05 Mar 2019

Year 5 Sleepover

Newington Challenge is an experiential learning, outdoor education program which has specifically been tailored to meet the needs of boys in Years 9 and 10. Newington Challenge consists of a two-year journey-based program designed to promote personal, physical and emotional growth of the individual, while encouraging a sense of belonging to a group and the wider community. The boys work in small groups alongside staff members, instructors and Year 11 and 12 student leaders. On February 14 and 15, Newington Challenge members welcomed Year 5 boys to campus for a sleepover. Xavier Papps (12/MA) shares a first-hand account below.

‘The Wyvern Sleepover’ is an important event for Year 5 students allowing them to ‘See the big school’ whilst learning valuable skills like tenting, bonding with their classmates and meeting older students in the process. The event also helped teachers to get to know their students a little bit better. A team of dedicated Newington Challenge leaders ran initiative games, set up tents and assisted staff in order to make the event run smoothly whilst being as fun as possible for the Year 5’s. 

In the dead of the afternoon, we marched down to the Old Boys Oval, exhausted after a long day of house comp. We introduced ourselves to each of the eager-eyed gents and began to commence some activities to alleviate any stress they might’ve had going into the camp. After all, many of them had never put up a tent before, or even gone camping, although it was clear after the activities had ended that each of them were bubbling with energy and excitement, with most of their insecurities almost completely gone. Afterward, we helped them to set up tents all across the oval and left them off for dinner.

‘The Wyvern Sleepover appeared to be a really great experience for the students. The Newington Challenge leaders did a great job’ – Tim Rollston (Newington Challenge Year 10 Group 2 Leader)

On Friday morning, we came in at 7am to help pack down the tents and debriefed the Year 5 boys. We fought through the brisk early morning to dry out and pack up the tents. The Year 5 boys spent their early morning playing a variety of different sports. A good plan from the teachers to tire them out before class.

In conclusion, being able to have the opportunity to help these boys was a great way to help establish a connection between the up and coming boys and the existing Newington Challenge members. The chance to meet some new faces and run our own games allowed us to help the boys become more comfortable in their new classes and bond with one another. A highlight of our time at Newington.

Xavier Papps


200 Stanmore Road
Stanmore NSW 2048
+61 2 9568 9333


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