Students in Year 10 Outdoor Education were offered the opportunity to attend an optional Adventure Camp at Dickey Flat, Waitawheta, at the northern end of the Kaimai Ranges, two hour’s drive south east of Auckland, from Tuesday to Friday, 28 November to 1 December.

Students were split into groups of 10 and, with a teacher and Year 13 Outdoor Education student leader, they participated in multiple experiences designed to develop self-responsibility, teamwork and to extend their comfort zone. The activities included tent camping, camp stove cooking, tramping, fly shelter camping, initiative activities, river tubing, river traverse and whitewater kayaking.

Highlights were walking chest deep in a river carrying their pack above their head, sleeping under a fly canopy and jumping up to chase possums, cooking all of their meals themselves on camp stoves, crawling in behind a waterfall to see the beauty of the river cascading over their heads, being launched in a kayak off a three metre bank and into the river, rappelling down a rock face and traversing rapids, and through multiple adventures, exploring the beauty of the Waitawheta River.

Throughout the camp, teachers implemented the experiential learning cycle of having an experience, reflecting on what happened, and drawing conclusions and lessons learned from the experience, before planning and applying the learning to a new experience.

Thank you to Year 13 Outdoor Education students Zach Helm, Megan Farquhar, Julia Robinson and Oliver Shepherd for giving back to their school so soon after finishing this year; and to Ms Natalie Absolum, Mr Andy Belson and Miss Claudia Goff for expertly leading their group.