Boys' School Year 7 and 8 Camps
February 25, 2015 at 11:17 AM
There is always a mixture of excitement and trepidation as the boys get ready for camp. They know that they will have plenty of fun but also know that they will face some challenges that may need all their willpower to overcome. And there are also other challenges as simple as peeling potatoes for dinner, sharing your sleeping space and being expected to lend a hand with the chores!
Over the course of last week, both the Year 7 and Year 8 boys headed away to camp. The Year 7’s had a great time at YMCA Camp Adair, an outdoor pursuits and education facility located in Hunua, whilst the Year 8’s headed down to McLaren’s Falls Park to camp outdoors next to Lake McLaren near Tauranga.
The Year 7’s braved the ‘Pamper Pole’, the ‘Super Flying Fox’ and enjoyed getting up to their ears and more in the mud on the ‘Confidence Course’ and each House group spent a night in tents in the bush getting a taste of being self-sufficient. This was also an opportunity for the new intake of Year 7’s to join with their new classmates - and it didn’t take long for new friendships to form.
The Year 8’s were under canvas for the week with a focus on adventure and independence, with endless opportunities to exercise leadership and service. From putting up tents, to sleeping in bivouacs or under the stars, to cooking their own meals and gutting, filleting and smoking fish - and washing up afterwards! - learning to surf and windsurf, or the simple joy of paddling into the inky darkness to observe the glow worms; the activities proved popular with the boys, parents and staff alike.
A highlight of the Year 8 camp was their service component, offering assistance at Cedar Manor Rest home. The boys helped out entertaining the residents with singing or musical interludes, serving meals, playing sports or simply sitting and reading or chatting away over a cup of tea. They left a lasting impression on the residents and staff and have been invited back for future visit. We were very proud of them!
The week challenged both sets of students to extend themselves, often in ways they never thought possible and the greater that challenge, the greater the sense of accomplishment. At both destinations, the verdict was universal, a highlight of the school year so far (shortly to be eclipsed by Celtic Day!).
The logistics for bringing camps together are huge. From the early beginnings, collecting permission slips, to organising transport, a location, food, camp gear, parent help and staffing, to the mountain of paperwork required to ensure every possible risk has been assessed and safety managed... the organisation and commitment required creates a vast job that many schools have now shied away from. At Saint Kentigern we recognise the enormous benefits to be gained socially, physically and spiritually from camp. It’s a time for ‘boys to be boys!’
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