Girls’ School Year 7 & 8 Camp
February 28, 2018 at 4:39 PM
It was a tense few days in the build up to the Girls’ School Year 7 and 8 camp last week as staff tracked the progress of Cyclone Gita across the Pacific. As it finally became clear that its landfall, winds and rain would hit down south, away from the upper North Island, the all-clear was given and the girls loaded their gear onto buses to head to McLaren Falls Camp.
In beautiful parkland alongside Lake McLaren, just outside Tauranga, the girls pitched their tents and set up camp ready to sleep under canvas and prepare their own meals. The Year 7’s were staying three days, followed by a further day of activities on return to school while the Year 8’s were pitched in for a week.
The park proved to be an idyllic venue to experience a variety of activities on both land and water with forays a little further afield during the course of the week. Onsite, the girls learned to paddle board, worked as a group to build catapults and take on other team building activities, while taking advantage of the nearby glow worm and Burma trails at night. Away from camp, they hiked up Mount Mauganui in stunning sunshine, challenged their fear of heights at a waterpark located over harbour waters and all had a go at what proved a favourite for most – the opportunity to learn to surf. This was a first for almost all the girls and many reported how proud they were battling the surf to stay atop their boards!
Life in a field with sheep and duck poo underfoot was new for most, as was life under canvas and the challenge of living in such confined quarters, especially when the weather was inclement. But the challenge of adversity can often tighten bonds and on the night when the winds got up and the rain poured down, right on cooking time, the girls rallied together under the communal marquee and just ‘got on with it!’
Their time at camp, gave the girls many opportunities to develop confidence as they tackled new activities and combined with the daily responsibilities of looking after their campsite and helping to prepare and cook the meals, they each developed their own sense of responsibility, initiative, motivation and cooperation with others. All in all, a great time was had by all!
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