News from the Field Studies Centre

Challenge and adventure are woven through many elements of the Field Studies Programme. Being extended and stretched through exposure to unfamiliar activities and environments, while under the guidance of supportive adults, provides an opportunity for growth to occur that goes beyond the ordinary. Encouraging the spirit of adventure in each boy is a worthy ambition. Most of these adventures occur in beautiful natural environments and it is our hope that an appreciation for God’s Creation is established and strengthened. The boys spend many nights under star lit skies during their time on Programme, a practice that is referenced in the book of Isaiah and has long been part of the human experience. 

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one

and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:26

The final days of Residential Programme 1 have seen students negotiating the trails of Mt Stromlo, the waves of Narrawallee and the climbing crags of the Shoalhaven region. The experiences are all brought together over the final two days with structured reflection activities and a camp out and debrief on the last night. Each boy participates in a values journey and solo experience, which encourages them to think deeply about their experiences throughout the residential. This is then consolidated in a letter that they each write to their Year 12 self, that will be stored safely and delivered by Housemasters at the conclusion of their Trinity journey. 

The growth that many of the young men who have attended Residential 1 have experienced is impressive. Each of them has been required to step up and taken responsibility for aspects of their day to day lives, that are above and beyond what would be the norm for most Year 9 boys. Yes, it has been uncomfortable at times. Would each of them have volunteered to undertake all these experiences off their own backs? Maybe. Maybe not. But what is certain, is that when each student steps up to ring the camp bell, which symbolises the conclusion of the rite of passage experience, they will walk away with skills and experiences that they can draw upon, as they step forward into their futures. 

I would like to wish this cohort well as they return to Sydney and re-join their families and Middle School peers today. In the coming days, the team at Woollamia will be resetting and preparing to welcome the Residential 2 students to the campus on Tuesday next week.

Tim Knowles | Head of Field Studies Centre (FSC) 

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