A group of enthusiastic ICS students gave 11 visiting schools a warm welcome when they came to the European Young Round Square Conference in February 2014. ICS was hosting the event for Grade 6 students, themed 'Action through Adventure'. It opened with an assembly where ICS Head of School Mary-Lyn Campbell and Secondary Principal Rebecca Butterworth greeted delegates and urged them to seize the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom walls and make new friends while doing so. Then the action and adventure really got going.
Our 13-strong team of Round Square teachers ran a varied and intense three-day programme of activities, as our students relate. "We had the chance to participate in many exciting activities, including a breath-taking 3km sledge run and a picturesque hike in the beautiful Swiss mountains. We made snow caves, and enjoyed a curling lesson and ice-skating. The adventure did not stop there. On one activity, we went into the forest near the school and took on a tough (and sometimes frustrating) teamwork challenge to make our own fires using only four dry pieces of wood and four matches. This was not as easy as it first looked! Our teachers certainly tested our patience, our perseverance and our determination to complete the fire-making task and to cook tea!
"This was followed by a group art project with all 40 delegates, which took us on a very creative artistic journey. We formed groups, mixing ourselves among the different schools. It was a great idea as we had to work as a real team in order to create a concrete, do-able plan to represent the Round Square pillars in the most imaginative and diverse way possible. Another team of teachers then amazed us with a star-gazing activity. On Sunday we took part in a historical Zurich tour and then had to say goodbye to our new friends, promising to keep in touch and reflect on our shared learning.
"Thank you to everyone who supported this event and made it possible."
"During the ICS Young Round Square Conference I had a wonderful experience. I met some amazing friends, built an igloo, went sledding, hiking and curling. The entire conference was so much fun and I hope everyone who was at this conference can come again. All the activities were fun, and I think that everyone enjoyed them. One of my favorite parts of the conference was building a fire with some of my friends. Overall, the conference was super fun, and I wish it went on longer. Kathrine B.
"The theme was 'Action Through Adventure' and we participated in a variety of activities from sledging and a fire activity to ice-skating and curling, igloo-building and an art project designed to represent the six IDEALS of Round Square - Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. I enjoyed the conference because I was able to meet lots of new people and learn about where they were from. This was my first conference, and I think that I learned a lot from it. I made many new friends, and hope to see some of them at next year's conference! Ayush P.
"I thought the ICS Young Round Square Conference was awesome. It totally showed 'Action through Adventure'. I really loved curling because it was a new sport for me and it came out I was a natural talent. I made new friends and it was nice to communicate with other people. Thanks to all the schools that came, they were fantastic!" Luc S.