Boys’ School Tongariro Adventure

March 16, 2017 at 3:18 AM

With thanks to Dean of Senior School, Mr Richard Kirk 

In a new initiative, a change of location from Tauranga to Tongariro National Park was decided for this year’s Year 8 camp to offer our boys experiences in the outdoors that provided greater challenges and more opportunities for leadership and growth; both individually and as a group.  

With the boys spread across three locations, each boy had the opportunity to undertake a hike - half the group made it across the Tongariro Crossing while the weather was fine while, when the weather turned, the other half undertook a mountain walk which included a rock climb, a bush scramble and required the boys to take turns navigating the group safely.  Being in the National Park, the weather plays an important role and it is great that despite the fickle conditions, both groups experienced a hike.  

The heart of the camp was the expedition that each team undertook.  This involved packing a pack, hiking to various locations, pitching tents and undertaking different activities along the way.  Caving, abseiling, rock climbing, flying fox, canoeing as well as making camp, cooking their own food and ensuring that all members of the group were looked after were necessary for each student.  The boys spent three days and two nights out in the park relying on their own resilience and each other’s before returning to the lodges.  The weather did turn for the worse on Tuesday evening, but it was nothing these boys couldn’t handle and the expeditions continued as normal.  A little bit of wet kit did nothing to dampen the spirits of the groups!  

A camp like this is designed to challenge the boys to achieve things beyond what they thought was within their capability.  Each boy (and staff member!) reached a point at some stage where they wondered how they were going to continue.  The pleasing thing is that everyone did!  Working out how to get through difficult moments is a skill for life and one that these boys learned without exception.  The boys learned a lot about themselves, the other boys around them and how to work together for the good of the collective whole. 

The staff at Hillary Outdoors did a great job at challenging our boys, but also made sure they were supported where necessary.  The Boys’ School staff who attended the camp were challenged also, but did a great job at motivating the boys to achieve all they could. 

While the camp was designed to challenge, it was very important that this included activities that were fun and engaging.  The feedback from the boys has been that the camp was just that!  Interestingly, not many of our boys had experienced the outdoors in this way before and when asked if they would do it again, the answer was a resounding yes!  

Thank you to all the staff that attended in making this camp a unique experience for our boys.


The last words go to the boys….

‘Camp challenged us physically, mentally and pushed us out of our comfort zone.’
Devon Banks

‘Even though camp was one of the most challenging weeks of my life, it was also the most worthwhile.’
Lachie West

‘When you try new things, good things and bad things, it really shows who you are in a positive way and it definitely showed me what I can actually do.’
Tommy David

 ‘This camp was a massive learning experience and I learnt things I never thought I could do.’
Ethan Byloo

‘This camp was full of things I have never done and new opportunities for my group and I to experience.’
Jack Priddy

‘Camp was extremely hard work, but in the end, it was extremely rewarding.’
Will Tisdall


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