Last week, the Year 10s travelled to Ngaruawahia for a four-day camp. This Christian Youth Camp consisted of a number of exciting activities for our year group to bond and develop friendships. Over the course of these four days, our year was split into 12 different groups in which they would participate in all activities. The activities were spread over the four days.
One day was filled with water-based activities. Groups would bus down to a local lake and learn to kayak with their friends. The instructor had many different challenges for the students and it was pleasing to spend time in the water on a scorching hot day. Our teachers also organised an ‘Amazing Race’ activity. This was split into two sessions. The first session had many challenges where two teams would compete including tug of war, eating weetbix and wasabi mixed together and creating a human pyramid. The second session also challenged each student through a hydro-slide, pool activity and water balloon task. Last but not least, the R.E department organised a retreat session where students learnt to overcome their fears and to follow the Bible when Jesus says “Be Not Afraid.”
The activities at Castle Rock encouraged Year 10 students to push our limits and look at life from a different perspective, both literally and metaphorically. Castle Rock involved three activities – flying fox, rock climbing, and abseiling. Flying fox was a personal favorite of mine, with the sudden rush of adrenalin washing over me as I gazed at the stunning New Zealand views. Rock climbing was challenging, daunting and tiring. It forced us students to trust each other with our lives, as we belayed each other towards the top. Encouraging words from supporting peers inspired the rock-climbing students to reach their goal, whether it was a metre from the ground or to the very top. Abseiling was another activity that seemed near impossible at first glance. However, with the cheers of our peers and the secured safety from our instructors, us students were able to achieve our goals despite our fears. Overall, Castle Rock was an amazing opportunity for our year level to bond, allowing us to see life from a different (literally higher) perspective.
Another day contained activities that were bush and outdoor related. One of these activities was orienteering, where students would use a map to find checkpoints around the camp site. Bush craft was a session where students had to create a shelter in the forest which was followed by roasting marshmallows and making smores. Archery was a fun activity and allowed each person to test their aim and accuracy through a bow and arrow. Lastly, each group was split into two teams and had to make a
raft out of bottles, rope and planks. They would have to try to fit as many students on the raft without making it sink, and then paddle to the other side of the water to retrieve an item.
On the last day of camp, our activity groups competed against each other in a series of games organized by our camp coordinators and parents. This was followed by a mini Camp Prizegiving, in which each individual in our camp activity groups was acknowledged for achieving goals and overcoming fears.
Following the day activities were night ones. On the first day, everyone got comfortable in the main hall while we watched a movie, ‘The Greatest Showman’, while having our daily supper. Ms Moore and Father Kevin came to our camp on the second day. Father Kevin led a lovely Mass to further develop our understanding of our camp theme “Be Not Afraid.” The Mass was followed by a Burma trail, where cabin groups were blindfolded and made to make their way through a forest. The third night was Camp Idol. Each cabin had prepared a talent show for our judges, Mr Schollum and Ms Smith, and the rest of Year 10. The Camp Idol winner was Cabin 4, consisting of Joseph George, Thomas George, Andrei Mamaraldo, Leironn Agulan, Ethan Rogacion, Jamie Nguyen, Joshua Balisa, Kyle Baltazar, Adrian Vargas and Raphael Meregildo. They performed Bad Guy by Billie Eilish through their use of creative percussion, dancing, a kazoo, rapping and unique singing. To end our last night, all the Year 10s gathered around the campfire to toast marshmallows.
On behalf of everyone in Year 10, we would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who helped camp be the unforgettable experience it was. Especially to Mrs. Judd and Mr. Bacon, who spent countless hours ensuring the safety and fun of each student in the year group (we can’t even begin to imagine all the cups of coffee Mrs. Judd had to consume because of us). We would also like to thank the teacher/parent leaders who protected us students during camp, by ensuring that we were following safety precautions, but especially for putting up with our teenage angst. To the staff of the Christian Youth Camp, thank you for providing us with an amazing venue, and the delicious food served every mealtime. The biggest and most important thank you we would like to say is to God. Thank you for keeping us safe and allowing us to have a fun-filled camp coated in toothy smiles.
Now that camp is over, us Year 10s have a bittersweet feeling in our stomachs. It’s sad that camp has ended, but we are incredibly thankful for this amazing opportunity to bond as a year level, with this experience being an unforgettable time full of laughter, memories and friends that will last us for a lifetime.
Hannah Dangatan and Samara Anubhav