Privett Big Brothers

Sunday, November 28, 2021 - By: Sebastian M, Privett ‘22

In a school such as Brentwood, with so many opportunities and so much student involvement, the boarding part of boarding school is sometimes forgotten. I believe that if you are happy in your boarding house, then you are happy at the school. It can be challenging to settle into a new home and form bonds with everyone in your house. That is why there are Big Brothers and Big Sisters Groups.

In Privett House, each group typically consists of six or seven boys led by two Grade 12s. Roommates are split up into different groups and there are never more than two students from the same grade. ‘Big Bros’ happens every second Tuesday for a couple of hours in the evening and each group finds a different spot in the house to sit down and chat. The house orders Panago pizzas on these nights for each pair of roommates; the night can’t start until the pizzas arrive.

Each house has a slightly different version of these groups, but the idea is always to help develop trust, develop respect, and develop friendship between the different grades. In Hope House, the groups are called Big Little Sisters and don’t have any scheduled meeting times. Alex H, Hope ‘22 says that instead of having the houseparent organize it, “the Grade 12s in each group decide when and where they want to spend time together, often going to dinner together or planning an event”.

Mr Neufeld, Privett Houseparent, has been in the house since 2000, and refers to Big Brothers as one of the ancient Brentwood traditions that has been around since “the before times”, when he had not yet arrived at Brentwood. Mr Neufeld says “Big Bros does a great job of helping students talk to people whom they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise, but it is also important to keep the energy levels under control on these nights.”

Dylan M, Privett ‘24 is in his first year at the school and appreciates the friendships that he has made so far through Big Bros. He said, “I just like Big Bros because it is fun, but I also have gotten to know this group of guys because of it”.

Coming to Brentwood as a new student last year, the Covid learning cohorts really restricted me from getting to know many students outside of my own boarding house. However, I’m really happy that I was able to form such tight bonds with all the guys who were in my house because of activities such as Big Bros.

Sebastian M, Privett ‘22

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