Orientation a Roaring Success

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - By: Marius Felix

Sitting in the gym during the “Fun and Games” evening, masterfully hosted by Mr. Rick Rodrigues and the Interns, one would not blame me, or any other adult, for wearing earplugs to dampen the constant roars of enthusiasm and house spirit on display. Indeed, the event is a reflection of the start we have had as the 2013-2014 Brentwood school year gets underway.

I cannot imagine any school in which 80 students willingly and passionately give up four days of their precious summer holidays to return to school and assist in integrating the 181 new students into our school. In fact, over the last several days of the holiday, another 20 students contacted me desperate to volunteer their time to be a part of the Orientation Program. How could I refuse? This willingness to make a wholesome and meaningful contribution to the start of our new year is both inspiring and humbling. Anyone who says today’s youth are self-centered and self-serving would quickly change their opinion had they witnessed the contributions our students made in getting the year underway.

You will be pleased to hear that every new student was given the opportunity to go through a swim test in the rather fresh waters of Mill Bay. The Royal Life Saving Society conducted the testing in a highly professional manner. While there were some shrieks as the students jumped into the water (the water was 58 degree F!) the smiles of accomplishment in passing the test were present in abundance. More importantly, we know that our students can now anticipate their reaction if they find themselves in the water and respond with both confidence and a level head. Many thanks to Mr. Gage for his organizational work in this regard.

On Friday afternoon, the first Interhouse event was held. The Eco-Challenge, a multi-discipline event combining canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, cross-country running, survival shelter construction, portaging, orienteering and fire making was keenly contested. While there was an eventual winner (ask your children as I must remain unbiased!) there is no doubt that the house sports captains did a masterful job in organizing their teams. Many thanks must go to Mr. Norman for his terrific leadership in hosting this event.

Finally, after an inspiring speech from Mr. Garvey about one of his heroes, Terry Fox, the entire school participated, either as a volunteer, a walker, runner or cyclist, in the Terry Fox Run on Sunday. Blessed by a glorious day, the event, Brentwood’s 33rd, was a fitting end to a highly productive week.

And now the real work begins. Classes started in earnest Friday morning, and the exceptional and privileged task of learning and working at Brentwood is underway.

Finally, Orientation is all about our new families. It is our mission to make the transition into our school as seamless as possible, while fully appreciating that the Opening Day is both an exciting and emotional day. With this in mind, any feedback you would like to share will be gratefully accepted. Please direct your comments to me at marius.felix@brentwood.bc.ca.

All the best until next time,

Marius Felix, Assistant Head of School

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