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Growing great teams through dolphin seafari

What initially seemed like a simple boat trip was actually an invaluable team-building experience for ACG Tauranga’s new Senior Student Leadership Team.
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ACG Tauranga’s 2022 Senior Student Leadership Team enjoyed a team-building 'Dolphin Seafari’

A recent boat trip to Motiti Island may not have uncovered any dolphins, but it was an excellent way for ACG Tauranga’s 2022 Senior Student Leadership Team to build skills and strengthen their bonds.

Designed to lay the foundations for the coming year, the annual team building day is a fun way for student leaders to get to know each other so they can hit the ground running. This year’s event – a highly-anticipated ‘Dolphin Seafari’ – offered everything from bronze whalers to new connections. The students explain…

Alex Brodie: “We are lucky to have a strong team of 21 students in our Leadership Team for 2022, all of whom attended the trip. These students will be our House Captains, Pillar Leaders, and Prefects for the coming year. We were accompanied by Mrs Webb, Mrs Buxton, and Mr Beeton, beginning our day at the Tauranga Bridge Marina and sailing out of the harbour in search of marine life. We eventually anchored at a small bay near Motiti Island, where we began our leadership training. We were each asked to bring an object that we feel a connection to or that represents us. From this, we had to guess who brought which object, which gave us an insight into each other’s history and hobbies. Learning more about each other was a powerful way to strengthen our team.”

Bella Bunyan: “Despite the lack of dolphins, there were still several highlights across the day, including spotting the bronze whaler off the side of the boat, seeing everyone have a stress-free day of fun and plenty of swimming and snorkelling. The day was highly beneficial, with everyone taking something away from our time on the water. The concept of helping each other and caring for each other, just like dolphins do in their pods, was particularly powerful. And we were reminded that leadership doesn’t always have to be serious – we can all have fun together and be friends while also being effective leaders!”

Katelyn Bedford: “It’s fair to say that the Senior Student Leadership training day was a success in bringing everyone together and making our team stronger for an incredible year ahead. There is great excitement amongst our team for what 2022 holds. So many of us are looking forward to working with new people and seeing the new ideas that are brought to the team, getting more involved in school events, and launching community events and fundraising.”

Kaleb Evans-Lao: “Though dolphins were scarcely seen that day, the real prize was the friendships and connections we made along the way. By simply sitting in the sun munching down our lunch and sharing a laugh, I was lucky enough to get to know some of my peers on a different level. This definitely made me even more enthusiastic about the bunch that I will be working with next year, and I am so excited for all of the adventures yet to come and the development of deeper connections within the team, inside and outside of school.”

Kobe Williams: “The day was loaded with fun activities such as snorkelling and doing bombs in the water, but the most beneficial part would have to be some of the conversations we had. Whether it was between students or between student and teacher, it was clear we all share similar hopes and ambitions for ACG in 2022 – to build an environment of care, involvement, and success. We were also encouraged to celebrate our differences, taking part in a game where some of our secret hobbies were revealed, from race cars to baking. All in all, I think everyone that came along has a shared excitement for next year and for what we can achieve as a dream team!”