A Voice in the Wilderness - Blog

List of 15 news stories.

  • What makes for a successful annual giving campaign?

    Philanthropy can make a huge difference at an independent school like Shawnigan. In preparation for this year’s Annual Fund campaign, Associate Director of Annual Giving Gemma Atkinson had the opportunity to review and look at the way Shawnigan engages with the community to raise funds and to curate a message designed to resonate with potential donors to help achieve the School’s goal. Here are some of her thoughts from the world of fundraising – key ingredients that go into the process of creating an annual giving campaign.

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  • What does a coach look for in a high school athlete?

    Sports are a core aspect of the Shawnigan Lake School experience, and our coaches work to encourage students to pursue personal excellence while at the same time instilling values such as courage, integrity, loyalty, respect, honesty and commitment. While coaches are always glad to find athletes with skill and a drive to improve, they also look for character, hard work and competitiveness balanced with respect and sportsmanship. Director of Sport and longtime coach Tim Murdy elaborates on the attributes that make for an outstanding high school athlete.
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  • 100 reasons to talk to your School Counsellor

    Even experienced school counsellors are surprised sometimes by the diversity of the many ways they get to support students – everything from anxiety to family challenges to navigating the stress and success of Snowfest. Shawnigan counsellor Jennifer Tully has created this list of 100 reasons a student might want to talk to a school counsellor – but this is only the tip of the iceberg.
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  • How can owls be a sustainable solution to pest control?

    In an attempt to find a sustainable way to control pests on campus, Shawnigan installed owl nesting boxes this fall. The hope is to have a pair — or more — of barred owls make their home on campus and provide some organic rodent regulation on campus. Patricia Hanbidge, Shawnigan’s Environmental Lead and Horticulturalist, explains more here.
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  • Where — and what — is Shawnigan Lake?

    Beyond our excellence in academics, athletics and boarding, Shawnigan is proud to be located on the shore of majestic Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, a region of natural beauty and deep history, and part of the community of Shawnigan Lake within the Cowichan Valley. Here is just some information about the lake and the community that surrounds the School.

    Adapted from the Hul’q’umi’num word “Showe’luqun,” “Shawnigan Lake” is the name of both a pristine seven-kilometre-long lake on Vancouver Island and the rural, wilderness-ringed community that has grown up on its edges.
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  • The ABCs of Shawnigan: B is for "Benedictus, benedicat"

    In this ongoing series for A Voice in the Wilderness, longtime English teacher Mrs. Cari Bell is exploring several facets of Shawnigan Lake School by going through the alphabet, letter by letter.
    B is for “Benedictus, benedicat”
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  • How can sport unite cultures from across the globe?

    Shawnigan rugby coach and Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator Clay Panga had the honour to travel to New Zealand in summer 2023 with Thunder Rugby, a BC-based program aimed at introducing rugby to Aboriginal youth. It was a transformative experience for the 40 young people who made the trip, and for Mr. Panga himself.
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  • Shawnigan at the Japan Super Science Fair

    For many years, Shawnigan Lake School has participated in the prestigious Japan Super Science Fair, hosted by Ritsumeikan High School in Kyoto, Japan. This year, five students made the trip along with faculty member Wendy Milne, who recounts some of the lessons they learned in this post.
    Can you see yourself travelling to Japan and meeting with students and teachers of 42 schools from 21 countries where the politics of the world are put aside, and science is the connecting factor? I didn't fully realize that by going to Japan for the Japan Super Science Fair we would actually be making global connections and memories that we will carry with us for years to come!

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  • How does Shawnigan mark Remembrance Day?

    Remembrance Day is a momentous date across Canada where we honour all those who have fought and died in service of our country. It has special significance at Shawnigan, where we remember members of the School community who made the supreme sacrifice. Here, Head of School Richard D A (Larry) Lamont offers his own reflections on Remembrance Day.
    What is Remembrance Day, and what is its significance here in Canada – and at Shawnigan?
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  • The ABCs of Shawnigan: A is for "Amazing! isn't so amazing"

    In this ongoing series for A Voice in the Wilderness, longtime English teacher Mrs. Cari Bell is exploring several facets of Shawnigan Lake School by going through the alphabet, letter by letter.
    A is for “Amazing! isn’t so amazing”
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  • How does Shawnigan preserve its history?

    Most students at Shawnigan Lake School have heard the tale of Billy Brooks.
    As a first-year student at Shawnigan in the mid-1920s — when the School served students even younger than the Grade 8s of today — Billy penned a letter to his parents, lamenting his homesickness. A copy of that letter has survived until today, giving students an insight into how their predecessors felt a century ago. Doubtlessly, many of them can relate to Billy’s feelings of loneliness.
    Each year, Grade 8 students are reminded of young Billy when they are given the opportunity to tour the Shawnigan Lake School Museum, where his letter is among the first exhibits that visitors get to see. The tour with curator Ms. Rosemary Dolman is part of a larger introduction to the School’s history that every Grade 8 gets to experience.
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  • How does broadcasting connect students and their parents? 

    Shawnigan Lake School is training students on state-of-the-art technology to livestream sports and other campus events and make them available to parents around the world. The project is being spearheaded by Mr. Elliot Logan, who relates his personal experience as a student and athlete at the School and how that inspired his efforts today.
    During my childhood, like many kids, I was actively involved in sports. My parents were present at every game and practice, and I believe their enthusiasm was rooted in their enjoyment of occasionally embarrassing me with their loud cheering and shouting as I made contact with a ball. I was a wiry goalkeeper for my soccer club and an agile shortstop for our local baseball team in the Middle East.
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  • What is the value of inter-House competition?

    Woven into the fabric of student life at Shawnigan Lake School is the tradition of inter-House competition, which brings students together within their Houses to compete in friendly battle against other Houses in a series of spirited events over the course of the school year.
    Inter-House competition helps build community and camaraderie within the Houses, and is an excellent representation of what makes boarding life and the Shawnigan Journey special. The focus is on the competition between houses, but the deeper value comes from the spirit kindled within the Houses as students dress up in their House colours and paint their faces to match before heading out to take part in the day’s events. Spirit Captains are tasked with leading the charge at inter-House events.
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  • What is the role of the Guidance Office?

    When a student’s Shawnigan Journey comes to an end, they need to be ready for the next stage of their education. That’s where the Guidance Office comes in.
    The purpose of the Guidance Office is to support students’ plans for life beyond Shawnigan: What are their next steps? And how can they meet their goals?
    The Guidance Office works with students, families and teachers to plan a path to success — however a student might define that — in advancing to post-secondary pursuits. Most of the work is done one-on-one, especially starting in Grade 11, as counsellors help students make plans and personalized timelines, and create balance and reduce stress wherever possible as they think about everything from deadlines to scholarships.

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  • What are the benefits of boarding school?

    Boarding schools offer an unparalleled experience to young people — within an intentional community, students are immersed in a 24-hour educational environment where academics are enhanced by exceptional opportunities in the arts, sports and socialization. It is so often said that it takes a village to raise a child, and boarding schools function as a self-sufficient village with the specific goal of raising children to become conscientious, upstanding leaders.
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A Voice in the Wilderness is your connection to admissions, boarding, academics, and student life. Our goal is to provide comprehensive insight into the boarding school experience, BC, Canada, and Shawnigan Lake School.
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We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.