Campbell College is home to over 150 Boarders from 30 different countries. Our diverse and unique boarding family is a tight-knit community that nurtures individuals working in close partnership with parents and pupils. We believe that what our wonderful Boarding department provides is pretty special but we would say that - so why not hear what our Senior Prefect (Head of Boarding, 2017/18) Michael Sullivan had to say...
With the conclusion of the 2017/2018 academic year fast approaching, it is time for some reflection on the year, especially for those of us who will depart the school gates for the last time as students of Campbell College. The year, in my eyes, has been a hugely positive one, and one which I and fellow pupils will look back on with fondness, especially within boarding.
The saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” was particularly pertinent this year as we welcomed back into the boarding community Chef Conor, after 12 months working in the care sector. I am sure that I can speak for all in School House when I say his return was a welcome and most pleasant surprise!!
Boarding itself is also undergoing a colossal physical transformation with the commencement of the extension to the ‘New Build’, with an additional 67 ensuite bedrooms being added to the ever-expanding boarding provision at Campbell College!
2017/18 continued to bring sporting success to School House, and quite significant was the contribution to the Schools’ Cup winning squad (led by the effervescent Mr Brian Robinson), where boarding contributed over 30% of the playing team. In addition to helping gain team success, there was also significant individual success in rugby: Ben Power (Year 14) and Oisin Kiernan (Year 14) represented Ulster and were involved in Ireland squads, Jamie Brennan (Year 13) played representative rugby for Scotland, and Matthew Carlisle (Year 14), was captain of the 2nd XV, having also won a Schools’ Cup winners medal. Dominance in House Volleyball and House Football continued, with Dennis Fung (Year 14) and Jared Duval (Year 14) leading the teams, respectively.
In addition to the sporting events there have been numerous additional successes within boarding, such as the Spring Concert in which a large section of the school orchestra was comprised of boarders; Isaac Ho (Year 10), Cody Chan and David Tait (both Year 11), William Gallery, Ryan Chan and Alvin Yip (all Year 12), Ivan Liu and Rex Tinsley (both Year 13) and Alex Hardacre (Year 14). House Drama was expertly directed by Alex Deeny and Hal Byrne (both Year 12), where they produced a well-received production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is also noteworthy that Mr Rea accompanied a large number of junior boarders on a sponsored walk for Prostate Cancer in Stormont Park on a Sunday morning in May.
The representation from School House on the Prefect Team for 2018/19 is also really quite significant, and special mention should go to the following students on their elevated appointments – Rex Tinsley, Head of School; Hans Jenckel, Head Boarding Prefect; and Senior College Prefects Leon Gurtler and Shashank Balasubramani.
Writing this report has frankly been rather surreal, as I have now finally arrived at the inescapable truth that my time in Campbell has ended. But instead of the melancholy I have been told to expect to feel, I instead feel something quite different - I feel a warmth knowing that I received an experience few people can claim to have had! I, for all intents and purposes, gained a second family. Of course, like any family, there were the odd lows but these were far-outweighed by some stellar highs and I know that who I am now, can primarily be attributed to my time in boarding at Campbell College. So from the bottom of my heart I thank my peers, the phenomenal catering team, the frankly excellent facilities staff, and the pastoral team that genuinely care about you, not out of some sort of false notion of “responsibility”, but because they truly know you and truly wish the best for you! Thank you to Matron for the countless hours she has spent dealing with our ailments, both physical and emotional (and her ground-breaking research on the myriad of medicinal applications of Gaviscon). Special mention must also go to Miss Skipper who has been much more than a Tutor in the traditional sense to Year 14; her support and encouragement has been unwavering, and it is not possible to explain the bond she makes and the care she exudes! Finally, I would like to thank Bert Robinson. I am sure I could think of some metaphor relating him to “glue” but that would be doing him a disservice; the energy that Mr Robinson puts into the day to day running of boarding is quite staggering and just what he does for boarding cannot be quantified.
In summation, and whilst it may sound clichéd, my four and a half years in boarding have been life changing and I would like to thank everyone who was with me on my journey. To the younger members of School House and those who read this as they consider boarding at Campbell College I say this: you are afforded a rich opportunity. Make the most out of every second of your time at Campbell – take every opportunity you are given, speak with people from other cultures, appreciate both our differences and similarities, and always remember this: any issue or concern you have will not be unique to you, someone, be it a roommate, an older student or even a teacher, will have gone through what you are going through and the Boarding Staff are always only too happy to support and assist. It may be difficult, but take the time to speak with someone and I guarantee you your time in Campbell will be better for it.
Head of Boarding