Making connections, building strength and stepping up were the focus of the InsideOut programs embedded in the Year 7, 8 and 10 camps this year.
In Year 7, students focused on making connections and identifying character strengths as part of a number of InsideOut workshops and activities.
They made friendship bracelets using coloured pieces of string which were each matched to a character strength such as humour, love or forgiveness.
Students were tasked with choosing character strengths they use often or feel they are good at, as well as those they think they could use more effectively.
On Year 8 camp, students participated in two InsideOut workshops focused on mental toughness and mindfulness to help them build strength. They made a video journal of how they put challenge, confidence, control and commitment into action on camp.
They also practiced progressive muscle relaxation (sleep meditation) and experienced ‘Shinrin-yoku’ or Forest Immersion – an ancient Japanese cultural practice involving being mindfully present in surrounding bushland, focusing on what you can hear, smell and feel.
In Year 10, with a focus on ‘stepping up’, students took part in a solo afternoon and an unaccompanied hike. In preparation for the experience, they completed an online resilience course derived from University of Pennsylvania and Yale University content. The course, which is a WACE Endorsed Program, covered optimism, thinking traps, mindfulness, character strengths and emotions to prepare them for the camp and teach valuable everyday life skills.
Leader of InsideOut, Emily Lockhart, said these workshops and activities would also expand to Year 11 next year with the introduction of the new Year 11 BOLD Retreat.
“Coming in 2022, this retreat will be hosted at Rottnest Island and will use the ‘Dare to Lead’ framework by Brene Brown,” she said.
“Students will be organised into groups of 10 and will focus on vulnerability, leadership, courage and goal setting with a ‘Dare to Lead’ trained staff member."
“This staff member will then check in with the group every term in Years 11 and 12 and take them through a refresh day at the start of Year 12 to review their goals and progress and set the right mindset for the year.”
Becoming an Emotion Scientist
Year 8 students learnt all about the characteristics of an Emotion Scientist at this year’s InsideOut Day in August.
They learned about the RULER system of emotion recognition and regulation developed by Yale University, practiced using the Mood Meter, learned about triggers, shifting emotions, mental toughness and grit, and assessed their self-compassion using the Neff Self-Compassion Scale developed by the University of Texas.
“Students found the day very interesting and learned a lot about themselves along the way,” Head of InsideOut, Emily Lockhart, said.