prefects' camp

BY Azraa Rockman

The 2020 Prefects’ Camp had added the fuel to our excitement for this great year of leadership ahead. Held from Wednesday to Friday on 29 to 31 January, we were ready to catch a glimpse of what this year of service will be like, while determined to learn more about ourselves and our fellow leaders in the process.
The remainder of our eventful week had begun with a trek up the Zuurberg Mountain, where we had been divided into smaller groups and instructed to come up with a song and accompanying dance moves about our experiences while on our journey to the inn. While 5km had seemed like a reasonable walking distance at first, it became clear that the mountain itself was out to test just how fit we really were. However, regardless of the fact that Miss Potgieter had offered to drive us to our destination (probably because we were walking too slowly), Chaneal Labercensie was adamant to make it to the lodge on her own, choosing to jog the rest of the way, even in the stifling heat. Finally, with the first bit of bonding done with most of us breaking a sweat in the process, we were ready to begin our official journey into the experience ahead.
The days following our arrival had entailed a series of self-development conferences, where we had been given great insight into many aspects of leadership, such as listening skills, assertiveness and conflict resolution. Our school’s consulting psychologist, Miss Nerine Loock, had allowed us to look deeper into our very own personality traits through a self-evaluation exercise, dividing us into four groups – the Greens, Blues, Golds and Oranges—based on what our personality had told us. Within each colour group, we were able to establish exactly what our strengths are, what are our accompanying weaknesses, and how we should choose to handle certain situations of conflict. Not only was this new knowledge helpful in showing us what we never had known about ourselves before, but it was also fun to see just how many people fell into the same category as others, while establishing ways for our differences to coincide harmoniously.
As a prefect body, we were also given the opportunity to learn more about each other through our Johari’s Window presentations, where we were given time to share aspects regarding our known, unknown and private self, as well as who we hoped to become in the near and far future. While some presentations had taken a more emotional turn, we were all nonetheless grateful for the fact that everyone was so willing open up about certain aspects about themselves that we would never have revealed under normal circumstances. Hopefully, we will all use what we have gained as a way of getting closer to our fellow Prefects through gaining a new understanding of one another, ensuring a dynamic year of service ahead of us.
Conferences aside, we were also allowed our own fair share of fun and games. When the weather seemed to play its cards in our favour, we took it in ourselves to make a trip down to the swimming pool for a dip, or for a simple chill session beside the waters. And if swimming wasn’t exactly our ideal way of entertaining ourselves, we found ourselves either scouting for the feral cats in the surrounding area, taking selfies beside the greenery, or avoiding the monkeys that patrolled the lodge grounds. Under one particular circumstance, Lisakhanya Daniels found herself in a state of near trauma after her encounter with one of the monkeys, resulting in her frantic yet swift movements in her efforts to hide behind me as one of our furry friends advanced on her. After realising that all the little creature wanted was the banana peel in her hand, she was quick to hand it over, while making it clear that she will never forgive me for laughing at her. Above everything else, I think it is safe to say that that particular instance had been my highlight of the entire camp. (Sorry, Lisa.)
The end of our second day had us realising that our camp was coming to an end. However, we were determined to make the most of our final evening together. After being fed to burst at dinner, most of us made it to the room Amber du Plessis and Ganeefa Sirkhotte for a bathroom photoshoot, with some of the Junior Prefects joining in. And seeing that the session carried on into the next morning, it was no wonder why we were so exhausted by the time we needed to get up for the day of our departure from Zuurberg.
While we were feeling a bit relieved about being able to make it home to make a dent in the workload awaiting us, a little bit of sadness had definitely hung in the air, especially for us as the Senior Prefects. For some of us, this had been their second Prefects’ Camp since Grade 7, while for others, it had been their first. But regardless of that, it had become clear that this camp had been the last time that our busy schedules would allow for us to go anywhere exciting as a team. We do acknowledge, however, that the experience had simply been unforgettable. I am forever grateful towards Mrs Stear and Mrs Snyman, and I would like to thank them for making this camp possible and for giving us the opportunity to look deeper into ourselves and our fellow leaders. On behalf of the Junior and Senior Prefect body, I would also like to say thank you to Miss Potgieter and Miss Loock for accompanying us on this camp and for providing us so much valuable knowledge that we will definitely make use of during our year of service and beyond.
I would like to thank my fellow Prefects for building such a fond memory with me, and one that I hope to cherish for a long time. It has become clear to me that this camp had signified the beginning of a journey that we will all be encountering together, and although I am unsure of how this journey will end, I only wish that we reach our desired destination with a smile and a heart full of memories as we look back to these moments at the end of the year. I look forward to this year ahead of us, and I hope that we can learn even more about each other in the process. May your leading light shine on all those who need it, while lighting up the paths that we will be taking to our future as well.

 February 06, 2020
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Azraa Rockman

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