Bruce House 2019 Stay Back Weekend

February 14, 2019 at 3:26 PM

Bruce House will be home to up to over 100 boarders this year from Year 7 to Year 13. It is a second home to students from the four corners of the globe, with 15 international students and a number of others originating from here New Zealand but with links to overseas - bringing a vast diversity of cultures to our boarding community. 

The ‘Kiwi’ boarders come from all around New Zealand, many from rural homes, but there is also a large contingent from Greater Auckland. These ‘local’ students live a little too far away for an easy daily commute by bus or car, and so often in their senior years choose to board to take full advantage of co-curricular activities that take place before and after school, as well as the assistance of tutors during Prep time. A 7am music rehearsal or a sports training that finishes at 5pm are much easier to manage when they take place only a few minutes’ walk away! 

For those new to boarding, those first few nights away can be a bit of a scary prospect and so the first weekend back to school each year has become known as ‘Stay Back Weekend.’ All the boarders, even those who would generally head home for the weekend, ‘stay back’ for a weekend of fun activities to make new friendships and form new bonds between the age groups. 

Year 13 Bruce House boarder, Christos Sanft reports on the weekend:

The Bruce House Stay Back Weekend is an amazing opportunity for students who are part of the Saint Kentigern boarding community, to spend an action-packed weekend together. It’s a chance for students to take part in team building activities and spend time socially.  It’s an especially important event on the Bruce House calendar because it allows students, both new and old, to build strong bonds with each other. It helps new students let their guard down around their new peers, and hopefully learn something new about the students they will spend so much time with living at Bruce House.

On Friday afternoon, the boarders were taken in a laughter-filled bus over to Maraetai Beach. Once unloaded, students were fast to get into the water, relax on the beach or race off to play sports in the afternoon sun. A beach dinner was served with us all enjoying some delicious fish and chips while chatting with friends. Many took up the opportunity to go wharf jumping, putting on a spectacular show - even though one phone was sacrificed to the sea! However, spirits would not be dulled, and the phone was eventually rescued.

Saturday morning had students into arranged teams to take part in a Police obstacle course – with the added challenge of it being a timed course. The obstacles consisted of both physical and mental tasks. Some teams were more successful than others, but all teams learnt to work together. We were very privileged to have the Police Officers spend time with us to create this team building event. As the sun came out from behind the morning clouds, a water slide was set up for students to cool off prior to lunch. The day was rounded off with some Sing Star, and an outdoor movie.

On Sunday, the students woke up to a fabulous cooked breakfast, while the rest of the morning was free time. Once lunch was digested, the students were able to head down to the school pool where a water-based inflatable obstacle course was set up. After the students had their fun, they went back to the boarding house for a cooling ice cream from Mr Whippy.

The 2019 stay back weekend was a tremendous success; new students had the chance to bond with their new second family. It was good to watch new students open up to their peers and grow closer together. Bruce House wishes the students of 2019 the best of luck for the year ahead.

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