RSIC Reflections: The Journey That Makes Us
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Round Square, the theme for this year's International Conference was "the journey that make us." This idea formed the focal point of all the delegate activities, from baraza groups to keynote speakers to adventure day.
Our "journeys" are more than how far we travelled to attend at the conference—they are the journeys we all make throughout our lives, and the journey Round Square has made over the last 50 years to get to where it is today.
More important than our destinations are the adventures we have along the way—good and the bad. These are what make and shape the foundation of who we are.
Each of the GNS delegates were asked to reflect on their conference experience and identify elements that were meaningful to them.
Christine's favourite part of the conference was the sailing Adventure Day. Although she found it challenging, "It was a great opportunity to make new friends and learn how to work as a team." Perhaps this is partly why she chose Antarctic explorer, Ben Saunders, as her favourite speaker! She writes, "His speech taught us that the journey is valuable and that, just as he did, we all have to take risks to try new things."
Gaby chose the Cultural Evening as the highlight of her conference experience: "It was really amazing to see all the different cultures in the same room performing all their different dances. But there was a sense of unity in that we were all supporting each other in our different cultures." She found the life story of Syrian refugee Saria Samakie "very powerful."
Bree was also very moved by Saria and the courage he displayed throughout his life. Service Day was another highlight that has prompted her to suggest some environmental initiatives that could be undertaken with other students at GNS.
Like Christine, Nolan identified sailing as the most memorable activity, "My instincts kept telling me, 'Nolan, you're going to capsize,' and the boat was tilting and we were all soaking. But it didn't capsize and it really made me challenge what I was afraid of. It gave me this mindset of 'you can do more than you think you can,' which I think was really reflected in the stories of the keynote speakers."
Dr. Manfred Sptizer's talk about the impact of technology on our brains resonated most with him.
Angelina's favourite part of the trip was the pre-conference Alpine hike, because it was something she wasn't sure she could do when she applied to go to the conference.
She enjoyed all of the speakers because, "All of them are respected and all of them did something very impressive and unique in different fields. They all spoke about the journey that makes us, both physically and mentally. Because all of their journeys were real and experienced by the speaker, it was very moving and persuasive and helped me learn a lot."
Attending this conference will certainly contribute to the lifelong journey of each of the GNS delegates. We look forward to seeing what initiatives they put forward to share with the school community as a result of their experiences!