After an inspirational look at the history of North Head and a very close peek at Luna Rossa we settled into camp with a series of 15 challenges run by the Lead Students. Saturday’s instruction by the MERC instructors had our students sailing, paddle boarding, surfing, abseiling and climbing the high ladder. Our students showed willingness to have a go, followed instructions well and as a result had some very special experiences. Even cut short, this was a tremendous learning experience for our new Year 9 students and I hope they continue to accept challenges and take up opportunities whenever the chance presents itself.
I am very grateful to the parent helpers, staff, Lead Students for all the effort they put in and also to a delightful bunch of Year 9 students who we all look forward to getting to know better over the next five years.
~ Mr Alan Taylor, Blake Whānau Leader
Koru Camp Kokako Lodge Hunua 2021
Between Auckland’s two recent lockdowns, Koru’s Year 9 cohort was fortunate enough to spend two nights at Kokako Lodge, located in the Hunua Ranges, Auckland. Koru Whānau has been visiting this facility for as long as the Year 9 students have been alive. Because of this, we always make sure to give back to the camp by doing lodge work and maintenance around the camp. This year’s work involved scrubbing down the decks, weeding, painting and getting rid of cobwebs.
In addition to this, Koru strongly believes that it is important to respect and acknowledge the Maori history of New Zealand. A few of the activities the Year 9s learnt were our Koru Whānau’s Maori proverb, as well as the school haka, ‘Tuu Kotahi’ which was performed on the second evening.
Over the three days, the students participated in several exciting activities such as rock climbing, archery, orienteering, high ropes and kayaking right next to the falls, all run by the instructors at the lodge. From these activities, the groups created so many new memories and friendships that without camp, may have not been made.
Mr Meldrum also took the students stargazing one night, where he taught us about all the constellations in the sky. With no light pollution, stargazing was fantastic. The following night Mr Meldrum took the students group by group on a glow worm trail where we got to view the stunning landscape where the glow worms lived. We learnt about how lucky we are to have glow worms in New Zealand, let alone in our backyard.
As a Lead Student, our camp experience consisted of being a support to each of the Year 9 students. We also stayed up into the early hours of the morning playing card games, to then get up at 6:30am the next morning to cheer the Year 9s on their morning exercise. Even though this was very tiring, it was worth it to watch the sunrise over the treetops. Little moments such as these, as well as the relationships the Lead Students formed with the Year 9s, are truly what made camp special.
~ Koru Lead Students
Discovery Whānau were the lucky ones who, between lockdowns, managed to go on camp. We went to Camp Waharau and had an awesome time on low ropes, high ropes, archery, mountain biking, bush craft and art.
The low ropes were fantastic. We all worked as a team to overcome challenges that Mr Thurlow set for us. Although it took us a while, we got all the activities done in the end. On the high ropes we did the flying kiwi, high beam and vertical playground. They were all fun but my favourite was the flying kiwi, even though I got some mean harness burn. Archery was a blast. I ended up getting a bulls-eye and popping three balloons. In mountain biking, I was the fastest and had so much fun. My favourite part was definitely the Burma trail. In the bush craft we made a hut that nearly passed Alex’s test. For Art, we helped with making the Discovery Whānau mosaic.
We also had two really fun night activities. On the first night we had a fashion show, where two members of the team had to dress up as the bridal party. It was hilarious! On the second night, we had a competition where you had to find clues to break the code, to get the key to unlock the box to get the prize which my team won! After that, we had an auction, cashing in our Discovery dollars. My team bought a forty grand burger with a smiley face on it!
All in all, I had a great time on camp and it is already a highlight of the year even though the year has just started.
~ Flynn Rooks 9D3
Discovery camp was amazing! It was action packed with mountain biking, bush craft, low ropes, high ropes, and even art. My favourite was mountain biking because you got to explore and do fun things like riding really fast down a mountain. I loved when we had to do this treasure hunt thing at night. You got placed in teams and had to have 3 to 4 people inside and 3 to 4 people outside looking for clues. Once you found out what the sentence was, you had to take it to this dark room and look around for the key. I went and looked for the key and a lot of other people from other groups did too. After so many tries, I found the key and unlocked the chest which had coke lollies and chips. Discovery Camp was the best camp I have been on.
~ Anton Smith 9D3