During the Term 1 holidays, Tuinga Weti, Keisha Nicholas and myself attended a Cultural Camp that was held at Te Korapatu Marae in Te Kuiti. This opportunity was offered through the Gateway Programme and was brought to our attention by Ms Paki, Ms Wilson and Ms Stopford.
This camp wasn't like a normal camp, because there were school groups from all over the place. We had students from Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. We went on all sorts of adventures such as exploring the Waitomo Caves, visiting an invitation only cave (Teanaureure), zip lining and we even got to ride horses and gut eels.
This camp was pretty much a hands on camp where they took us to different sites to learn about the tikanga of that area which helped us with the bookwork that we had to complete to gain 20 L3 NCEA credits.
The experience was one of a kind. We made many new friends and learnt a lot of new things to do with the Māori culture and how tikanga works. I think that most of the kids there didn't really know where they came from so it was cool to see them leave with a little bit more knowledge of where they're from and what their culture is all about.
Overall, this opportunity was a once in a lifetime experience. I think that if anyone else gets the opportunity to attend one of these camps then they should definitely go for it because you leave feeling staunch in who you are, where you come from and you also leave with NCEA credits!!