Earlier this month, we met a group of students from Breens Intermediate School at Cave Stream Scenic Reserve in Canterbury.
If you haven’t heard of Cave Stream before, it is a stunning limestone cave that twists and turns over a distance of 594m with a stream running through the length of the cave, starting from a 3m waterfall at the inlet end and gradually descending another 5+ meters until it exits the cave and rejoins Broken River.
The group of Breens students, teachers and parents helpers split into two groups. One group changed into thermals and wetsuits, with helmets and head torches, and headed off with our experienced instructors to clamber and splash their way through Cave Stream, starting at the bottom outlet of the stream and walking upstream, against the flow of water.
The other group went abseiling at a nearby giant boulder. Before this group started abseiling, instructor Peter did a quick exercise with them, where he pointed to a rope laid on the ground, coiled to created three rings, one inside the other. The inner ring, he told the students, represents the Comfort Zone, the things in life that we find easy, like eating toast or putting on our shoes. The middle ring represents the Challenge Zone, which include the kinds of things that challenge you, maybe make your heart beat a bit faster, maybe make you feel excited or nervous. The outer ring is the Panic Zone, where it’s scary, maybe dangerous, we feel out of control, we’ve gone too far, it’s not a pleasant experience. We spend most of our time inside our Comfort Zone, we should avoid being in the Panic Zone, but it’s healthy to head into the Challenge Zone sometimes, because that is where we learn and grow as humans.