Boys' School Year 8 Camp - Matakana Island

February 27, 2013 at 1:51 PM

For the fourth year in a row, the Year 8 students of Saint Kentigern Boys’ School attended their Outdoor Education camp on Matakana Island; a 30 minute ferry ride from the township of Omokoroa in the Bay of Plenty.  As part of the welcome onto the Island, a powhiri  is held at the local Marae.  In his first year as a Year 8 teacher, Mr. James Eketone delivered the whaikorero on behalf of the school, ably backed up by the students singing ‘Te Aroha’, whilst also presenting the koha.  The powhiri was concluded with 92 boys forming a long line to take part in the traditional hongi; the sharing of breath between people.

With formalities out of the way, the next big task was in setting up the camp.  For the Year 8s, this is the first time that they sleep entirely in tents and cook all meals for themselves.  Having a dry and enjoyable sleep is dependent on the ability to correctly erect their tent and luckily for some, a session was spent at school prior to going on camp to learn the best way to position and put up a tent.  Cooking for themselves also provides challenges for our students, but challenges that they quickly solve.  This year our camp doctor was not required once to dress a wound from a cooking mishap! All will attest that the meals the boys cooked were of a very high standard with boys even impressing Mr Cassie with their culinary skills.

It is the activities and the challenge provided that make a camp, and the Year 8 camp is filled with many physical and mental challenges for our boys.  From a 4km team run holding a large plank of wood to constructing bivouacs that would allow three boys to sleep safe and dry, our students tested themselves, showed leadership and lived all aspects of the Saint Kentigern Way.  There were tears of exhaustion, laughs of joy and all in between for the five days that the Year 8 boys were locals on Matakana Island and as Mr Carl Lidstone kept reminding them, “It will be life changing”.

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