Over the weekend of 18 - 22 February, Stanford Lake College hosted a Round Square Conference for 14 to 15 year olds. Founded in 1966, Round Square is an internationally diverse network of over 237 like-minded schools in 50 countries on six continents. Round Square schools, such as Stanford Lake College, share a commitment to character education and holistic approach to learning built around the six IDEALS – Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
Globally, this was the first face-to-face Round Square Conference since the pandemic started. In its planning phase, the conference was postponed four times - each time due to a new wave or variant of Covid-19. Bravely, Stanford decided that they weren't going to postpone again and managed to hold a small, but very successful conference on the misty mountain. Over 70 delegates from ten schools were in attendance, including schools from Grahamstown, Cape Town and Gauteng. Stanford were excited to also welcome their friends from Güt Warnberg School in Germany to the event.
The conference was opened with a traditional flag bearing ceremony, along with some lovely performances for Stanford’s student leaders. In true mountain style, a drum circle was led by one of our local musicians, Chris Mocke, and the night ended with one of Stanford's own, Mr Pretorius, performing an enchanting fire dance.
The conference was filled with amazing activities such as night hikes in the mountain, zip lining at Magoebaskloof Adventures, doing an adventure race on Stanford’s campus as well as completing some service projects with Stanford Lake College’s community partnership school, Glenshiel Primary. The delegates enjoyed inspiring talks from extreme adventurer, Peter van Kets, who shared his stories and adventures including rowing the Atlantic and trekking to the South Pole. They also heard from local adventurer, Pieter Geldenhuys, who shared his passion for traversing mountain peaks.
These jam-packed four days created an opportunity for the delegates to share unique experiences and bond for life. The tears shed in the parking lot as the delegates said their goodbyes, were a true testament to what it means to be Round Square.
Watch a preview of the Conference video here: