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15 March 2019

posted 14 Mar 2019, 19:29 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 14 Mar 2019, 19:31 ]
I had a parent mention School Camp as one of those 'rites of passage' that many of our children love and some find more challenging. We are different after all.

Taking the Year 4s on the bus last Tuesday and listening to their chat was quite entertaining. Once I tried to ignore the grumbles of "Why did we have to take our togs and towel and we did not go in the water?!", I deciphered relative glee at the thought of this being their big adventure in 2020. They had a good look over the territory and poked around the cabins, much to the horror of their Year 5 & 6 friends! It's quite funny as the same thing happens every single year I take them - it will be them troubled by the Year 4s in their 'home' next year!

Cabin inspections, negotiations, tidying up, doing jobs, trying something new and the looks on their faces when it's achieved is a sight to behold. Independence! When we think of character strengths, an experience like Camp give many a chance to shine through. It could be judgement, it may be bravery, teamwork for definite and maybe even a sprinkle of zest when suffering from lack of sleep.

What really thrilled John and I was when one of the instructors asked us, "Can you tell me what's so special about Worser Bay? What do you do differently?". I answered, slightly nervously...., "What do you mean exactly?". He said, "These kids really stand out, they work with anyone, they get stuck in, they don't care if they get dirty, they just are really proactive and confident!"

Well, John and I were thrilled that the hard slog of our staff (and whānau) has been realised in our kids by 'outsiders'! We are so close to it, we don't always see it. 

So that really made my day. WOW!

Last year, parents helped out alongside children and teachers creating the visuals to go with the 24 VIA Character Strengths. You may have noticed them dotted around the school grounds.

It's not just Camp that calls on us to deliberately use our strengths. I know that staff too have found these little simple reminders around the place also useful. I see 'kindness' on my left as I walk into the office every day and it sure makes me smile. 

Character strengths may be a way in when you talk with your child as to what they can use to help them achieve a goal. They are also useful to contemplate when something 'turns to custard'. A simple "What strengths do you need to dial up or down?" can work wonders. I know - I have this poster in my office for just that reason!


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