On Thursday the 29th of November a group of 20 Year 12 students, accompanied by Mrs Rabbidge, Mr Zani and Mr Scott, set off to the OBHS Lodge in the Matukituki Valley for the 2018 Leadership Camp.
After a long bus trip, we arrived in the Matukituki Valley, instantly immersed by the beauty and isolation of our environment. The first day was spent unpacking all our gear and reintroducing ourselves to the life of the lodge. That evening, Mrs Rabbidge led us through the theoretical aspects of leadership, teaching us about the five key principles of leadership which were sharing the vision, modelling the way, enabling others to act, challenging the process and encouraging the heart. These principles became our themes for the week.
The following day we were divided into our house groups, with Park and Saxton working together. In these groups we worked through leadership activities, including raft building and a plank challenge. Some groups worked better as a team than others, but we all practiced important leadership skills. The afternoon was spent tubing down the Matukituki River and jumping into the plunge pool at Raspberry Falls. These activities were a great way to cool off after a hot and eventful day, becoming the highlight of the trip for many.
The morning of Saturday the 1st December was spent completing the leadership activities that we started the previous day. In the afternoon, in what was the only competitive aspect of the camp, the house groups went head-to-head in orienteering. True to their recent dominating form in the house competition, Park, in combination with Saxton, blew the other houses out of the water.
On day four of our trip, we set off on our overnight, making the five-hour journey to Pearl Flat in the harsh NZ sun. We were joined by Ben Rabbidge, Mrs Rabbidge’s husband. We had planned to walk to Liverpool Hut the next day, but that plan was scrapped after we were told of the torrential rain that was forecasted. Instead, after a slightly wet night in our tents, we made our way back to the lodge, repeating the walk from the previous day. Along the way Jack caught the only fish of the camp, which went well with dinner that night!
After the tiring experience of the overnight, the sixth day of our camp was one full of free time, where there was ample time for board and card games, table tennis and reading. Mr Scott led a session on communication, which was followed up with a discussion of what Year 13 leaders can do to improve the form class experience, which will be a good challenge for Year 13 students next year.
The trip concluded on Wednesday 5th December. After a busy morning of cleaning and packing up the lodge, we made our way to the bus and returned to Dunedin. This camp taught all of us valuable leadership skills which we can use next year to make OBHS a better place. We all learnt a lot about ourselves and how we cope in challenging situations, but also how to work in groups of people from our house groups. Everyone had an amazing time on this camp and we want to thank Mr Zani, Mr Scott, Mrs Rabbidge and Ben Rabbidge for making it what it was.