A Taste Of The Outdoors

February 26, 2020 at 2:53 PM

At a time of year when the older students at all three Saint Kentigern schools are heading away to camp, our youngest boys in the Junior School have had their own small taste of life in the outdoors this week. With the trees below Roselle Lawn starting to turn colour and a carpet of autumnal leaves crunching underfoot, the boys in Years 1-3 each had their turn to experience ‘EOTC’ (education outside the classroom), to lay the groundwork for when they first head away to camp in Year 4.

Using the outdoor expertise of Todd Dorset (brother of staff member, Kurt), each year group rotated around three set activities, but it was the Year 3s who worked together on the first day to erect the tents.

Making ropes from flax leaves required the boys to work co-operatively. They learnt how to strip and prepare the flax, taking responsibility for handling the ‘stripping knives’ – a section of saw tooth – working together very sensibly to soften the fibres, before twisting the loosened fibres into long ropes and testing its strength. The boys took turns communicating their ideas to each other, learning which ideas worked best.

Todd spoke to the boys about the duty of care we should have for the bush – when we take away, to also make sure we give back. With that in mind, the boys were set the task of creating wildflower seed bombs to attract bees and butterflies. Digging their hands into a bucket of sloppy mud, initially proved a challenge for some, but it wasn’t long before they all dug in and rolled a seed ball to dry in the sun! These will be scattered later and with a little water, will rehydrate to release the seeds to encourage pollen-filled wildflowers.

As a respite from activity, the boys were encouraged to take quiet time out to read in either the tents or in hammocks dotted around amongst the trees. Getting in the hammocks proved just a little more challenging than anticipated!  Again, working in pairs, with one to hold the hammock open, and then remembering the mantra, ‘bottom in first,’ the boys were soon adept and found a cosy spot to read. By the time they reach Year 7 camp, they’ll be offered the chance to overnight in a hammock!

The lower end of Roselle Lawn is a world away from the heart of the campus. Our boys are fortunate to attend a school with such easy access to natural woodland and an amazing outlook across the blue water of the Orakei Basin. It was the perfect setting to experience a little taste of the camps to come!

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