2010 Year 12 Keys House Father and Son Retreat

For the second year running a group of fathers and sons from Leavers 2010 met at Moray for a day and evening of quality time on the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 April. The aim of the short weekend away was to give dads and their boys the important time together in which they can to share reflections of what has been achieved since Year 8 and what is yet to come.

In total 16 Keys House community members participated in the weekend. Key activities included families comparing their expectations of both Scotch and themselves way back in Year 8 with the reality today. Dads and sons then wrote a few words addressing the theme Where will I be and what will I have achieved by 2020? This will be placed in a time capsule with the School archivist for future reference.

Sons prepared and cooked the evening meal, which was wood fired pizza, and washed up after. Plenty of colourful commentary could be heard about the various talents of the chefs, although the grudging general consensus was that the boys conducted themselves well. Evening frivolities then consisted of a tense, eventful and certainly hilarious game of "Articulate", where teams of dads and sons had to guess the words being defined to them by their partners. This not only stretched the bonds of family blood to the limits but also the umpire's patience given the shenanigans and strategies employed by some (who shall remain nameless) in the quest to win!

The evening wrapped up with a fairly late fireside chat to solve all the problems of the world that would have done Roosevelt proud! Morning proceedings kicked off with the dads cooking breakfast for the boys and doing the washing up. Not surprisingly this went a lot smoother and cleaner than the previous evening because most of the boys slept in, but also perhaps because as some mischievously pointed out they had received plenty of "training"! One the tidying up had been done, the weekend debrief consisted of each Dad sharing a "life lesson" they felt their boy and others of the group may appreciate. The strength of these experiences is without a doubt the informal mentoring that is able to take place through the exchange of dialogue. Learning from our elders and each other is the very basis of any strong community and this group certainly were testament to that.

Chris Menage