A World of “Discovery” at the Round Square International Conference in India

By Mr. Gerry Bird

As regular eNews readers are likely aware, Round Square
 is an organization of over 200 schools in 50 countries, across 6 continents, all of which share a common commitment to experiential and character education. We are proud that Lakefield College School was the first Canadian School to become a member of Round Square in 1978. 
On September 26, 2019, the LCS delegation of Marc Bossongbra, Olivia Cantelon, Razan Hammoud, Jonty Harris, and Savannah Lummis, along with Head of School, Ms. Anne-Marie Kee and Round Square Representative, Mr. Gerry Bird, left Lakefield on a 27-hour journey that would take them to India for the 2019 Round Square International Conference. Prior to the six-day conference, the LCS group joined delegations from about half a dozen other RS Schools for a five-day pre-conference tour of India’s “Golden Triangle”, which included stops in Delhi, Bharatapur, Agra and Jaipur. 
The trip was definitely an eye-opening, even life-changing, experience for many of the participants and the students presented an account of both their geographical and personal learning journeys in India to the school community in Chapel on Tuesday, October 29.  A recap of the itinerary and the experiences of the LCS delegation is available hereIn addition, Grade 10 student delegate, Jonty Harris, created a 7-minute video and took many of the photos accompanying this article to document the adventures of the LCS group on the pre-conference tour and at the RSIC. You can watch this video, along with the students' reflections in Chapel, here.
The 2019 Round Square International Conference was a massive gathering, attended by over 1200 delegates from 212 schools in more than 50 countries. The theme of the conference was “Sarvodaya”, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “the world we wish to see” or “universal uplift for all”. At the Closing Ceremonies on the final day, the host school, Emerald Heights International School in Indore, released the following video which captures some of the magic and energy of the event.
It should be noted that the educational philosophy of Round Square is based on six foundation pillars or IDEALS, which stands for: Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. More recently, RS has also identified 12 route-markers or Discoveries that students — or Round Square Explorers, as they are referred to in the Discovery Framework — should engage with on their learning journey.
In their Chapel presentation, the students used the RS Discoveries as a basis for exploring and sharing their learning. Their individual reflections on the very meaningful learning and personal growth which they experienced during their time in India are available here.

A Related Note

Next year’s Round Square International Conference will be jointly hosted by three RS Schools in Victoria, Australia in late September/early October 2020.  More details about this opportunity should be released by the host schools fairly early in the New Year and later this winter, students will be invited to apply to represent LCS at next year’s RSIC.

Interested Students and Parents:  Please contact Gerry Bird (gbird@lcs.on.ca) with any questions or to have your name put on a list to be notified when more details become available.
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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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