Justin Smith (left) and Andrew Millar came back from prefect’s camp changed people
The 2018 Jeppe school prefects spent three days with Messrs Leathem, Kolkenbeck-Ruh, Schneider and Venter on camp in the Drakensberg during the holidays, and it’s an experience they will never forget.
We spoke to two of them, Justin Smith and Andrew Millar, and they are in agreement that it was, physically, one of the hardest experiences they have ever gone through, but also an uplifting one.
“We spent three whole days on the go,” Justin said, “in kayaks, on bikes, and hiking, and there was little time for anything else.”
And, in the process, they say, they were pushed to the limit and in or two cases even beyond.
“There were one or two times when I felt I could go no further,” said Andrew, “and that’s when the encouragement and motivation of my mates, and of the teachers, who did everything with us, got me through.”
The idea of the camp, the two said, was to take a group of boys who have known each other for four years, but who all did quite different things at the school, and mould them into a unit that will have to work together from now on.
“Suffering together certainly helps you to bond,” Justin said. “We discovered what our own limits were, and those of our fellow prefects, and I think we realised that we will have to work together to overcome the obstacles that we will come across in the year ahead.”
For Andrew, the experience was a valuable one because it will help him to be a better leader as a prefect. “We were taken out of our comfort zones and felt what that was like,” he said. “I’ll remember that next year when dealing with the new grade 8s. It has helped me to understand what they will be going through and, hopefully, I will deal with that better now.”
Both boys are aware of the responsibility and time commitment involved. Justin is in the 1st hockey team and Andrew is one of the school’s top academics. “It’s going to be a difficult year, but an important one,” Andrew said. “If the prefects camp taught me anything it’s that I can overcome difficulties, if I set my mind to it, and if I get some help from my friends.”
As Mr Leathem tweeted: “It is safe to say that the school is in good hands.”