Every year the Foundation holds a Scholars Development Camp is a development camp where Scholars in the same grades from across the country meet in one place for a few days to enrich ourselves by learning skills and soaking up valuable information provided by the Allan Gray Talent, Fellows and guest speakers. The camp for Grade 10 and 11 took place in Franschhoek this year from 14–17 July. The following excerpts come from the reflections we’ve had about the camp to give you an idea of what we learned, what stood out for us and what we will forever remember.
St Cyprians School, Grade 11
Extra-mural activities: Debating, Model United Nations (MUN) and Presidents Awards
Our camp was centred around the idea of exploring a future as a Candidate Allan Gray Fellow. We also explored the entrepreneurial mindset and looked at typical entrepreneurial behaviours. The opportunity to listen to amazing influential speakers and interact with them allowed me to stretch beyond wanting to be good to wanting to be great!
Visiting the 2016 Jamboree, where I spent some time with the Candidate Allan Gray Fellows and participated in some activities with them, made the Fellowship feel like something more tangible and less abstract. I felt closer to my goal of becoming a Candidate Allan Gray Fellow than ever before. This experience reassured me about being enough for the Foundation. It taught me that all these years as a Scholar I had been groomed to be a Candidate Fellow and I was more than ready.
King Edward VII School, Grade 11
Interests: my environment, profitable things and entertainment
I believe that the Foundation hosts the camp in order to further mould Scholars for the Fellowship Opportunity. It allows us Scholars to engage with each other and the learnings provided so that we can nurture our goals and ambitions and become effectual thinkers who can later be advantaged recipients of the Fellowship.
I learnt that the many things that happen in my life are the result of my behaviour: from my friends to my work ethic. I learnt that I should be aware of what I want for myself and how I get it, even if going for what I want means losing the people around me. I also learnt that being a cool kid doesn’t get you anywhere and your future might not be cool after all. Most importantly I learnt that humility can take you places.
Pretoria Boys’ High School, Grade 11
Aspirations: to study Architecture or Engineering
A development camp for me is an experience more then a date in my calendar.
What stood out from the 2016 Scholars Development Camp was being able to explore our strengths. I did not see myself being dominant in some aspects of life and less so in others. Instead I thought of myself as someone who could adapt to any surroundings and as the StrengthsFinder test showed, I am indeed a very interactive person with four other strengths: wooing, communicating, maximising and futuristic.
King Edward VII School, Grade 11
Aspirations: to study BCom PPE (Politics Philosophy and Economics)
The Foundation hosts the development camp to DEVELOP scholars. To develop is not to create or invent but take something that is already existing and then to help it advance. That is what I believe the camp is about: helping us advance, grow and become mature.
I learnt to truly be myself. I always hear people telling me to be comfortable in my own skin, but I never truly understood the depth of those words. As disparaging as it may sound it was only through hearing about other people’s insecurities and inadequacies that I was able to get over mine.
St Cyprian’s School, Grade 11
Interests: reading, pottery and changing the world one step at a time
This year’s camp gave me a chance to explore my leadership qualities and find out what my strengths were and when to use each of them to the best of my ability. I got more insight on what it means to be a Candidate Fellow by attending the Jamboree and experiencing pitches and ideation by people I look up to. It was an inspiring experience and definitely got me thinking of ways I can make a difference in others’ lives. The guest speakers gave us an insight on their lives and how they overcame challenges by having a goal in mind and persevering.
If there’s something I can take away from this camp, it’s the engagement we had with Dr Buhle Zuma. His story and observations were inspiring and left us awestruck. He allowed us to do introspection and share our life-defining moments, which served to unite us as Scholars even more. His humble personality and very accurate observations shook us and inspired us to become more than we ever thought we could.
This camp was by far the best camp I have attended and an experience I truly appreciate having had.
On behalf of all the Scholars at Camp
Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this the most amazing camp we have had with the Allan Gray Foundation. This camp showed us how much of a family this Foundation is. So many people have seen greatness inside us; it’s only time we started seeing greatness in ourselves too.