Middle College Year 7 Camp Wasn’t Great… It Was Fantastic!

March 20, 2019 at 10:51 AM

With thanks to Head of Year 7, Mr Kevin Taylor

Year 7 Camp was held for the 25th consecutive year at Chosen Valley, Ararimu last week. Every student enjoyed a slice of a special cake that the camp staff had baked to mark the milestone!

With our increased roll in Year 7 this year, we divided into two camps of three full-on days, with the four boys’ classes attending from Monday to Wednesday, and the four girls’ classes following on from Wednesday to Friday.

Auckland’s endless summer meant every day was sunny and hot, making any activity with the chance to cool down and get wet - like kayaking, the waterslide and confidence course - especially appealing!

There were also the thrills and spills of the trolley carts; the skills required for the rope maze, archery and Balance Island; and the team work necessary to negotiate the obstacle course, grass skiing and A-frame walking. Each activity was designed to challenge the students both physically and mentally during their afternoon sessions.

The mornings and evenings were a little quieter with a range of creative activities and Mastermind competitions, along with the ever-popular camping skill of cooking food on gas stoves, and the chance to relax on Movie Night.

On Wednesday, the ‘changeover day,’ when all 190 students were at camp for the day together, we held the annual inter-House Tag team relay that involved all students being part of teams that worked together in kayaking, the rope maze, skipping, running, the obstacle course, the waterslide and swimming. Overall, Wishart narrowly beat Chalmers, with Stark in third place.

The students at both camps were very well behaved and launched into all the activities with great enthusiasm that was a pleasure to see. It was great to see them showing resilience and perseverance to overcome their reservations and fears. Teachers were pleased to see how much they helped each other through the activities, with plenty of words of advice and encouragement.

A big thank you to the Year 7 teachers and other support staff, and to the large number of parents who came out to help with supervision of afternoon activities and lunch serving. We truly appreciate your support. 

And what did our students think? 


I learnt that when you are cooperative, you work so much better as a team.
Adam Muggleston

Camp is like a roller coaster that twists and turns and leaves you breathless and exhilarated.
James Moyes

The Confidence Course drains every ounce of energy from your body.
Buzz Perkins

I felt like a pro F1 driver when I raced down the trolley hill.
Johnny Steele

I learnt that if I try hard enough, I can overcome any challenge.
Chris Revell-Devlin

I was proud of myself because I tried everything and never gave up.
Matthew Ye

I enjoyed the Obstacle Course. I never knew I could jump so far!
Ryan Jiao


I really enjoyed the confidence course, I felt like I was in Ninja warrior! I loved pushing myself and using my muscles in ways that I never had before. I really loved it!
Lily Alcock 

One of my favourite activities was the water slide, I sped quickly down the slippery path, I closed my eyes and held my breath as I shot into the freezing, murky lake and the water began crashing over me. I got out, my legs shaking from the cold, but I just had to go again!
Emma Coatsworth

My heart was pounding; everyone was cheering me on. I did not want to do it but I believed in myself. I started going down the hill at high speed on the trolley but I looked down, the moment of regret as I flipped and screamed. But that didn't stop me from trying again. I was not afraid so I did it again.
Aleisha Skinner 

I was so excited for the waterslide and when the time came, I couldn’t wait! I was sling-shotted down the slippery, black rubber and flipped with a slash into the refreshing eel-infested lake. I would definitely pay to do that again!
Lily Alcock 


Camp was a unique and entertaining learning experience. My favourite activity at camp was the trolleys because it was exhilarating and frightening. As I sat down into the trolley, adrenaline rushed to my head and off I went! Going down the tracks there were many holes and bumps, and being me, I just had to rush over every single one. It was so much fun, that I did it twice!
Xavier Jones

Camp was really fun and I got to know the people in my class better. The confidence course was really challenging and I tried my best complete it. I really enjoyed the trolleys even though I flipped over twice. All-in-all camp was a really fun experience.
William Lu 

This camp was very different from the ones I had been to in the past. There were a few challenging things such as the A-frame because we had to work cooperatively. The meals were great, and I had a fantastic time.
Alex Lam-Muir

Camp was challenging but fun, the confidence course was hard because of the mud under which made me nervous. Riding on the trolleys was exhilarating because of the speeds we were travelling at and I loved the feeling of adrenaline!
Austin He

This camp has been very exciting and challenging, I have made many new friends and learnt new things. I found the Confidence Course extremely challenging because I was too short to reach and had to invent new ways to complete the obstacles. Getting to sleep at night was also a big challenge because I am used to sleeping alone at home.
Stellan Vale 


This was my first time being away from home for two nights! I felt so proud of completing the Confidence Course – it was so much fun and what made it, was that I didn’t know what I was in for in the different sections of the course!
Danielle Holmes 

On the confidence course, I was swinging from tyre to tyre with my tired arms about to fall off.
Maddison Stoddard 

It was the first time I made and ate instant noodles at camp! It was yummy!
Joy Luo

A person I would like to congratulate is Bella for staying positive all of the time because she then made me feel positive and happy! 
Sahara Knottenbelt 

Camp was the first time I fell in muddy water and swam with eels.
Lucy Street 

My most challenging moment was getting to sleep because I was super-hyper and wide awake after having so much fun!
Sophie Ward 

One of my firsts was having a cabin mate who was sad in the night and my friend and I helped her by sharing our strategies on how to get back to sleep.
Lucy Sweetman 

This camp was the first time I have ever been chosen for a Dream Team in a relay! I felt so proud!
Emily Xu 



That I can do anything.

That it's OKTo be scared.
Carter Stokes

I found out that I don't like being on a high place above water.

I found that sleeping with multiple people in the same room is very difficult.

I found that I love going down open topped watersides​​​​​​​
Charlie Killick


Camp was amazing because there wasn't one activity that was boring. We were so active the whole day which I really enjoyed.

The activities were so well laid out because all the instructors knew what they were doing.

I learned that I’m not afraid of anything jumping straight to the highest level on trolleys on my second go.
Samuel Millington 


Wind whooshes past my face, my heart pounds and then I approach the end. The last part of the waterslide is the best part, Water droplets swirl up around me and the mucky brown water swallows me. I close my eyes and my mouth and bob back to the surface. A shrill cry rings out as the next person comes shooting down the slide. The challenging part is to let go and has fun. I’m screaming with excitement and fear inside, waiting for my next turn. Shivering in the cold air as it pickles my skin, sending shivers down my spine. This was challenging because I didn’t like going to fast but I’m proud of myself for giving it a go.
Gem Williams

One of the most challenging activities I faced during camp was the gruelling confidence course. On my way to the end, my muscles started to throb, and my head was spinning, all I could hear was the racing beat of my heart. I gathered all my strength and swung fiercely to the last tyre. My muscles felt as they were no more, but I had enough strength to wear a smile on my face!
Ella Lin 

Camp was is a time to try new things. Most the activities were new to me, I had to give everything a go and put on a growth mindset. For instance, I was nervous when I had walk up a big hill with the trolley. Was I going to fall out? Am I going to get injured? What happens if it breaks? I sat in the trolley and went zooming down the hill. No injuries, and I stayed in the trolley. It ended up as one of my favourite activities!
Zaina Liang

We zipped down the uneven hill on an uncontrollable fast trolley with no brakes. Believe it or not, dangerous carts can teach you resilience and confidence! When you fall off (which is very likely), you just need to get up and keep going. Each time you go down, you get more confident and build up your strength. You must believe in yourself and have a go, you’ll never know unless you try.
Lucy Hawes 

I am sometimes very shy, and I clam up when I am around people I don’t really know, so camp was a good experience to help me.  The trolleys tested me, because on the first round, I fell off my trolley and at the end, my trolley fell on me.  I was feeling embarrassed and scared, but then I realised that if you never fall, you never know how it feels!  So I got back up, brushed off the dust and laughed it off.  I was very proud of myself for doing that! 
Francesca Price 

Camp is where I pushed my boundaries and learned about my fears especially in the confidence course. The course included lots of upper strength which was quite difficult for me since my arms are spaghetti! I was determined to finish the course though and with that thought I completed it. Even though I was left with a few cuts and bruises I felt like a warrior! I am very proud of myself. Camp made me realize that there’s still a me that hasn’t come out yet and camp brought out a few of them. I really enjoyed camp and I wish to go again.
Jocelyn Feng 

Over the course of 3 days, one of my main highlights was all the friendships made. After 2 minutes of becoming their friend, you felt like you had known them for all our life. IOn the confidence course,  everybody was willing to give everything a go and cheer everybody else on. I have made so many great friendships that I know will last a long time.
Mia Denholm 

I really enjoyed camp because we got to try lots of different things like different types of water activities. I enjoyed the water activities because we got to run across this wobbly bridge that was covered with lots of mud. We had to go across a thin piece of wire that was on top of the lake and we got to go down a huge water slide. But the best thing in my opinion was kayaking. We had races and did a whole lot of other things while standing up on the kayak. My favourite was the ninja pose. Unfortunately, I fell in backwards, but I didn’t mind. I really enjoyed camp and I think it is a great experience for anyone.
Ella Cross


The most enjoyable part of camp was the waterslide because the speed is breath-taking.
James Carter

The highlight at camp for me was the trolleys because it was thrilling, fast and exciting.
Cody Zhang

My camp highlight was the confidence course because it was fun and pushed me beyond my limits.
James Simmons

Making the toughest section on the confidence course was the highlight for me because it was hard and not many people completed it.
Leo Fendall

The most enjoyable part of camp was zipping down the water slide as fast as a bullet with a big splash at the end.
Charlie McRobie

The most challenging thing at camp was the confidence course, pulling up your own body weight. Miller Varney

The most enjoyable part of camp was cooking and eating our own noodles.
Alan Chen

The most enjoyable part of camp was falling out of my kayak because it was nice to cool down in the heat.
James Savory 


I found camp great because of how the activities help you overcome your fears little by little. It was challenging and quite terrifying but now you can look back and be proud you did it. You also meet new people, that person can be nothing like you expected and before you know it, you made new friends. I learnt that I was so much weaker than I thought, I found out that my arms were weaker than I thought but at least I made the most out of it!
Rachel Lin 

My best highlight was Archery! I always thought aiming wasn’t my speciality. When I started pulling on my bow, I used my previous shot as a guidance. I moved my bow lower to the left and I let go. BULLSEYE! I felt a surge of excitement, I DID IT!
Anna Ros 

Camp wasn’t great. It was fantastic! We learnt new skills and we overcame our fears. We had tons of fun and all of us challenged ourselves to something we were unfamiliar with, which was awesome. I learnt that I’m good at climbing and being an energetic monkey. Imagine eels circling around your legs while standing on rocks. Well, I DID NOT want that to happen to me. I was determined not to tumble into the disgusting mud…and I didn’t. That was truly my proudest moment in camp and my highlight.
Georgia Fulford

Camp was fantastic. The Big house Relay was amazing the whole house worked together to win The House Relay Shield for Wishart. Balance Island is so nerve-wracking looking at the muddy water with tiny tadpoles. Luckily, I did not fall in and did not go swimming with the tadpoles.
Ivy Yu

My highlight at camp was when I went on the huge water slide because I was scared I might fall off the edge or get bitten by eels, but it was really fun.
Olivia Kay 

Balance Island was the one activity that I dreaded to do when I first got to camp. I was so proud of my classmates because they gave it a go even though they were scared or nervous and that really inspired me. I learnt that even if you are scared or nervous that you should just do it anyway and it doesn’t matter if you fall or make a mistake as long as you get back up and try again.
Chantelle McIntyre


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