Girls' School Year 7 & 8 Camp 2015

March 04, 2015 at 11:24 AM

The highlight of the year for the Year 7 and 8 senior girls took place last week at their annual camp at McLarens Falls Park in the sunny Bay of Plenty. The girls first day was spent easing into camp life getting familiar with routines and enjoying a leisurely bush walk in their new surroundings. This year the girls were fortunate to have 24 brand new tents to pitch that had been generously donated through fundraising from last year’s Annual Giving at the School.

Over four nights and action packed days, the girls stepped outside of their comfort zones to take part in a wide variety of outdoor activities, personal challenges and bonding with their peers. Split into two groups, the girls’ balance skills were thoroughly tested in the stand-up paddle boarding and wind surfing at Kulim Park. Although the girls found these activities both physically and mentally challenging, the resounding feedback was ‘we loved it!’

A hike up Mount Maunganui to take in the glorious 360 degree view was another set task, and as a reward the girls donned masks and fins to snorkel around the base of the mountain. For their team building exercise, the girls built a fire which involved cutting up wood and learning how to start flames. Of course, the best part of this exercise was eating the fruits of their labour - toasted marshmallows!    

The day of the ‘Great Adventure Challenge’ was orienteering back at the campsite around McLarens Falls with four stations, points to be won and an overall winner. This contest finished with a raft to build and race; although many fell apart and the girls ended up walking and pushing their floating devices over the finish line! On another night, divided into their year groups, the Year 7’s tackled any fear of the dark nerves, paddling out to the glow worm cave in the pitch black with only glow sticks to light their way. Also based at the river, the Year 8’s were able to test their casting finesse and hunter and gatherer skills with fly fishing from the riverbank.    

In their ‘Initiatives’, a tough tight rope activity was prepared for the girls which sat just off the ground between two trees. The challenge was set: how to get your whole team across without touching the ground and walking backwards. In a fantastic display of teamwork and critical thinking skills, one of the teams managed to complete this -  the first team to achieve this in eight months! To climb across, the girls used the tension from the extra rope they were given to successfully balance and leverage themselves against one another while slowly walking backwards.

To finish their camp with a roar, on the last night the girls held a big bonfire and the Year 8’s slept under the stars. While playing spotlight, some unexpected thunder and lightning in the distance quickly saw the girls handle themselves maturely and problem solve together on how to stay dry during the night. Firstly, they determined where the rain would likely pool and then they rearranged their sleeping positions out of the anticipated flooded spots. Fortunately the rain eased and stopped, but this meant the girls slept under an overhead gazebo and side panels – not a night sky full of stars!

Thank you to the parents for their time, organisation and amazing help on the trip. Also to staff members, Ms Kristie Richards, Mrs Courtney Rowson, Ms Rebecca Price and Mrs Alison Slyfield for their dedication and leadership over the full four days.

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