We came across this write up from Taunton School who came to do a team-building day for their new prefects. It is fantastically well written and think they've summed up what we're about just perfectly.
“CAN you carry my bags for me? The only thing I can lift now with my old age is a torch.” – the first of many misleading remarks given by the intriguingly rugged Michael Kingscote, standing quite ominously to attention as we arrived at Lydeard Farm.
Presented with his illustrious career, as a former member of the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces, Intelligence Officer, Special Operations Officer with the Firquat, commander of a UK Special Air Service Regiment and member of the Queen’s bodyguard, we were in for a hard time.
Yet rather than shimmying across high-ledged planks above swamps of crocodiles and caking ourselves in mud, the approach was much more suited to a Taunton School Prefect team who spend their days in tailored suits, regularly checking their coiffed appearances.
The Quantock-based outdoor adventure organisation ‘Outposts’ had arranged a busy timetable of logical and challenging activities to test our leadership skills and help promote team involvement.
After settling into our tents, hot-chocolates and biscuits waited for us around the campfire, where we were to spend the rest of our evening. Michael and his assistant Chris threw at us various problems, demanding full co-operation and concentration
to solve, some of which were completed more easily than others and some of which involved zip-wiring across
murky water – just casually.
There was plenty of scope for arguing and the typical confrontation between the cautious approach of the girls, weighing up all possible outcomes and consequences (no doubt including the potential disarrangement of their hair) and the JFDI (as specified by Michael) approach of the boys – just flippin’ do it!
The privileges of a fantastic supper provided by the cooking staff and a harmonious Prefect girls’ choir led by the Cooney brothers around a warm camp fire, roasting marshmallows, saw a very relaxed end to the first day. This was interrupted nevertheless by the more tuneful involvement of the eager Todd Freeman, with his top hit, ‘Happy Ending’ by Mika.
Showered and full of bacon-butties, we started Day Two with an interactive class held by Michael Kingscote himself on ‘Leadership.’ Here, we learned all the necessary skills and requirements associated with our roles for next year and we
were able to take huge inspiration from Michael’s captivating life story.
The day followed with a more in-depth discussion of ideas for Taunton School 2015, culminating in a seriously competitive gun race, even more so than the one renowned for its intensity on TS Inspection Day. This was won quite convincingly by Hannah Jolley’s team, despite her having just had a knee operation and being on crutches.
Other than enjoying ourselves wholeheartedly, we were able to gain some worthy advice from expert role models which we aim to take on board next year and put to good use in representing our school.