The Year 3 ‘Almost’ Camp!

November 30, 2018 at 4:48 PM

The unseasonal cold snap and frequent downpours over the last two weeks took their toll on a number of activities. Sadly, one ‘casualty’ was the long-planned, new Year 3 overnight camp at the Boys’ School.

In the past, the boys in Year 3 experienced their first ‘school night’ away from home at the former Zoo Snooze programme at Auckland Zoo. No longer on offer, the Junior School staff considered all options before devising a new and challenging programme to give the Year 3 boys a taste of school camps to come – but making the most of our own amazing ‘camp ground’ on Roselle Lawn and the natural facilities around campus.

But then the rain came down…not the ‘get a bit damp’ variety but a veritable deluge! With weather better suited to building an ark than setting up tents, the Year 3 camp was postponed.

Unfortunately, with only a week of term to go, the tents were out on other adventures with the Senior School and so the compromise was an ‘almost’ camp. The timetable was suspended and the Year 3 boys enjoyed two fantastic days of outdoor activity – and loved it, despite missing out on the ‘sleepover.’

Using the expertise of Todd Dorset (brother of staff member, Kurt), the first day began with the construction of two enormous teepees on Roselle Lawn! Standing metres high, this required careful teamwork by the boys to manoeuvre the giant bamboo supporting structures into place. One bonus of the recent rain – the tent pegs went in easily, with each boy taking turns to hammer!

It’s fair to say that the ensuing two days kept the boys totally engaged with a variety of action and ‘quiet times’ in ‘quiet places’ on offer in rotation.

Hearing the Legend of Maui, and how he used flax ropes to ensnare the sun, the boys learnt how to strip and prepare flax for plaiting. The boys took the responsibility of handling ‘stripping knives’ – a section of saw tooth – very sensibly, working in pairs to soften the fibres before plaiting and adding beads to create bracelets.

Meanwhile, Year 8’s came down to buddy up with their younger charges to assist with a scavenger hunt, that sent them through the grounds in search of a list of natural items. As a respite from activity, the boys were encouraged to take quiet time out to read in either the tepees or in hammocks dotted around amongst the trees. Getting in the hammocks proved just a little more challenging than anticipated – resulting in some hilarious ‘cartoon’ moments! Yes, it is possible to read hanging upside down!

By day two, the boys were well attuned to the expectations around camp. Their final activities kept them busy in groups around Roselle. The pool was put to use to learn to kayak. Here, the focus was very much about developing the confidence and skills to not only paddle a kayak, but to know how to cope when things go awry. Time was spent learning to hold breath underwater before being tipped out the kayak and learning the correct procedure to clamber back in. The huge smiles said everything!

There is nothing like the smell of damper cooking on an open fire! To round out the camp experience, the boys learnt how to rub sticks to create a spark to start a fire, before helping Todd prepare damper and camp doughnuts for cooking on sticks over the flames. A delicious way to end a fantastic couple of days!


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