The blessing of a skinned knee

The Melbourne Cup holiday sees the commencement of our Junior School Camping Program. Our Year 5s will depart on Wednesday for their 2 night “Surf camp’ at Phillip Island, our Year 2 ‘Dads and Lads’ evening is on Friday 4 November while our Preps and Year 1s will have a Pyjama Party on Friday 11 November, held at school.

The camping program will conclude when our Year 3 & 4s have their wonderful camp at Camp Manyung, Mt Eliza, on Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 November.  Whilst our camps are always fun, they can prove to be a new experience for some boys, and I would encourage you to see me or your son’s class teacher should you believe some form of modification to the program is needed for him…I am very conscious that every boy has a different approach when it comes to camps. In previous years, I have written the following regarding camps, and I again refer to it, as I believe it most important with regard to our Camping Program.

THE 10 RULES OF INDEPENDENCE

1.	IF YOU SLEEP IN IT, MAKE IT
2.	IF YOU OPEN IT, CLOSE IT
3.	IF YOU DROP IT, PICK IT UP
4.	IF YOU WEAR IT, HANG IT UP
5.	IF YOU EMPTY IT, FILL IT UP
6.	IF YOU TURN IT ON, TURN IT OFF
7.	IF YOU SPILL IT, WIPE IT UP
8.	IF IT RINGS, ANSWER IT
9.	IF IT CLIMBS ON YOU, HUG IT
10.	IF IT BREATHES, LOVE IT

Dr Leonard Sax, in his book Why Gender Matters, mentions the book of child psychologist Wendy Mogel who says that “…shielding children from injury makes them more risk-averse….letting them explore their world – at the cost of a few scrapes and cuts – builds their character and gives them self confidence.”

Camps are a wonderful avenue for us to ‘direct’ a boy’s natural bent for risk taking in a controlled environment, or as Sax says, “…supervised is better than unsupervised”, whereas he believes that girls need more risk taking experiences such as climbing trees,  and ‘getting dirty’.

Our camping program is a very important part of our school life, for not only does it promote fun and memorable experiences, it allows us to channel the natural energy of boys into meaningful and kinaesthetic activity. However, just as we recognise that academic development occurs at different rates, it is important to do so for social and emotional development. Many children find time spent away from home exciting and natural…others can find it very challenging. We cater for academic development through set, modified tasks, and we do the same for our camping program. Should you feel that your child requires modification to the camping program arrangements, please do not hesitate top contact me.

There are a number of personal characteristics that assist our boys in ensuring they have a happy and successful camping experience.

In this week’s Assembly, I will be handing out, and speaking to, the list below….10 simple and achievable rules for developing independence. Boys who cope best on camp are those who possess independence and responsibility…those who can look after themselves, find their hat, pack and unpack their suitcase, set a table, use a knife and fork, shower, apply sunscreen, wake up early and read quietly without waking others, eat with courtesy, and wait their turn…these ‘skills’ assist everyone in a group in a ‘home away from home’ situation. Independence on camps doesn’t mean not feeling homesick…it means being able to do basic tasks without always requiring adult assistance. Staff are always willing to assist and guide and care for our boys….but we all have a duty to promote independence in our boys. The coming weeks may be an ideal time to practice the rules mentioned.

A Kenny

 

 

 

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