Global Learning opportunities have long been a part of the Lakefield College School experience and after a three-year hiatus (due to the pandemic), they are back in full force! This year, 32 students and six staff leaders will embark on our March Break Global Learning trips and the Ondaatje Expedition to Morocco, Yukon Territory, and Ecuador. Before they set out on these journeys, the group took part in a Global Learning Pre-Trip Retreat at Camp Kandalore.
The goal of the retreat was to prepare students and teams for their programs, emphasizing the importance of strengthening relationships, making connections, and improving self-awareness. They spent the day playing together outside, gaining new insights about the countries they are about to visit, and spending time together as a team. Our students and leaders learned about the power of working together to discover more about countries, themselves, and each other.
One of the most critical moments involved students and leaders becoming more aware of their privileges and how their life experiences impact the way they see the world. Mr. Rollwagen said, “They understood that privilege is not something to feel guilty about, but it's essential to recognize it and acknowledge it when interacting with people from different backgrounds and experiences. This critical self-awareness is essential in the context of global learning experiences, where cultural exchange and immersion are central components.”
The retreat also provided an opportunity for the whole group to take part in a fun activity, "Matressing," a luge experience on mattresses down a fairly steep hill, bringing the teams together through a shared experience. As the day ended, they gathered around a campfire, where each group performed a short skit that highlighted some of the risks involved in their individual experiences. It was an entertaining and engaging event that allowed everyone to come together and bond as a community.
On Sunday morning, the workshop continued, and students expanded their understanding of how travel can impact us in a transformative way. It was inspiring to see how much a shared experience brought people and groups together in just 24 hours.
Global Learning experiences are an essential part of LCS's culture, emphasizing the importance of cultural exchange, immersion, and personal growth. The Global Learning Pre-Trip Retreat helped prepare the students and leaders for their upcoming journeys, fostering relationships and creating a space for critical self-reflection. These global learning experiences are transformative, and they will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on our students for years to come.
The Student Experience
“It was an amazing weekend that I believe was very beneficial to all involved. Everyone feels better prepared for what's to come, knows the expectations and knows each other a little better.”
“I think ‘matressing’ was the most memorable part of the weekend because it allowed many of us, even in other groups, to bond and create memories together outside of the trip dates.”
“Spending time with the team was probably my favourite part since I had never really talked to a bunch of them and we were able to get really close!”
“I gained a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of myself after the privilege reflection.”
“I think it was most beneficial just to have time with people I didn’t know as well so that I can feel more comfortable travelling with them; they’re all amazing people and it was great to have that time to connect.”