Field Centre

December 01, 2017 at 1:14 PM

Spellbinding views of dazzling emerald lakes, snowcapped peaks and volcanic craters resembling lunar landscapes - New Zealand’s remarkable geographical features are exemplified in the central North Island. Along with the sensation of being so far from civilisation, it’s a landscape that opens up yet another amazing ‘world of opportunity’ for our Year 10 students, as they undertake the ‘rite of passage’ that is Field Centre.

Year 10 and Field Centre go hand in hand. As the epic adventure approaches each year, our students quietly voice trepidation about what lies ahead; questioning whether they have the stamina to face the physical challenges of tramping, rafting and camping in difficult terrain; challenges that include the Tongariro Crossing and a three day tramp. They wonder how they will cope without the comforts of home, especially the lack of toilets and technology – in no particular order!

In their final Chapel before departure, Reverend Smith told the students, ‘If you pack the right attitude, your load will certainly be lighter.'                                                                                         

For the majority of the students, when they return from the mountain, all traces of trepidation are gone, replaced by feelings of pride, new-found physical and emotional strength, exhilaration and sheer triumph! Field Centre has been a cornerstone of College life for close to 50 years and never fails to be recalled as one of the highlights of a Saint Kentigern education.

The logistics involved in getting the whole of Year 10 ‘down the mountain’ is huge; a task that was magnified this year by the biggest cohort ever undertaking the journey. With staff included, over 400 set off in four waves over four days.

There is one thing that is impossible to plan for months out. Even days out it can be a bit of a ‘best guess,’ for we know weather reporting in New Zealand, like the weather itself, can be fickle. Our students are advised to be prepared for every eventuality and over the years, some groups have faced some pretty grim, demoralising weather. Not so this year! For the first time in a long time, this Field Centre will be remembered for endless sunshine, resulting in every aspect of the planned programme being perfectly executed! Every single group was able to cross the snow-line to ascend the summit of Mt Ruapehu – and then experience the adrenalin-pumping sensation of sliding back down snow on polythene bags!

As each activity was ticked off, the students gained a growing sense of self and achievement. Field Centre is a unique opportunity to gain independence and explore personal strengths in an exciting, spectacular and challenging outdoor environment. 

Field Centre challenged me mentally and physically pushing me beyond my comfort zone. I have learnt that I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. The most important lesson I took away from Field Centre was to respect the environment and help in any way possible to preserve New Zealand’s natural beauty for the future generations of our country.
Jack Frewin, Year 10

I think during the course of just one week, my character developed so much into the person I had always wanted to be. Through helping others up steep slopes, volunteering for lodge duties and always keeping a brave face, Field Centre helped me to demonstrate compassion, thoughtfulness, encouragement and resilience.  These are life skills we will keep with us forever.
Christie Martel, Year 10

Field centre 2017 was not only an experience of physical challenges but the chance to improve team bonding skills, leadership and my inner mental strength. It really showed who had the biggest desire to succeed and to push through, no matter their fitness levels. With unbelieving and breath-taking views, Field Centre is something I will never forget.
Hamish Jones, Year 10

People had told me that Year 10 Field Centre was the highlight of their years at Saint Kentigern College so I was intrigued from the outset. I went to Tongariro National Park having no expectations but … my Field Centre experience was incredible. It was physically and mentally challenging which I believe pushed each and every one of us to the edge of our comfort zones. I kept reminding myself every day that we were all in this together.   What a great learning experience it was! 
Jessica Conover, Year 10

My experience at Field Centre was very challenging but rewarding and certainly fun. For example, in mountain biking and white water rafting everyone was slightly nervous and we ended up having so much fun we forgot what we were worried about in the first place. White water rafting took a lot of teamwork and cooperation to make sure we could get through the rapids safely. Overall Field Centre was a great opportunity to bond with the girls, come out of our comfort zones and make so many memories.
Hannah Monaghan, Year 10

During Field Centre, I believe that the summit was the most fulfilling day as it was a very big accomplishment for me as it was very difficult. I found the sliding scary at first, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked and I ended up enjoying it. I Field Centre  was hard work but overall it was a great learning experience.
Connor Stevens, Year 10

Whether we were sliding down Mt Ruapehu or climbing through the bushes of Tongariro, we were always enjoying ourselves.  We laughed till we cried, we shared good times and bad, and lifelong friendships were made. 
Lulu Denholm, Year 10

Field Centre was extremely challenging but an incredible, amazing experience. That feeling of standing on the top of the mountain, looking down at how far you’ve climbed and what you’ve accomplished, breathing in the crisp air - I realised anything is possible. You can do anything as long as you put your heart and soul into it. Mother Nature is so incredibly beautiful and I’m so grateful to have had this experience. 
Crystal Chen, Year 10

Field Centre was an absolutely phenomenal and memorable experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I was part of one of the happiest and loudest lodge groups and have learnt so much about myself. Many thanks to all those who helped make Field Centre possible and such an incredible learning curve.
Amélie Murphy, Year 10


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