I have recently been appointed the vice-captain of Newington Challenge. This is an outdoor education program at my school that focuses on engaging students outside of the classroom by exposing them to a wide range of activities that model practical and theoretical skills. As a vice-captain I am tasked with managing the year twelve leaders, designing sessions for future weeks, and taking a group on an annual outdoor education camp. What follows is a series of reflections across time demonstrating my involvement in key moments of service to the Newington Challenge program.
This Friday we have our second session of the 2020 program for Newington Challenge. It was crucial that we prepared the year 11 leaders for the skills and navigation session they were going to run. The onus is on the year twelve leadership this year to provide a stable foundation for both the current year elevens. This is because these leaders are seeing changes to the year nine program - the group they manage - and as such do not have any reference point from previous years as to how to run sessions. This is mainly the case because new sessions are being added.
Furthermore, the leadership team recognizes that we want to develop fun and interesting sessions for our lowers years as we are having issues with getting students from lowers years continuing to become leaders. This is reflected in that we have our year eleven leaders are half as small in number as our year twelves. Considering this, we have created a new session for this Friday that we help believe accomplishes both these aims.
The program, linked below, is a navigation and cooking session. The cooking element was borrowed from a program developed by other leaders due to the positive feedback it received. However, the navigation session is completely new.
This aspect of challenge leadership mainly relates to learning outcome five - demonstrating the benefits of working collaboratively. This is because it wasn't produced by myself alone. Rather, through the help of the challenge leaders Jack Lu and Alex Mcevoy we were able to decide on how to create a program that is both practically sound - teaching the necessary compass skills - but also engaging. This was only possible due to the group efforts as Jack and myself knew how to operate a compass, but, although Alex didn't know how to operate a compass, he did know how to make a grid map of the school. Subsequently, Alex was able to make the course that Jack and I later used to create a personalized map for each team. Notably, another benefit that arose out of group work was the increased efficiency in creating the program. As we had to make maps for two different teams, Jack and I could half our efforts by doing one team each, therefore halving the time taken.