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Delegation Travels To Kenya for Round Square Conference

Delegation Travels To Kenya for Round Square Conference

Delegation Travels To Kenya for Round Square Conference


A delegation of seven students represented the school at the conference

Staff Writer

November 2, 2023

Daniel Zhang '26

Waking to airhorns at 5 a.m., encountering rhinos and flamingos, and mingling with 900 students from all over the world, the seven students who attended the Round Square International 2023 Conference had an eventful 10-day experience. 

Round Square, an international coalition of over 250 schools in 50 countries and territories, requires its members to commit to the program’s IDEALS: internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership, and service. Constantine II, the last king of Greece, founded Round Square. The school has been a member of the organization since 2004. 

From October 5 to 15, the school’s delegation traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to attend the 6-day annual Round Square Conference, subtitled “The New Africa.” This year, the school’s delegation of Upper Mids and Lower Mids traveled with Mr. Dave Thompson, director of international programs and coordinator of the school’s Round Square program; Mrs. Hope Cobera, chief communications officer; and Mr. Cooper Puls, access service coordinator and dorm head of Dana. 

Students spent their first three days in Kenya exploring Nairobi and the surrounding region, including the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru, and Hell’s Gate National Park, before the Conference began. 

Each day of the conference focused on one of the IDEALS. For their day of service, the delegates helped renovate Kenyan primary schools by sanding walls, painting, and leveling floors. 

Attendee Dwyer Illick ’26 said, “After all the Round Square delegates had helped to refurbish the schools, we got to sit down and share our bagged lunch with students from those schools. Communication was hard with the language barrier, as they spoke more Swahili than English, but it was really nice.” 

The group heard from a variety of speakers through the conference, including Henry Wanyoike, a blind Kenyan long-distance runner and Paralympic athlete, known for his mantra, “I have lost my sight but not my vision.” 

Illick said, “Mr. Wanyoike impressed us all with his ability to keep doing what he loves no matter what life throws in his way. Serious injuries are so often thought of as permanent setbacks, but when Mr. Wanyoike went blind overnight, he simply shifted the life trajectory he was on.” 

Reflecting on the conference, Mr. Thompson said, “The big thing is for people to get together and meet each other, form friendships, and share stories. On the first day of the conference, they played music and people danced together and then would sit down at a table with seven strangers and just talk.” 

Illick, speaking to his experience of being a representative of the school at Round Square, said, “Through sending delegates to Round Square, the school makes a bigger name for itself. We met a few kids from Canada who are planning to apply here next year, and some others from around the world said they also wanted to apply by the end of the trip.” 

Next year, the Round Square Conference will take place in Bogotá, Colombia, and applications for the Hotchkiss delegation will be due in February for students

Daniel Zhang is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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