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Wenona Boarders’ Amazing Race

Boarders enjoyed a fun first weekend back with a Brushes and Burgers Night, a collaborative meal – from shopping to cooking, everyone helped – and finished off with an Amazing Race.

Settling into boarding life after a long summer holiday – particularly if you are completely new to the Wenona Boarding House – can be daunting. So, Head of Boarding, Mrs Nonie Ayling devised lots of activities to bring everyone together. And have a lot of fun in the process!

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The weekend kicked off with a ‘creative workout’ in the form of a Brushes and Burgers Night – basically a painting session followed by delicious hamburgers.

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Seasoned scribblers, passionate painters and nervous novices sat down together, each with an empty slab of paper, paints and pencils, to create an artwork of their choosing. There’s nothing quite like the sense of community that happens when everyone is being creative collectively, and among the chatter, joking and words of encouragement, the girls produced some pretty impressive creations!

So, did the burgers the promise of burgers turn our boarders into Botticelli? Not quite, but it was a great bonding experience, with lots of laughter!

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On Saturday, Mrs Ayling tasked the girls with shopping and cooking the Boarding House dinner. Boarders in Years 7 to 9 were responsible for bread and dessert. Year 10 were on ‘nibblies’ and Years 11 and 12 were on barbeque duties and salad. The boarders also held a pool party, complete with a synchronised swimming competition, which again, led to much hilarity!

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On Sunday, the Boarders held their version of the Amazing Race, searching for clues around Balls Head – a wonderful, quiet, bushland oasis which is only 10 minutes from Sydney’s CBD and has spectacular views of Sydney Harbour – and the Coal Loader, which is now a centre for sustainability.

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Boarders were divided into four teams: Blue led by Jada (Year 12), Red led by Amber (Year 12), White led by Jess (Year 12), and Yellow led by Ellie (Year 12). The premise – just like the TV Show – is simple. The four teams had to compete in a race, finding clues and completing various challenges.

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Of course, there can only be one winner. And the winner? The Yellow team led by Ellie!

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Nini, who is in Year 10, loved the weekend. “If my thoughts on the closed weekend could be summarised in one word it would be ‘exciting’. Although I wasn't exactly enthusiastic at the start, the entire weekend was incredibly enjoyable, and I connected with a lot of students I didn't really talk to before. I'm thankful for the work the staff has put in, and grateful I got to participate.”

Annelise in Year 11 said, “Overall, I found this closed weekend very enjoyable. There were many highlights, however, my favourite would have to be the pool party. As part of the activities, we were tasked with creating an aqua aerobic routine. There were many riveting performances, some following storylines of forbidden love and other groups showcasing their skills using pool toys. This activity really lifted our spirits and boosted our morale.”

Anyssa, who is also in Year 11, said, “The closed weekend was really fun! Being divided into teams gave the girls an opportunity to work with people they wouldn't normally team up with, creating a more inclusive boarding environment. The activities really fuelled everyone's competitive streak and made the weekend more exciting. The Brushes and Burgers Night was relaxing and encouraged everyone to tap into their artistic skills. I hope future closed weekends will be just as fun. I'm looking forward to the next one!”

Welcome back boarders. And bravo to Mrs Ayling and her staff for all their hard work and organisation behind the scenes!