Boarding brings us together to form one community

Cambell Johnston and Jayden Clarke are Year 8 boarders from Nyabing and Goomalling, respectively. During our Boarding Week celebrations from 14 to 20 June, Cambell and Jayden discussed farm-life, the transition from small town to Boarding at Scotch and connecting with boys from communities across the world.

I'm Cambell Johnston and I am the third generation of my family to go to Scotch College. I started my journey at Scotch last year, entering Year 7. My hometown is a small town in the Great Southern called Nyabing, roughly an hour east of Katanning and 45 minutes south of Lake Grace. I live with my Mum, Dad and younger brother. We have five farms in Nyabing, comprised of 4,000 breeding sheep and crop. The school that I attended from Kindergarten to Year 6 had 40 students; so coming to Scotch was a massive change. Two classes here is equivalent to the cohort size of my previous school. On our farm, I had free rein and lots of space. I was riding motorbikes by the age of six and learned how to drive a ute at eight, things that a kid from the city wouldn't normally get to do.

I'm Jayden Clarke and I'm the fourth generation of my family to go to Scotch. I come from Goomalling, a small town in the Wheatbelt two-and-a-half hours from Perth. I've come from a school that had around 50 students; now I have five times that just in my year group at Scotch. I live on a farm that runs sheep and crop. Some of the things we do at home include shearing and mulesing. We have just finished seeding and are about to begin harvesting. One of the things we do for fun at home is ride motorbikes. We also get to drive earlier than kids in the city; driving the farm ute and tractors at nine or 10 years old. When I was six, I first got to ride a PeeWee 50; a small motorbike that reaches 40km/hr. Footy is the main sport we play in the country. A home game brings the whole community together. Year 4 to 9 students play in the junior's team – sometimes we even get to play 'ressie's' with the old blokes. Weekend games can be played up to two hours away.

There's no need to have to hang out alone when you've got 30 other mates and brothers to spend time with.

In Boarding, we create strong bonds with the boys in our house because we are together pretty much all of the time. We strengthen these bonds through activities such as the Bibbulmun Track hike, socials with other schools and recreation activities such as going to BOUNCEinc or Adventure World. Sometimes we shoot hoops together or play a late Friday night game of spotlight around the Middle School. There's no need to have to hang out alone when you've got 30 other mates and brothers to spend time with. We are always there to support and help each other out in tough situations.

We are supported by our Middle School teachers and Boarding staff, including our Boarding masters, academic tutors, Mr Mecham, Mrs Sullivan, Mr Foster, Mr Hindle and Mr Spratt. We are lucky to have many people to provide guidance, assistance and advice when we need it. And of course, our house mother Mrs H always helps us to find a missing pair of jocks underneath the couch. Indy, our house kelpie, sings along when we turn up the tunes and lays in the doorway for a pat on our way in and out of the Boarding House.

We have so many opportunities in Boarding and living in a central location helps, too. Boarding close to the beach means we can go for a swim on summer weekends. It's also easy for us to travel to Fremantle and Perth for shopping. We can play community sport, such as footy for Swanbourne Tigers or basketball at Bendat Stadium. There are many sporting arenas that are nearby and easily accessible, such as Claremont Oval. During winter, we go as a house to watch the Claremont Football Club play, especially Mr Mitchell.

Our boarders hail from regions across Western Australia and even the world. We come from many different communities, but Boarding has brought us together to form one community and bonds to last a lifetime.

Cambell Johnston and Jayden Clarke
Year 8 boarders

This speech was presented at our Middle School Assembly on Friday 18 June during Boarding Week 2021.

Want to discover more stories from our boarding students? Read about Year 12 boarder Brenton Macauley's experience as our first Indigenous Captain of Boarding or Year 12 boarder Harvey Ellis' recount of Boarding Week 2021.

Learn more about Boarding