An enthusiastic group of 9G boys departed for camp on Friday 22nd November. Our first challenge came in the form of gale force winds as we transported supplies across the footbridge and up to the Lodge. Heavy loads were necessary to prevent boys being blown away.
Saturday gave all the boys a chance to practice some river kayaking skills in preparation for their river runs later in the week. It was unfortunate that, due to river conditions, this follow-up session didn’t eventuate.
Group work was the theme on Sunday as each bunk group were put through a series of outdoor challenges. They also competed against each other in volleyball before spending a productive afternoon reshaping the creek into a series of architectural dams and channels.
We set out on our overnight expedition on Monday, camping near the Glacier Burn in the East Branch of the Matukituki River. There was a lot of helicopter activity in the valley that day as DOC were carrying out the pre-feed prior to the poison drop as part of their Battle for the Birds campaign. All four groups coped really well with the independence of preparing and cooking their own meals. With a heavy rain forecast for Tuesday night we just completed a short side-trip to a picturesque waterfall before packing up camp and returning to the Lodge late afternoon.
Wednesday was a full-on indoor activity day. It started with group competitions in table tennis, indoor bowls and finger snooker. In the afternoon the theme changed to a series of challenges – Master Chef (pikelet baking competition), Maze Runner (navigating an invisible maze), Matukituki Ninja (rock climbing competition on the stone chimney), Grand Designs (artwork competition). With none of the groups winning more than two of these events, it became a very close competition.
On Thursday the rain didn’t clear up as quickly as we would have liked, so it was another indoor morning after a bit of a sleep in. In the afternoon we ventured out for an Orienteering event where teams had to find as many of the controls on their map as possible in the time allowed.
Overall we had a great week. The boys learned a lot of new skills and discovered they can survive a full week without the distraction of their electronic devices. They have been challenged to try to be less dependent on them in future.
Congratulations to bunk group 2 for taking out the coveted Matukituki Trophy for their efforts in all the group competitions during the week.