Tackling the Taupō environment over three days, in three groups, we set off to the challenges. Station one was a day-long hike at Opepe Track with Soul and Sam. Some tried the hot pepper plant leaves.
We learnt how to read maps, navigate and use a compass. Discovering that things such as cell phones will interrupt and give false readings.
Before lunch, we had a hut building challenge using natural resources to construct a hut that fits at least one or two people. The variety in the creations was outstanding.
Station 2 was a day learning the art of kayaking and archery. This was a hit for all. The weather did not deter many who decided to jump into our cold, refreshing Taupō- Nui- a-Tia at the end of our lesson. We sang, answered trivia questions about our area, and even raced the kayaks. Turning two kayaks into catamarans was a challenge we all achieved, with one group creating a triple kayak craft to paddle out into the great waters of Whakaipo Bay.
Archery was a new skill mastered by many. The lessons of safety and fun all rolled into one. The students achieved multiple scores as they harnessed their newfound skills.
Station 3 was in Kinloch, where the focus was on leadership and working as a team. The first port was mountain biking, unlocking leadership skills many didn’t know they had in them as they led the group to find different landmarks along our way without getting lost while keeping the group together.
Exploring our water wheel history, finding fat trout and then stumbling onto a giant fairy grotto were highlights of this station. It is said to house over 128 different fairy houses. Here we picked fairy houses and fairy names. Most of the students' names were way more creative than the teachers.
Bush Survival was a challenge to communicate and work as a team to create a dry, safe and comfortable place to hunker down if needed. The students learnt how to put up tents – new learning for many – build bivouacs with string and tarps. Then the challenges of mastering flint and steel with the “Dad's belly button lint” began.
Every group spent the night in the Wairakei Primary School hall. Games of spotlight were played, much food was consumed, a movie was watched, and memories were made with friends. This change to our original overnight plan provided an excellent experience for all.
Leadership, EOCT, MERC, Camp, Physical Education, Taupō, Canoeing, Mountain Biking, Bush Survival, Archery, Tramping