a week’s time the final ceremonial elements of the FSP rite of passage will come to a close on the Woollamia and Summer Hill campuses. Boys will reunite with their families and friends, and the significance of what they have achieved during their residential term will begin to sink in. But until then, it is time to pick up the backpack, pack the canoes and focus on what is in front of each boy. Being immersed in nature is a great leveller and helps to keep us connected with what is important in the moment.