Ambassador Alert

Round Square Ambassador Alert

This page is designed to inform the Glenlyon Norfolk Senior School community of upcoming Round Square conference leadership opportunities for interested GNS students, as well as several possible service project possibilities, near and far.

From yesterday and today—service, adventure, Baraza meetings and keynote speakers—I learned that team work is important and with my peers I can do things that I couldn’t have done by myself.

– Christine Kim ’19, RSIC 2016

Round Square Big Build Projects

Round Square International Service Projects

Round Square International Service Projects are for students ages 16 and up. Round Square has been running International Service Projects since 1953. Since then, Round Square Schools have worked on projects in Ladakh, Kenya, Romania, Guatemala and Cambodia helping communities in need and allowing young people from around the globe to grow and develop important life-long skills.

Each year Round Square hosts two unique RSIS Big Build service projects for 50 students from Round Square Schools. The projects take place every year in July and December and run (on average) for two weeks. GNS can send up to two ambassadors to each project; they fill up fast!

RSIS Big Build Projects

Under the banner of “The Round Square Big Build”, these International Service Projects, which take place annually in July and December, see 50 students from diverse Round Square Schools working with local communities around the world. This year, RSIS Big Build Ecuador is set to take place in July 2018, and RSIS Big Build Sri Lanka is set to take place in December 2018. Both projects are full at this time with three GNS students able to participate in each.

For your consideration of future Big Builds, these projects are suitable for students ages 16 to 19, and very much focus on leadership skill building. Participants take it in turns to be Student Leaders during the project, taking responsibility for the organization of the day, briefing their peers, giving an overview of safety and risk management, and organizing a student rota to help with different chores at camp. Students are given feedback by their peers and the adult leaders, and all receive a personal report after the trip. Visit the Round Square website for More Information about these trips.

Please contact Ms. Sarah McKerlich, Director of Senior School Round Square Program,, for information about to how to apply for these projects.

Student Responsibilities

Before even applying to attend, students need to reflect on their school responsibilities. Both conferences take place at busy times of the year, when many school activities are getting started (October) or are wrapping up (late April). Missing classes and co-curricular activities for an average time of two weeks, comes with some concern at the senior level, especially for IB students. This concern has developed from watching students return from the conference with great ideas and plans, but due to over-commitment, be unable to implement them or share them with the larger school community. It is the hope of the school administration and Round Square Coordinators that the student delegates come home from the conference with a project plan that encourages the IDEALS in the GNS community. An example could be learning about a local service project at another school, and implementing, with help, a similarly inspired project here.

Financially, students and their families are responsible to pay for airfare, a possible post or pre-trip excursion and pocket money. GNS is responsible to pay for the conference fees. Students are encouraged to fundraise in their community to help offset the cost. For example, to go to Australia for the Round Square Conference in 2011, a student delegate raised $1000 by hosting a series of dinners to offset the $3000 total personal cost.

Application Process and Timeline

To apply to the International Round Square Conference in South Africa, please read carefully the above section on “Student Responsibilities,” and write a 200 to 300-word letter (to be submitted electronically please) to Dylan Reeves, Interim Round Square Coordinator, explaining why you would like to attend and what you hope to learn and bring back to GNS with you.

There will be interviews for a final selection of delegates. A strong applicant is someone who can effectively demonstrate their understanding of the IDEALS, and who can show how he/she has been involved in activities at either GNS and/or in the wider community that connect to Internationalism, Democracy, the Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. No Round Square experience is required (i.e., this opportunity is open to application by all students in Grades 9 to 12).

Please note that in the case of all conferences, students will require an up to date passport, which is valid for at least six months after our return. If your passport is from another country, you may also need a tourist visa and a Canadian re-entry visa.


Sarah McKerlich
Director of Senior School Round Square Program

Kim Waugh
Young Round Square Coordinator

Leanne Giommi
Junior School Round Square Coordinator

Round Square Ambassador Alert

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