One of our regular programmes is a 21-day camp with Year 10 students from Kings College in Auckland. The students spend the first nine days at a camp in Northland, learning bushcraft skills and doing team-building activities, like building huts together. The next five days, they work together on a sailing boat as they journey back to Auckland. Then the final section is based in Tongariro National Park, and includes a multi-day wilderness expedition that the students plan and lead by themselves.
Instructor Nathalie mentioned one theme that she has seen recurring in these camps. “A common lesson that the students leave with by the end of the programme is being open to hanging out with new people. Although they’ve spent the last year in the same form class with each other, sometimes it is only in these few weeks at camp that they students start to hang out with others that they may not have chosen to hang out with, and realised that there is something in common.”
“In their reflections, they mention no longer judging each other, being more open to getting to know everyone, even if they think there is nothing in common. They mention things like realising that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, together you’re stronger, and being more willing to trust others.”