A few weeks ago, I took advantage of our beautiful campus and the late afternoon light by wandering onto the field to catch the end of a Senior Boys Soccer match. Parent and student supporters where chatting with each other, as fans do, in between moments of excitement. I managed to catch bits and pieces of conversations, eavesdropping in an unconscious sort of way. One exchange absorbed my attention.

A young girl, a SMUS student (given the navy sweater and tartan skirt), asked her father, “Why do we always come to watch the games?” Her dad responded by explaining that watching the team was a way to support her brother and the SMUS community.

“Community! We have a great community, don’t we dad?” Her enthusiasm and pride were evident.

“Yes, we do,” was the reply.

“And it’s because everyone comes together to support each other, isn’t it?” she declared.

“Yeah, that’s it in a nutshell.” The exchange struck home for me.

As the coordinator for Spark Night initiatives, I work with a team to identify relevant topics and seek out engaging speakers who are willing to share their passions and expertise with our community. The topics are chosen with the aim of deepening our community’s understanding of the complexities, challenges, and joys of raising children in the 21st century. Whether it is exploring the challenges of parenting digital natives, the role mindfulness can play in balancing the rigours of SMUS’s academic program, or tips and tools for cultivating meaningful conversations with our children, Spark Nights gather individuals around shared ideas to build upon our collective wisdom and commitment to youth.

This year’s second Spark Night is dedicated to celebrating one of our colleagues. Tessa Lloyd joined our community 10 years ago bringing a wealth of experience to her role as Junior School counsellor. On Thursday, November 21, Tessa and guests will share excerpts from her book Forty Fathers: Men Talking About Parenting. 

Field side, or other wise, SMUS is great because of the many ways we consistently and willingly offer up support to each other.