Ten years ago right now I was arriving home after six months exploring Southern Africa and volunteering in East Africa. It was a final longer overseas adventure after enjoying living and working in the UK, USA and East Africa during different periods of the 2000's, and before officially beginning our Explore Discover Act journey. Parts of me can't believe that a decade has passed. While the whole of me as I reflect on all that has happened is just reminded of how grateful I am that I've had the opportunity of sharing messages and experiences that I believe so strongly in for this length of time.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
- Lao Tzu
So February 1st next year will be our Stage 3 Leadership Day's 10th birthday, 10 years to the day since our very first one. What's even more exciting is that the school we facilitated that first day for back in 2012 will again be offering the program experience for their Stage 3 cohort for the 10th time a week later. It's always such a joy when I walk back into that hall and remember where this all started. Below is an extract from the schools newsletter back in 2012 from a students perspective on the day, then a comment from the organising Assistant Pricipal on that first feedback form.
Stage 3 Leadership Day Student Reflection Ever wondered what the true meaning of leadership is? Well I can definitely recommend Stage 3 to help you on that one after today! We all went into the hall, not knowing what to expect, and were greeted by our positive and bubbly instructor from Explore Discover Act, Cameron. We instantly played some games along the lines of T.E.A.M (together everyone achieves more) and I’m proud to say that we managed to pass a can only using our feet all around the circle in 1 minute and 49 seconds. All through the day we worked on what we thought would be our responsibilities for 2012, always following the theme of leadership and we participated in many more activities which relied heavily on teamwork.
Stage 3 Leadership Day Teacher Feedback
Cameron, it was a brilliant day. The children gained a lot from it and have leapt into their leadership roles with enthusiasm.
Thank you for providing a well organised and engaging day. Your explanations about leadership were fantastic and appropriate for the age level. Your gentle but direct approach is commendable.
It was an engaging and meaningful experience for all our students.
Thanks for the great day.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
- African Proverb
We've been so privileged to grow with our client schools over the past ten years. Through unforseen events like a pandemic and torn Achilles, our client schools have embraced our signature programs (Stage 3 Leadership Days and Elected Student Leaders Days) and then asked for and offered more as other experiences were added to bring to life our Vision, Mission and Core Values. We're now supporting client schools with experiences for Kindergarten to Year 6. We're now facilitating Staff Development Day experiences and Consulting around leadership/student leadership and wellbeing. But above all we're having as much fun (maybe even more) doing what we love: building connection, challenging thinking and inspiring action. What a journey it's been so far.
"The journey is the reward."
- Steve Jobs
So as we get ready to enter the second decade of Explore Discover Act's existence we're feeling very excited. Who knows where the ripples created by all the incredible students and educators we've had the privilege of walking shoulder to shoulder with will be felt. Our uniform may of changed, I might have a few more grey hairs, the program storeroom has definitely grown, but our mission every day stays the same, 'We help build leaders who inspire through the difference they make for and with others'. This is something we're very proud of having the opportunity to interdependently do.