The Lodge has been well used over the break and is ready for the first of the Year 10 camps next week.
We had a good number of school families up there in the last week of January taking advantage of some great weather. They made the most of it by getting out fishing, enjoying the walks and waterfalls, taking on the orienteering course and meeting new people. With popularity increasing there will definitely be a similar opportunity next year at around the same time.
Recent wild weather in the valley has had some impact on our property however. With roots undercut by the high river levels three willow trees by our bridge had been blown over onto the suspension wires of the bridge. These were easy to clear but more planting may be required to help control future erosion of the river bank. A beech tree branch has blown through one of the big front windows of the Lodge creating a mess of broken glass which spread across the entire recreation room area.
This week the Year 9 Hostel boys had their Orientation trip to the Lodge. Their first task upon arrival on Sunday afternoon was to roll/carry two large 200 metre rolls of water pipe up to the Lodge from the bridge. Due to the last heavy rainfall we had thought our water supply pipe would need to be extended, but as it happened the stream cleared just in time for us to be able to access fresh water from the usual source. The pipe at least is there now for when a similar event takes out our water supply in the future. This meant the rest of the afternoon was available for a swim at Wishbone Falls and a chance for some to go fishing. On Monday the boys spent the morning taking on various challenges as part of a group competition, followed by a dam building session in the afternoon. Mr Hall ran a quiz as the final opportunity for group points that evening.
After the big clean-up on Tuesday morning, group 3 were presented with the Matukituki Trophy for overall supremacy in the group challenges. Once on the road we had a late lunch at Subway Cromwell and were back to the hostel around 5pm. Thanks to a fine team of Year 13 assistants and hostel masters this trip was once again extremely successful at helping the boys to settle in and get to know a bit more about others in their peer group. All of the staff were impressed with the willingness of the boys to get involved, their group spirit and overall helpfulness. The hostel is in good hands for another 5 years.