The Importance of Letting Our Children Explore in Covid-uncertain Times

The Term 2 school calendar is starting to get busy with excursions and overnight camps across the Primary and Secondary schools. It’s an exciting time as students and teachers prepare for an adventure away from home for a few days exploring the great unknown.  For many students school camp is a rite of passage, something they look forward to for years as they hear stories of previous years camps from teachers and peers.

However, for children who have been home the past two years, the thought of being away from their family can be anxiety provoking and cause great distress. Eating different food, sleeping in a different environment, being around people 24 hours a day and participating in activities that push students out of their comfort zone, can be confronting and overwhelming.

When intense emotions arise, I often go back to the work of Dr Brené Brown, a social worker and academic in America. Brené is world renown for her research on shame, courage, and vulnerability. 

“You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability” - Brené Brown

We know camp can be a vulnerable experience for some students. To be honest, some camps are designed to challenge students to get them out of their comfort zone. However, it is important as adults to help children and young people navigate these emotions and experience vulnerability for them to experience life in new ways.  This is part of their education journey and is an essential component in holistic learning in student wellbeing.

Parent information on how to support your child before camp departs and how to cope when your child is at camp can be accessed via the following link The Parents’ Guide to Managing Pre-Camp Anxiety — Seleni - Maternal Mental Health Institute

It’s a rewarding experience seeing a student grow and overcome challenges throughout the camp. By showing courage and facing their fears, it helps them develop resilience and inner knowing that they can push themselves beyond their comfort zone and survive.

I wish all students and their family’s success in the upcoming Primary school camps this term. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher or Wellbeing Leader.

Claire Thompson - Director of Student Wellbeing