Bruce House Stay Back Weekend

February 13, 2020 at 1:39 PM

With thanks to Year 13 boarder, Sofia Montgomerie

Bruce House will be home to 101 boarders this year, with girls and boys from Year 8 to Year 13. There are international students from eight different countries - USA, China, Korea, Thailand, Japan, New Caledonia, Hong Kong, Taiwan – and students from all around New Zealand bringing a vast diversity of cultures to the boarding house.

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 to make new friendships and form new bonds across the age groups. This allows our newest boarders to familiarise themselves with Bruce House, the College facilities and the people they will be living with for the coming years. Regardless of whether a new boarder begins their Saint Kentigern experience in Year 8 or in Year 13, this weekend is a great opportunity to make friends, build trust and to bond with their ‘second family’ – the Bruce House family!

Year 13 boarder, Sofia Montgomerie reports on the weekend

Bruce House Stay Back weekend is definitely a weekend to remember, filled with exciting activities that sparked friendly relationships between the Bruce House family. We started off the weekend with a laughter-filled trip to Maraetai Beach on Friday to enjoy fish and chips for dinner while soaking up the New Zealand sun and sea.

Saturday started bright and early, as we met with a former Bruce House duty staff member, Ms Pikett-Walsh and her colleagues from the police force, to take us through a small-scale police fitness test. Arranged teams across the ages, the obstacles consisted of both physical and mental tasks - with the added challenge of it being a timed course. 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. This challenge showcased the athletes of the house and who could work fast under pressure but overall, it was great fun for everyone.

Later, the Bruce House prefect team, enjoying their new roles of responsibility, put together a water slide for the boarders to have some more fun and games. After an awesome time and a well-deserved lunch break, we took on our second obstacle course of the day; this time in the pool. As the girls relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company, the boys managed to find yet another place where they could play rugby!

 After an entertaining few hours in the pool, we all headed back up to the House to have dinner and get ready for the movie night. We were treated to an outdoor movie theatre, watching ‘Jumanji’ from couches and beanbags on the hill.

Sunday morning brought with it the biggest challenge of the weekend. The Amazing Race turned into a fierce battle with teams racing to find answers all the way from Bruce House to the rowing pontoon with many diversions in between. Another afternoon dip in the pool meant that we were refreshed and ready for our House Chapel that evening.

Chapel allowed us to reflect on how the weekend had bonded the Bruce House family and helped integrate our new students. It was great to see the new boarders open up to their new peers, and to witness the support and encouragement from seasoned boarders. We all come from such diverse backgrounds, but are now ready to accomplish this new school year together!

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