At the start of February, Rangitoto College held its annual Student Leadership Camp. This trip strengthens the leadership skills of new Student leaders and prepares them for the year ahead. Below, Arts Committee Leader Oliver Roe reflects on his experience.

Odds are that if you picked twenty-five students at random, it would be unlikely that they would all like each other. Add to this, that these students came from all walks of life and represent the fullest extent of experiences Rangitoto has to offer, you would think it impossible that they could spend five minutes in a room with one another, let alone work as a team.

Yet somehow, against all odds, a team was formed. From the first moments of camp, as we stood around a pile of bags, waiting for a bus to come, right up until the moment that we said our goodbyes in the bottom car park, there was a total sense of comradeship between the new Student Leaders. A sense of belonging, a sense of a shared goal, even as we were still discovering what that goal was. 

Throughout the weekend we had various workshops on leadership by the people who understand it best—Principal Patrick Gale, Deputy Principal Elizabeth McKnight, Deans George May, Rhianna Maker, Stephanie Kim, and Kane Wilson, as well as the 2021 Head Students. Each speaker covered a different aspect of leadership, with the intention of the camp to create well-rounded leaders, who could be flexible in all situations. We were encouraged to look at not only our strengths as leaders but also our weaknesses. Not as flaws, but as things to adjust as we grow. Yet, when I think about the moments that made camp special, it is the time in-between our workshops that I remember. The meals, sitting around the table enjoying each other’s cooking, our night-time adventure on the Burma trail, with Mr May doing his best (and often succeeding) to scare us, learning the haka, the simple conversations, and the games of cards. All of it felt like something more. 

The odds were against us coming together as a cohesive group, yet we did. This year, I am confident that whatever challenges are thrown our way, the 2022 Student Leaders will be able to overcome them.