The Senior Schools Team kicked off the New Year with our annual matric camp; a two day expedition up and down the hills to Lubanzi Beach and Mbolompo Homestay with our new matric cohort. For our teachers it’s a great chance to interact with our learners outside of the classroom and to facilitate non-academic growth. For our learners it’s a chance to think about the year ahead, build relationships with their peers and have some fun before the hard work begins.
Up and down the hills
In amongst the silliness and fun, the camp provides a moment’s pause between grade 11 and 12 to reflect on the newly appointed responsibility as young leaders in their respective schools and as Axium students. While previous years are not without their challenges, the matric year comes with many additional pressures including final exams and big life decisions ahead. In a year that will demand much dedication, focus and commitment from our young leaders, what better way to begin than with some sand, splashes, beach bat and highly competitive chocolate eating games?
With bags packed and a full schedule ahead, the campers set off down the hill to Lubanzi. The thought of waves and lunch promised some relief from the already scorching hot day. Despite which, spirits were high and there was plenty of laughter and play down the road and onto the beach. Senior school English teacher, David de Gruchy commented that, “it was really fun and enjoyable to see the learners in a very different context to the classroom and it gave me an opportunity to connect with some of the usual quiet characters who were a lot more vocal and outgoing.”
Fun and games on the beach
After a fun-filled afternoon on the beach and a lunch of amagwinya and polony it was time to move on. Leaving the beach in the heat of the day to hike up a huge hill would put a damper on even the most robust spirits so we must commend our learners on their energy and willingness. There were very few genuine complaints and a real sense of team spirit which dragged everyone (including the teachers) up the hill. We arrived at Mbolompo Homestay to warm welcomes and some much needed chill time in preparation of an afternoon of activities and sessions. The sessions included careers guidance, attitude, discipline, goal setting and leadership. Everyone was pretty tired after the busy morning but the learners were engaged and attentive.
Heads bent in thoughtful engagement
The evening was filled with delicious supper (thanks again to Mbolompo Homestay) and games! Senior Schools maths teacher Clare Acheson led the group in a dramatic game of Werewolves; narrating a gripping tale of the village of Zithulele under threat of werewolves. A council was formed and suspected traitors voted out of the village. The evening was filled with shrieks of laughter and loud accusations of cheating (all in good taste) and we all went to bed sleeping soundly knowing that the village of Zithulele was safe once again.
We kicked off Tuesday morning with a creative writing session and a discussion about the challenges of matric and how to overcome them together. The energy levels were much higher after a good night’s rest and the learners really put a lot of effort into these two sessions. With the more serious stuff out of the way it was time to head down to Mbolompo lagoon for our obstacle course and some more time in the water – a last holiday treat for all of us (teachers included) before the work begins.
The camp is an opportunity for our Axium matrics from the different schools we work in to spend time together outside of Saturday classes. The facilitators cheered the students on through team building exercises, encouraging them to hold onto these lessons and to one another as pillars of strength and support for the year ahead. Senior School Administrator Sandi Chemeze’s parting message of advice was that, “Hard works pays big time. If you work hard, the future is bright.”
Teamwork makes the dream work
We arrived back tired and sweaty, but filled with enthusiasm for the year ahead.
Here’s to 2019!