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Round Square
Young Round Square Conference
Dainfern College South Africa
The DAIS delegation – 7 students and 1 teacher -- participated at the first International Young Round Square Conference hosted by Dainfern College, South Africa from 4th-10th May 2014. After an overnight flight on South African Airways, we landed at Johannesburg Airport and a two hour bus ride took us to our destination, Camp Discovery.

We headed to the Marquis Tent and joined our Barraza Groups. The names of the Barraza groups represented some endangered animals like the Snow Leopard, Heron, Rhino, Tiger, African Penguin, and Leatherback Turtle. We checked into our dorms and then accompanied by Aubrey, one of the Camp Discovery Management staff, we visited the campus. We relaxed and interacted with other delegates.

The opening ceremony began with an address by the Principal of the Dainfern College who mentioned that Dainfern was happy to host 250 students and 80 adult delegate from around the globe in the First International YRS conference. This was indeed a once in a life time opportunity - in terms of cultural exchange and building life-long friendships. This was followed by the Flag bearing ceremony and a speech by the guest speaker, Vincent Nettman, an expert in Astronomy.

Every Barraza group focused on the IDEALS, worked in rotation for varied activities, each one being a unique and fun experience.
Internationalism - The entire theme as it represented the delegates from all the RS zones.
Democracy - Being in ‘The Rainbow Nation’ brought a new understanding of celebrating our differences and exploring our similarities. Each barazza group had the experience of being independent in their dorms and bond with everyone.


Students also went for a Heritage Walk and saw the breathtaking palace of Raja Man Singh; although the interiors were filled with bats, the building had been very well restored. Students also saw a temple that had been built during the great kings' times. On return, they had a Keynote Address by Linda Bird who talked about the unfamiliar, yet important events that took place in 1947. Her speech revolved around a simple idea that her principal had made to follow when she was a little kid, “Behave like an adult or else, see me.” This simple statement had a deeper meaning for the student to find out and taught them so much about life. This followed by an interesting session of mosaic making.

Adventure -- Team building activities and games - Physical Hurdle games, raft building, fun adventure activities (including night hike obstacle courses)

Leadership - All Baraza groups had student leaders assisting the groups during their stay at Camp discovery. The RS Olympics gave all the students a chance to participate in events of their choice and win. Delegates cheered their respective countries and the atheletes...India won the 'RSlympics 2014' (as they called it) at Camp Discovery by 46 medals...

Service - Students participated in meaningful service projects - establishing a computer centre at St Camillus school where students and teachers educated the group about the parts of the computer and trained them how to use the computer. A 'FanJan Wish List" was displayed on the website. Though voluntary by nature, every school had carried sport and educational materials for Fanjan learners which were handed over to the School authorities.

Environment - Scavenger hunt, visit to game drives, the experience of being in the wilderness of South Africa was a dream come true for many of us.

Reflections from the Conference

We learnt different life lessons like saving animals and respecting them. But our experience did not just stop there. We shared our new knowledge with everyone back home.
-- Apurva Bhandari

In every barraza session, we learnt so many new things and played games after the sessions. We had a lot of fun. This was the most amazing week of my entire life.
-- Anushka Basu

I learnt a lot of new things I hope we really have such conferences so we learn new things, get to know about the problems going on in the different parts of the world and get to interact with new people and make new friends.
-- Shawn Chauhan

For me, the highlights of this conference were the RSlymics and obstacle course. It changed my perspective completely.
-- Tarika Vohra

For me, the highlight of the trip was sleeping in sleeping bags and the safari that we went for on the following the day.
-- Aryan Bahl

The most exciting part of this conference was the exciting animal game drive. It was fun to wake up early and enjoy the extreme cold in the game reserve.
-- Saira Sepoy