Tuesday 13 December

Inter-House Rivalry and Park Runs

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inside balloons

At the end of an exciting term of boarding, we hear from Shaun Morrison, Lead Houseparent of Boyer (our boys’ boarding house) who tells us about a term of busy schedule of boarders’ activity, a particularly momentous event in his own life and some healthy inter-boarding-house rivalry!

It all started off so well… at the beginning of term we were barefoot playing volleyball and slacklining out at the front of school; and now as we are approaching Christmas we’re gritting the walkways and running to the Karslake between squalls to avoid getting blown off our feet. The Autumn Term’s length is not to be scoffed at, and the boarders have done remarkably well in staying enthusiastic right up to the end.

Despite our ‘boarding entertainment budget’ being less than excessive, we live by the motto that there is no creativity without constraint. Even last week Mrs Booker showed her culinary creativity by running a Great WBS Bake Off in which the boarding participants producing some fantastic (and admittedly some wonderfully weird) results. A few weeks ago Mr Conlon ran a Take-Me-Out-Come-Blind-Date style event where the eventual dates had a candlelit dinner in the Karslake (eating the same food as everyone else of course). And Mrs Turner, together with her team, worked their magic with the Boarders’ Christmas Ball last weekend.

I’m also going to give an important mention to Mr and Mrs Ford - often they are the first people we turn to when we need guidance and they have been rocks!

On a personal note, I have been heavily involved in all my standard activities: we now have a healthy, regular group of boarders going to Saturday morning ParkRuns in Barnstaple; volleyball is going well – we usually have a few ‘legendary’ rallies every session; boarders’ badminton is proving really popular and everyone is improving – I hope to continue improving as well (hopefully to beat Benson Tai one day).

For me, a couple of big things have changed this year: firstly, Mrs Morrison and myself started our new family with the birth of our daughter Effie Morrison; and, secondly, the levels of rivalry between Boyer and Bamfylde (girls’ boarding house) have reached new levels of pettiness. It turns out that my new counterpart in Bamfylde, Mrs Bailey, is incredibly competitive. For example, I told Mrs Bailey that I’m planning to redecorate Boyer slowly with pictures and framed work; the next thing I know, she’s commandeered the Artist-in-Residence, (the too nice) Zoe Roberts, and she’s making artwork for the entirety of her boarding house!  The challenge has been laid down!

I’ve had a fantastic first term as Boyer’s Lead Houseparent working with the wonderful boarding team. I’m looking forward to seeing the boys in the New Year, even with their inevitably questionable haircuts.