College Year 9 Camp 2020

March 17, 2020 at 4:22 PM

With thanks to TIC Year 9 Camp, Mr Dave Sheehan

The 2020 Year 9 orientation camps were a great success in the last week of February, with all Year 9 students, their tutors and Peer Support Leaders enjoying some fantastic weather and a great range of activities in this annual camp held amongst the beautiful hills of the Totara Springs Christian Camp in Matamata. 

The Year 9 camp is a great opportunity to help cement new friendships and create strong bonds in each of the Tutor Groups. With a new intake of Year 9 students at the beginning of the year, joining those who have already been at the College for Years 7 and 8, this camp is strategically timed to bring new groupings together in a week where activities and the opportunity for challenge were plentiful.

Set amongst 90 acres of park-like grounds and native bush, Totara Springs offers a multitude of challenges both indoors and out. The students enjoyed many of the traditional camp activities including abseiling, archery and the kart track. Highest in the popularity stakes by far, however, was the downhill, high speed water slide – in fact anything with water! 

The students were also set team-building tasks that were particularly worthwhile as it got the whole Tutor Group talking, helping to set up their Tutor Group dynamic. Amongst these tasks was the requirement to build their own shelter from supplied materials for a night camping out. Some were successful but others found themselves up in the dead of night reconnecting their sagging shelter! Regardless, fun was had by all!

Camp is a fantastic opportunity for the boys and girls to step out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves physically and mentally in a new, yet supportive, environment. Through their time away from home, they were able to learn more about themselves and others, while growing in self-confidence.  Our Year 13 Peer Support leaders played a big part at camp, providing support, encouragement and guidance for the Year 9’s and instilling a sense of what it means to be a Son or Daughter of Kentigern. 

The food was plentiful, healthy and yummy and the activities were fully enjoyed by the students and tutors alike. ’Soft archery’ was a new activity enjoyed by most of the students. One proud boy remarked to his tutor about the abseiling; ‘That was cool, Sir. I would never have done that. I overcame my fear.’

The event was a great opportunity for Year 9s to bond with their Tutor and their Tutor Group. As one student shared, ‘Camp was a blast. It helped us develop deep connections with our Tutor Group.’ There was a great deal of leadership and initiative shown by both the Year 9 students, their tutors and their Year 13 Peer Support Leaders. As students reflected in Tutor Groups, one shared, ‘I’d repeat Year 9 just to go back on camp next year.’

There is an enormous amount of careful planning to ensure trips beyond the campus are challenging, have a true sense of purpose, are safe and run smoothly. We accord our thanks to 

camp organiser, Mr David Sheehan, who was ably supported by the Year 13 Peer Support Leaders and the Heads of Houses. This group of core staff, together with their team of House Tutors, worked together well to ensure the camp was once again a great success!

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