October 4

Amazing Race day!

Today we set out with our Baraza groups for Amazing Race day, or as they called it here “Explore Ottawa”.  Each team was given a map with specific points highlighted with letters.  We had to try as a team to visit as many of these lettered locations as possible and complete as many of the challenges to gain points.  At the end of the team with the most points would win (definitely not my team).  All of the challenges were Canadian themed, for example we had to shoot 5 hockey pucks into a net in order to get a point and continue in the race, or we had to take a moment of silence and watch the changing of the guard at the National War Memorial.  Walking around Ottawa with my friends and Baraza was super fun! I really enjoyed being able to experience so many different places and activities in my nations capital city.  I learned so much as a Canadian so I can only imagine how much the more foreign student would have learned about our city.  After we finished the race and came in a respectable 11th place we had two speakers in a conference centre.  One was a human rights activist coming to talk to us about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  She asked us to cross 8 of the 17 goals off the list to show how hard it is to pick what goals are more important than others.  She then asked us to select a goal and describe why we thought it was important.  I chose good-health and well-being because I felt it tied into a lot of different goals, like food sources and sanitized water.  I also chose it because it wasn’t a goal that had an impact on more developing countries. Even western countries like the USA don’t have access to good and affordable healthcare for all their citizens and other members of their community.  After this we heard artist, actor, musician, and former child soldier Emmenual Jal speak.  He talked about the idea of us having goals and mottos to live by, or, rather believe in.  Things like “treating other how you want to be treated” and “that women deserve better”.  But most importantly he talked about his days as a child soldier and what that taught him about life, philosophies in life and how to appreciate life.  He also did an excellent job of making his presentation very interactive by involving audience members through dances, songs and by letting us speak our minds.  It overall was probably one of the best presentations we have seen yet due to it’s equally fun and moving content.

October 2

Sunday

Sunday of the Round Square International Conference was Adventure Day!  The morning started off for me by meeting in the Cafeteria for an Adventure Day briefing.  Before the conference I selected that I was going to be participating in the Lafleche Ziplinning, High Ropes and Caves Adventure.  The bus ride was a 45 minute drive to the province of Quebec.  Once I arrived, the first portion of my morning was spent doing the High Ropes Course.  Afterwards, I walked through the caves.  This was an amazing experience for me.  During the walking tour my group and I turned our headlights off and sat in complete darkness for a few minutes.  The darkness was terrifying and made me realize how bright the world is, even at night.  I never get to experience complete darkness except for that moment in the cave.  My afternoon was then filled with zip lines.  The longest one I completed was a shocking 850 feet long and 220 feet tall!!  The views I got to experience were memorizing.  What made it even better was that the trees were just started to change colours for fall.

Ellie

September 30

Saturday morning

Hey scs!

Saturday morning of the Round Square International Conference was super cool! It was indigenous day, so the whole day was meant to include activities that helped teach all the kids about Canada’s native Americans and native culture. We started off the morning listening to a brief introduction/ opening ceremonies kind of thing to start the day by Fred McGregor. Then we went straight into a blanket activity where we went through the history of how native Americans were treated in Canada. As a Canadian I felt upset and ashamed of the way my ancestors treated the people who were here before them, but the activity has inspired me to bring more native history and awareness back to SCS, especially through the round square committee. After the blanket activity we watched traditional dancing which I couldn’t see very well because a tall girl was sitting in front of me, but we all joined in the dancing in the end and it wound up being a great time!

  • Sophie 
September 30

Friday afternoon

Hey scs! 

The first official afternoon of the round square international conference was absolutely incredible!! We started out listening to a guest speaker who ended up being Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau! She spoke about feminism and how we the young people can make the world a better place and it was so inspiring! Afterwards we were able to experience a sort of simulation that was meant to mimic the difficulties refugees must overcome while trying to leave their countries such as disease, access to clean water and finding shelter. Unfortunately, my “family” didn’t get accepted into any countries but it was still a great bonding exercise. After dinner we listened to two other interesting speakers who talked to us about overcoming issues such as racism as well as the importance of education and believing in yourself (I know that sounds a little cheesy but it was  really interesting). Afterwards we went home but I’m staying in the suburbs of Ottawa so it actually took me and a bunch of other students over an hour to get back to our houses! Our bus comes at 6:50 tomorrow morning and I have to get up super early so I will be back with another blog post tomorrow night!

  • Sophie 
September 27

On Our Way!

Hey SCS!

Right now, we are on the train to Ottawa. So far, we’ve gotten chicken noodle soup.

We are super excited to start the conference and meet people from around the world.

Hannah and I have been talking to our host family and we can’t wait to meet them.  Ellie and Sophie are being boarded separately and both of them are super excited to meet their families and the other delegate they are staying with.  Hannah has been keeping in touch with some people from last years conference in South Africa who will also be in Ottawa for the Roundsquare International Conference this year.  We are all super excited to meet her Australian friends!

We’ll be back with an update soon!

-Hannah, Isabella, Ellie, and Sophie

 

September 26

Round Square International Conference 2018 – Ashbury College, Ottawa

Pre-conference Preparation
Four students, Ellie Meiers, Sophie Thom, Hannah Bacon and Isabelle Festa-Bianchet will be packing their bags tonight ready to take the train journey with Sra. Varela to Ottawa to attend the 2018 RSIC, hosted by Ashbury College.

The theme of the conference is “Bring Your Difference”.

Keynote Speakers

Wade Davis
Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia

​Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Author of 20 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University.

His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for the NGS. Davis is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Niigaan James Sinclair
Anishinaabe – Assoc. Professor, Writer, Editor, and Graduate Program Chair of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba

Cultural differences in Canada’s First Nations Populations

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba. He is an award-winning writer, editor and activist who was named one of Monocle Magazine‘s “Canada’s Top 20 Most Influential People” and one of the CBC Manitoba’s “Top Forty Under Forty.”

He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues on CTV, CBC, and APTN, and his written work can be found in the pages of newspapers like The Globe and Mail and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. His first book on Anishinaabeg literary traditions will be coming out with the University of Minnesota Press in 2018.

Geoff Green
Founder and President of the Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation

​Geoff is the founder and president of the Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation, a globally-celebrated organization focused on youth, education and the environment.

Geoff was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2012 and has received numerous other awards and recognitions including The Citation of Merit by The Explorers Club, an Honorary Doctorate from Nipissing University, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. Congress, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

In 2017, Geoff founded and led the historic Canada C3 Expedition, a 150-day coast to coast to coast sailing journey from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage, to help mark Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. He has also led over 125 expeditions to the Polar regions and other remote corners of the Planet.

Emmanuel Jal
Public Speaker; Musician; Actor; Life Coach; Activist

Memories of a War Child

Emmanuel Jal is a former child soldier from South Sudan, turned international recording artist, activist and philanthropist. He is owner of Gatwitch Records, Jal Gua Foods and founder of Gua Africa charity. Jal’s vision is to share his experiences for social emotional learning through the Arts Business and Philanthropy, in order to create a higher state of conscious global awakening.

September 26

Welcome to Experiential Education at SCS

The Experiential Education Circle at SCS

Our experiential education philosophy follows a circular path:

Preparation

The setting of goals, identification of desired outcomes from the experience.

Interaction

Decision making; exploration of community differences and similarities; resilience.

Reflection

Achieving learning outcomes, in a measurable and meaningful way; reciprocity for both communities.

Reintegration

Reintegration of learning back into the SCS community; empowering the SCS culture.