The Round Square International Conference 2018 from Saturday, 29th September to Friday, 5th October 2018 was hosted by Appleby College. Two student delegates from Pathways World School and a Teacher Escort were privileged to attend the same. With more than 800 students from 59 countries around the globe, the RSIC 2018 promoted an environment where diversity was embraced, and global outlook encouraged.
The Conference Theme ‘Bring Your Difference’ highlighted all the different iterations of diversity, and empowered students to embrace the differences that exist between them. An understanding of some difficult topics, including the importance of indigenous culture and the status of refugees worldwide was brought out effectively by the Key Note Speakers. Canada’s place in these topics was highlighted, but ultimately, connections were made globally.
The elite list of Key Note Speakers included Mr. Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada (1999-2005) and Co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and Ms. Candy Palmater, Actor, Writer, Comic and Activist amidst others.
“It was a treat to hear these legends and witness their impregnable conviction to bring their difference in the world,’’said Corissa Larson, Student Committee Leader of the host school.
Amongst other highlights was the Activity Day at Muskoka Woods and City Chase at Toronto. Speaking about the former, all delegates (adults included) engaged in an entire day’s activity with one or more focus discoveries from the Round Square Discovery Framework. Activities like Maple Syrup Tasting with focus on Commitment to Sustainability, delegate learned how maple syrup is produced and discovered unique benefits of it. Ms. Gertrude Dudley, Teacher Escort of King’s Academy, Jordan were particularly impressed with the Blanket Exercise Activity with focus on Compassion and Inquisitiveness.
She went on to say, “Blanket Workshop was one of the bests I ever attended at a RS Conference. Thought-provoking and informative.’Walking the path of broken promises to Canada’s First Peoples raised awareness and ignited a desire to make our world a more just and equitable place.
There were eight such engaging Activities including Service Day with focus on Teamwork, Commitment to Service, Compassion and Waste Water Challenge with focus on Inventiveness, Ability to Solve Problems, Commitment to Sustainability.
On Thursday, 4th October Conference delegates participated in an Adventure Race through Toronto which highlighted the cultural diversity of Canada’s largest city as well as unique aspects of Canadian culture.
“This activity was similar to the experience of a Scavenger Hunt and the perfect opportunity for students to display their skills of working together as a team,” explained Meharr Talwar, a delegate from Pathways World School, Gurgaon. Beyond the hectic yet an exciting schedule, Student delegates were all praises about their homestay families and the immaculate hospitality they received. “My home-stay family treated me to traditional Canadian Food,” said an excited delegate from Welham Boys, Dehradun. Besides, the 22 different kinds of squirrels in Canada accounted for the delegates love for them. The Opening and Closing Ceremony were also spectacular especially the dance and choir groups.
The Pathwaysian delegates were also fortunate to visit the University of Waterloo and the Niagara Falls post the Conference, their exhilaration rising to a crescendo.
The Conference also provided every single delegate laughter, memories, and friendships they will cherish forever. However, the ‘piece de resistance’ was an insight into the learning of bringing a difference in the society while representing various cultures, background, and personalities.