News From the Field Studies Centre | Family Visiting Weekend

News From the Field Studies Centre | Family Visiting Weekend

Family Visiting weekend is a significant milestone that the boys, families and the staff all look forward to during the Field Studies Programme (FSP). On the middle weekend of each term, we provide an opportunity for one significant adult per boy to attend a campout on the Saturday night. The visitor might be a parent, aunty, uncle, grandparent, or older sibling of post school age, with each family making the decision about who will share the experience with their boy. The rationale for this recent addition to the programme is that we believe it adds great value to each boy’s rite of passage experience and provides them with:

  • a firsthand opportunity to authentically share their FSP journey with a family member.
  • a chance to demonstrate the many new skills they have developed in the outdoor programme during the first five weeks of the FSP.
  • a chance to further develop a sense of agency and grow in confidence as they take on the role of guide, teacher and even chef, during the campout night.

The overnight stay is proving to be quite a gift for the adults who attends, as the chance to carve out a chunk of quality time with our teenagers becomes increasingly difficult as they progress through the high school years. The opportunity to share stories around the campfire, chat about the adventures the boys are having, enjoy a meal prepared by the boys, sit together under the stars, and observe the growth in each young man,  are just a few of the many highlights.

On Sunday morning after packing down camp, showers, and a coffee in Huskisson for the adults, the campus burst back to life with the arrival of family and friends, all very keen to see the boys in the flesh and hear firsthand of their experiences over the last five weeks. Morning tea was served by our incredible catering team and after a listening to a quick overview of the FSP experience, the crowd quickly split into the spaces allocated to each pastoral group to hear from the FSP Student Leaders and watch the video  presentations that each group had carefully curated. The remainder of the day was handed over to families for some off-site time in the local area with their boys. Each term there are a myriad of activities that families engage in during this time, but the common denominator often involves sharing a meal together. Whether it be a BBQ at the beach, enjoying lunch at one of the local cafes or restaurants, or heading back to pre-booked accommodation to cook up one of the boys’ favourite dishes, quality time is the universal ingredient.

In Term 3 each year we hold an Open Day for Year 8 families. This year we had more than 350 visitors on Sunday, all keen to see the Woollamia Campus and understand more about the experience that awaits them through the lens of either a participant, sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. Each visiting party, armed with a map of the campus set about a self-guided tour of the property, checking off key buildings, landmarks, activity sites, and engaging with the strategically positioned Field Studies staff. A great day was had by all, with many questions answered about the exciting programme that awaits next years participants.

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