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Green SuperCamp Amber’s Reflection

July 15th, 2013


 

For our readers who were expecting Part 3 to our “Teaching Your Kids To Achieve Success”  series of articles, I’d like to let you know that will be up very soon and it will be well worth the read.

 

Flynn and Amber Howitt have just returned from a Young Leaders Camp in Bali, and as it is so fresh and exciting I thought we would interrupt our 5 Part Series and share with you some snippets of Amber’s experience whilst on camp.

 

Amber and new friends.

Amber and new friends.

Amber and Maddi leading the run.

Amber and Maddi leading the run.

 

 

 

 

 

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Before I hand you over to Amber, I would like to give our readers a little back ground about the Green SuperCamp, which is held every year at Green School Bali.

Indonesia. In 2012 three of our children (Kaitlin, Jai and Flynn) attended the camp and returned full of experience and wisdom. The camp is designed to create young leaders to care for our future world. The camp does this by building their confidence, encouraging them to think big, and by giving them the skills to learn, interact and to step out of their comfort zones.

Amber participating in a team performance.

Amber participating in a team performance.

Flynn learning to trust.

Flynn learning to trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This year Amber was old enough to go along too. She was very excited as she had heard all the awesome stories and learning from her siblings’ camp experiences last year. Also a bunch of friends from Western Australia were coming along as well (Maddi Barrett, Macy Hobson, Georgia Dewar and Lachlan McRoberts). To learn more of what Green SuperCamp is about and to understand the philosophies of Green School, you’ll have to click the links to earlier articles.

So enough from me… here is Amber Howitt’s Green SuperCamp Reflection…

 

Green Super Camp, for me, was an amazing experience! Everyone there is treated evenly and kindly. No one is excluded or mistreated, so everyone is happy. Your phones and valuables are given in, but you can reunite with your valuables almost every night to contact your parents.

Grinding grain.

Grinding grain.

 

Flynn and his Super Camp team.

Flynn and his Super Camp team.

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The Green SuperCamp itself is built mainly out of bamboo. It is nurtured and cared for by the people within it. They use water from their lake and purify it. People from the world outside Green School can come collect the water for free and use it in their homes. Green School is meant so people around the community can be involved with the school. They make their own power using solar energy and grow their own food in food gardens.

 

 Goal Setting Steps

 

The camp has inspired me to do more with my life, rather than just sit around and be… normal. It has inspired me to take challenges, adventures and think of the things I could be doing. Writing books and travelling around the world are two of my crazy ideas… those things might be a little hard for someone at the age of eleven though. But I can try to work up to that goal. The steps for goal making are:

  • Design it
  • Outline it
  • In your face (tackle barriers)
  • Take action!

 

High ropes course. Facing fears!

High ropes course. Facing fears!

Flynn floating on hands.

Flynn floating on hands.

Quantum Strategies

 

We were taught Quantum Reading and Writing. I improved my reading speed with the same comprehension by over 100%. I concentrated by using the Alpha State. Alpha State is a technique to relax and to concentrate better. The steps to Alpha State are:

  • Sit up
  • Breath in and out
  • Close eyes
  • Think of a peaceful place
  • Roll eyes up and down
  • Open eyes
  • Concentrate

 

Maddi preparing the home grown food.

Maddi preparing the home grown food.

Macy and Georgia

Macy and Georgia

Relationships

 

The friendships you can make at Green SuperCamp are really special. I made friends with both team leaders and kids from all over the world. It is really easy to do so because everyone wants to make friends. Sometimes your relationships can last forever. Green Super Camp teaches you how to have the courage to become friends. No one is alone at Green School or Green Super Camp.

I also learnt techniques to help me learn. These help me to improve my relationship with my teachers. We call this “SLANT” (acronym)

 

Here are the “Tips for Learning” or “SLANT”.

 

  • Sit up
  • Lean Forward
  • Ask Questions
  • Nod your head
  • Talk to your teacher

 

Thanking and Apologising

 

Flynn Saying goodbye to new friends!

Flynn Saying goodbye to new friends!

We also learnt the importance of thanking people and apologising. We were taught how to do this properly. We call the steps to thanking “OTFD” or “Open The Front Door”.

 

Observation, Think, Feel, Desire

 

We call the steps to Apologise, “AAMR”, pronounced “A Mr!”

 

Acknowledge, Apologise, Make it Right, Recommit

 

Eight Keys of Success

 

Lastly we were taught the “Eight Keys of Success”. These are the keys that keep you on course for success! For each of these keys we learn a different hand movement. This helps us to remember them. Here they are:

  1. Integrity
  2. Failure Leads to Success
  3. Speak With Good Purpose
  4. This Is It
  5. Commitment
  6. Ownership
  7. Flexibility
  8. Balance

 

 

If you read this and think “Nah… my child wouldn’t want to go to that camp!” Think again! Any child, from any place, no matter what, will want to go to Green Super Camp. Thank you to my parents and camp sponsors for making it possible for me to attend Green SuperCamp. Thank you to my friends and new friends that supported me on camp. Thank you to all the team leaders and facilitators that taught me all the tools I need for life. Lastly, thank you my team, GO TEAM H!

 

Thanks Amber for your reflection. Jai, Kaitlin and Lachlan are currently on the Senior Green Super Camp. Here is a link to the Green SuperCamp Face Book page. There are lots of photos to look at if you’re interested. And here is a link to an article we wrote last year on the Green SuperCamp.

Here are Jai’s and Flynn’s Reflections from last years Green Super Camp.
Kaitlin shared why she wanted to attend the Green SuperCamp here.

Our “Teaching Your Kids To Achieve Success”  series will continue next week with Part 3 (Part 1 and Part 2). Amber would love to hear your comments. Be sure to ask her some questions. The comment box is below this article. To subscribe to Enterprise for Kids just add your name and email on the form on the left side bar.


Green School Bali Leading The Way!

April 3rd, 2013

Imagine a school with a natural, holistic, student-centred learning environment that empowers and inspires their young people to be creative, innovative, green leaders?

 

 

green school bali bamboo

There are many schools that aspire to a vision such as this, but very few achieve it! In fact, in all the years that I’ve been a teacher I know of only one such school that has been gaining the genuine attention of educators and parents from all around the world. This unique school is located in a forest on the island of Bali in Indonesia, and it is constructed entirely of bamboo.

Green School Bali is an innovative school that is different in just about every aspect to regular Australian schools. It is different in its construction, the way it is run, its philosophy on raising and teaching children and with its curriculum.

Alan Wagstaff Green School BaliCathy, myself and our kids recently had the opportunity to attend an excellent presentation in Perth on Green School Bali. The Principal, Mr Alan Wagstaff, show-cased his school and shared their philosophy on education. He spoke with passion and with tremendous pride.

Rightly so… as Green School Bali is turning many heads! The founders of the school think ‘way out of the box’ and have created a harmonious learning environment that kids excel in. They, and a growing group of others, believe that this school is the way of the future with education. Perhaps the policy makers, politicians and leaders of our outdated education system should take a serious look at Green School Bali.

In previous articles we have challenged the pedogogical practices of our current National Testing cartoonschooling system here in Australia. We have the view that it provides a good literacy education. However, the design of our system is to condition young people to be obedient, hard working and compliant. Now that doesn’t actually sound so bad does it, but what I mean is that our world needs workers to fill jobs and that is what schools do. They train kids to be loyal workers and aspire to have a life long JOB. Now, that is perfect for those who want to do that, but what happens if you want to become an Entrepreneur? Many of our schools don’t really foster true leadership, innovation or enterprise. Our schools certainly don’t provide a financial education, nor do they teach kids to develop the habits and thinking of an entrepreneur.

Disengaged Students

Disengaged Students

Alan Wagstaff was also very apologetic about his very strong views on our archaic education system currently running in Australia (and other western Societies). He pointed out many issues that should not be dismissed, and he backed his views with facts, figures and research conducted by qualified experts in education. He cited the work of well regarded intellectuals and authors such as Michael Shorts, Alfie Kohn and Steven Covey.

So what does green School have that is so uniquely special?

 

 

This quote by Michael Franti begins to paint a picture…

Check out a Green School classroom

Check out a Green School classroom

“For anybody that’s considering sending your kid to school here, it’s different than other schools where your kid’s going to be assigned a number and a desk and you show up and you do exactly what you’re told. Here if you have an idea to do something that’s outside of the box, that idea is going to be fostered and nurtured rather than pushed down. I highly recommend coming here as a visitor, if you’re just visiting Bali; and if you’re a student, it’s a great place to be.” – Michael Franti, poet, musician, and activist.

Alan Wagstaff shared an interesting statistic about students in our regular schools. Studies show that two thirds of students over 11 years old in Australian schools are not engaged in their learning and don’t really like school! These same students feel that they are learning irrelevant things that won’t be of any use to them when they leave school. Funny he happens to point this out, as we hear this at times from our teenage children. In fact I think back to much of the mundane content that I had to master, and be tested on, as a student in High School and then again as a student at Teachers College. Content that was of no use to me in what I do today.

Conditioning childrenAlan says we need to change the structuring of timetabling. We need to go from subject based teaching to student-centred. If you look at what children do at school, their timetable will typically revolve around Literacy and Numeracy with subjects such as The Arts being of lesser importance by shoving them into the afternoon gaps on the timetable. We push the students with Literacy and Numeracy in order to uphold the education ‘brand’ and to satisfy National Testing (NAPLAN). Our curriculum is all prescribed with little room for being flexible. Whatever the subject, the emphasis is always Literacy and Numeracy. With the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum we are in for an even more inflexible schooling system.

With all the emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy, why do we have so many kids not meeting the grade?

 

What is it about schooling that creates life success? … the short answer is simply having kids turn up at school and be fully engaged and you’ll get there!

 

Outdated education systemTherefore we need kids to be satisfied. Schools need to link students into life! Their learning needs to be realistic and of relevance to each of them individually. Everyday we should be academically up-skilling kids, but not comparing them with other kids.

Parents should ask, not how do they compare with other kids, but what is it they are learning.

Alan explained how they educate children at Green School Bali. Here is what he said.

The programs are structured around themes. These are collaboratively planned by the teacher team leaders. Teachers then run proficiency lessons within these short term themes. Students are shown the continuum of what they need to learn in the different areas of the curriculum and then the students set about working towards learning what they need to learn at their own levels. The students take the responsibility for their own learning.

green-school-classWithin the broader themes, students follow their own individual interests. They develop their own ideas and these ideas are fostered and expanded. They themselves identify what they need to learn and then conduct their own investigations and study groups in order to learn, understand and practice skills.

Every day the children are engaged in practical lessons that challenge the Big Four… Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Interpersonal.

For example, if the general theme was ‘Waves’, then the Big 4 may run as follows…
Physical- Go experience the waves by surfing.
Emotional- Paint a wave or sing a wave melody
Intellectual- Study wave formations.
Interpersonal- Sit by the waves and meditate.

At Green School there are no rigid timetables. This allows themes to develop through dynamic chaos. Specialist teachers decide what will be done and teachers research the theme and subject areas. Students are then engaged in proficiency lessons.

green schoolAlan said that in order for students to learn something they must ‘hit it three times in three different ways during the week’. Thus mini themes develop within the bigger themes. Teachers teach children to self manage their way through learning. Therefore the kids are fully engaged and it leads to lifelong learning.

Opportunities are seized as they arise to provide practical real life lessons in the following areas… connect to the real world; environmental education; health and wellbeing; performance arts; enterprise education; and visual arts.

These lessons are timed (have end date), sustainable, are flexible and must be authentic. They do this by venturing beyond the school and accessing adults and resources in the ‘enterprising world’.

Green School’s aim is for kids to want to go to school and for them to be fully engaged. Thus the emphasis is on relevance to learning and valuing students, and not on testing and comparing students as we do in our current schooling system. This simply puts unnecessary pressure on them.

green school bambooGreen School Bali is an architectural masterpiece. A masterwork built of bamboo and mud brick. There are no classroom walls and very little impact on the environment. The school is self sustainable with power sourced from a large bank of solar panels and hydro power from the river. Students all assist with growing food in the large permaculture garden where animals are also kept for use.

Surrounding the school are bamboo homes built by local and international people who choose to live in Bali so that their children can attend the school. green school bali gardensUnder construction are numerous studios that are to be leased cheaply to entrepreneurs under the proviso that the students are involved with these businesses, allowing them to develop enterprise skills and ultimately they will learn to be entrepreneurs.

This is truly a real live example of an exemplary school. Students attending this school are achieving outstanding results in all aspects of their development, including academics. They are learning faster and going further than their peers on mainland Australia. Although the school has only been running for a short time, they have their first graduates graduating and, those choosing to do so, are being accepted into universities around the world.

green school kidsAlan Waggstaff and the founders of the school have a vision to create change in how all schools educate. They know that they will be challenged if they target the top of the education hierarchy in Australia. So they are working to make change from the bottom up. They are doing this by being an exemplary school and by being noticed! They are also training teachers on mainland Australia with Green School ideologies with the purpose of these teachers making gradual change in their own schools.

If you are inspired by what this school stands for and would like to impact change in our current schooling system, then get in contact with Alan Waggstaff to organise for him and his team to train your people (parents and teachers done at very low cost). This is his email alan@greenschool.org .

There are currently places available in the school for students. The school charges $6000 year for primary aged students and $12000 year for secondary. It is a non profit school and offers places to many disadvantaged students through privately funded scholarships.

green supercamp baliAnother way to have your kids experience Green School Bali, is to send them along to the Green SuperCamp. There is one coming up mid year. Kaitlin, Jai and Flynn attended last year and came back transformed! We are working towards them attending the camp again this year along with our eleven year old daughter Amber.  If you would like to know more about the Green SuperCamp give us a call or email.

Here is a blog post we wrote a year ago about Green SuperCamp sharing our kids’ experiences there.

 

Check out what Flynn had to say about the Green SuperCamp

As always, we appreciate comments. Do you think our schools are up for the challenge of preparing our children for our modern world?

 

John Hardy, founder of Green School Bali speaks at TED.

Green Super Camp Bali… Jai Shares His Experience!

July 23rd, 2012

Jai and Kaitlin also attended the Green Super Camp Bali, although their experiences were a little different to Flynn’s as they were with teenagers from 14 to 17 years old and their learning and activities were different. They also had life changing experiences and returned to Australia with plenty of stories to share and noticeable positive changes. Here is Jai’s account in his own words….

 

Dance & drama!

Jai being prepared by his team to present a talk to the group.

 

The Green Super Camp was a once in a lifetime opportunity! I reckon I learnt more in the one week I was there than I have all of high school! It’s hard to explain what we learnt, but it involved quantum strategies, learning how to trust, have integrity, be balanced, and be self motivated… We also learnt some easy ways to increase our grades!

    The way we were taught these things were also very unique… there were so many skits and stories and we were involved in any way possible! Learning became fun and we found it easier to remember things.
    Everybody there was so friendly and strong friendships were formed quickly.

    

Green Super Camp Bali

High Ropes Course.

Building project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the kids on the camp were from all around the world, we all got on really well and learnt a lot about each other!

    The Green Super Camp Bali was very different to any other camp I have been on… Every morning, to be able to have breakfast, we had to stand up as a team and yell out this chant:…

  

Team games.

Making friends... camp in the background.

“HUNGRY HUNGRY
    * clapclap *
    VERY VERY
    * clapclap *
    HUNGRY VERY
    * clapclap*
    VERY HUNGRY
    * clapclap*
    TI CALACKA PI A PI A
    TI CALACKA PI A PI A
    TI CALACKA PI A PI A
    MAKAN!”

    At first we all thought this was really weird and immature and none of us were really comfortable chanting it, but after a few days, nobody cared about how they looked (another thing we learnt) and we all got right into it!

  

Green Super Camp Bali 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite part of the camp was interacting with the people there and mucking around with new-found mates!
    And if I had to say my least favourite part of the camp, it would be the fact that we sat a lot and our bums were sore by the end on the camp but that was minor compared to how much fun we had.
    Overall this camp was an amazing experience and I would happily go back any day!
    I would recommend this camp to anyone who is experiencing problems in their life, or would just like to try something new!

By Jai

In our next blog we hope to visit Kaitlin’s account of the Green Super Camp Bali. She hasn’t put pen to paper yet, so possibly we will take a look at something else until she gets round to it. It will be interesting to see if the camp lived up to her expectations!

Green SuperCamp Bali Raps!

July 16th, 2012

Twelve year old Flynn confidently exited through the International airport departure gate, heading off to a foreign country for an experience of a lifetime at the Green SuperCamp Bali!

Flynn dancing at the Green SuperCamp Bali

The kids are taught Quantum strategies to learn.

Balinese martial arts in the Mud Pit!

 

 

 

 

Saying goodbye to our son at five in the morning, then watching him leave Australia, knowing that we would not be able to speak to him for over a week, left us with a feeling of tremendous pride… although we were struggling with letting him go.

Focus...

... self confidence...

... determination!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Cathy and I learnt about the Green SuperCamp, we immediately knew that it would have tremendous character building benefits for our kids. We wanted to share their experiences on our Enterprise For Kids blog for our readers, as we strongly feel that the skills, values and knowledge that the Green Super Camp instils into kids are the same key attributes that will build future leaders and entrepreneurs.

Here is Flynn’s reflection of his camp in his own words!

The Balinese mud dance!

Supercamp was an absolutely awesome experience!

 

      

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Supercamp was an absolutely awesome experience!

The biggest challenge that I faced was going to Bali on my own without my parents. I just knew that I wanted to go on the Green SuperCamp, and to do that I had to go on my own.

I loved trying all the fun activities like mud wrestling, high ropes course, Balinese dancing and seeing all the zoo animals.

              

I became friends with kids from all over the world. There were kids from America, Australia, Bali, Indonesia, London, India, New Zealand and Japan. Everyone there were really nice, they were happy and they persevered with all the challenges. I liked everyone at the Green SuperCamp!

One of my favourite activities was the mud fighting because I learnt self defence and I learnt how to throw people over my back. This activity taught me the importance of perseverance and to never give up.

Learning...

... the key to success!

              

We were taught how to use Quantum strategies to think and learn. As a result my reading has become seven times faster.

The Bali Green SuperCamp was a fantastic experience. I think that everyone should have a chance to go!

Check out this video of our enlightened Flynn the night he arrived home from camp!

As parents we have noted a number of positive changes in Flynn since the camp.

Team Building...

... responsibility and care!

 

 

 

 

At his school, the teachers have commented that Flynn has been making a real effort and that he has been keeping away from any sort of mischief. He has taken to reading books (which is something he normally avoids!), so much so that he has reached this term’s reading goal in only three weeks! He has an air of confidence and purpose with the things he does. This is evident with his responsibility with chores and with his focus and efforts when playing weekend soccer. Flynn has been easy to get along with at home and appears to be very happy with life!

Warriors!

Flynn answers more questions about his camp experience. Just click this link.

Next up we share Jai’s experience at the Green SuperCamp Bali!

If you are visiting this blog because you are interested in running your own summer camp and you’re looking for a proven formula, then maybe this information could help.

Why our Kids Wanted to Attend the Green SuperCamp!

July 11th, 2012

We were delighted that our three eldest children were able to attend this year’s Green SuperCamp in Bali. They had amazing life changing experiences that have left them with new understandings and beliefs about themselves that will remain with them forever.

Kaitlin at the Green SuperCamp Bali.

Each of our kids applied for a Green SuperCamp scholarship. The scholarships would help us cover the cost of the camp. Kaitlin, Jai and Flynn each wrote why they wanted to attend the camp.

We are very inspired by the passionate words that they each wrote in their applications. Below we have some words from Kaitlin, and we are very proud of her passion and talent in getting her message across to the organisers of the Supercamp.

Here’s what Kaitlin wrote…

“I am the eldest of seven children in my family. We have been brought up to strive for excellence and to aim as high as we can. My parents have always been determined to give us kids the best opportunities possible to get the best out of life.

This year I have started year 11, and have found it quite difficult. I have been held up by limitations of my time and motivation. I would love to attend the “Green Super Camp” in order to break these barriers. I want a life where I can be a role model and inspiration for my siblings and others. I want to be able to contribute to the world and show so many people a way to be free, but I’m still trying to work out how to get there.

Kaitlin Flying like a fox!

I’m so keen to develop a mindset for success. I want to meet new people from around the world, and absorb their confidence and energy. My goal is to become a school prefect or Head girl and to be accepted into University. To do this I need to \understand and learn about myself. I want to know what it takes to be a leader and to be confident in myself to be one.

If I receive this Scholarship, I would be determined, open and ready, to absorb all the information possible for me to be the best person I can and to motivate others to be the same. This is an experience of a lifetime, and I’m ready for it now.”

You will have to wait for the next blog to discover what each of them learnt from their camp experience! Until then…….

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