Principal's Welcome - Week 7, Term 1, 2021
Dear College community,
It has been wonderful to chat with students and staff who attended camps and listen as they relay their experiences. One conversation that really sticks out for me though is a conversation with a Year 8 student. When I asked how he had found camp he declared it to be one of the best experiences he has ever had. That alone would have constituted as a good camp report but then I asked him what made it "the best experience". Here is a summary of what he said;
I learned more about myself, more about my friends and I was really challenged. I have struggled with anxiety and I haven't really talked to anyone about that before but on camp I talked to my friends about it.
I was so delighted to hear these comments for lots of reasons. Naturally, we want camps to be enjoyed by our students. We want them to enjoy being outdoors and learning with and from others in unique environments. But the real highlights come when you see them growing as whole people, growing in their relationships with others and, feeling such as sense of belonging that they share vulnerabilities with peers.
This morning I checked in with the Year 8 gentleman just to see if he minded me sharing his story in Directions. He was happy for me to share this with you and added "since camp, it (his anxiety) has just gone away. I haven't thought about it as much. It is still there but it is not as big". How wonderful!
A sense of belonging has a profound impact on the learning of young people. At Norwest, creating an environment where everyone is welcome is core to our vision for young people. For the most part I think we do this really well and, where we miss the mark we are keen to know how we can do better. Jesus showed each of us this kind of love when He gave His life so that we could be welcomed into a relationship with God. He also demonstrated this kind of love during His time on earth as he interacted with people from all walks of life. And it is this kind of love that will help each of our young people find a sense of belonging that propels them to build a purposeful life.
1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."
Mrs Felicity Marlow