Our wonderful, idiosyncratic year group embarked on the journey that would determine the rest of our Woodford House future, joined by Mrs Ives, Mrs Watson, Mr Nixon, our three Gap students, and guest of honour, Principal, Mrs Peterson. After anxiously anticipating our Year 12 camp, we began our journey with Gus the bus driver at the wheel, while re-living our childhood by watching the Incredibles, because that’s what we were about to be.
We arrived at Tongariro Junction, the bustling metropolis of Turangi, and unpacked before heading out into the wilderness of the nearby playground to partake in team building exercises run by Little Brown Kiwi, with instructors Paddy and H.
Our competitive natures ran wild as we battled it out in games involving our most prized possession, food. We mastered skills such as, tightrope walking, rock-paper-scissors and how to expertly throw and catch wet sponges in a battle of Jedi knights. After an afternoon of puzzling challenges we headed back to camp to tucker down into a hearty feed cooked by our excellent support staff and a group of Woodford House girls.
Day 2 began with a bang, heading out for a morning walk or a rock climbing extravaganza depending on which group you were in. The first group set out on a brisk hike, although Mrs Peterson would beg to differ on our actual speed along the Tongariro river. After taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of the untouched flora and fauna around us, we were reminded we still had to walk back and that it was time to set off on our next challenge – climbing.
Upon our arrival at the Vertical Assault Climbing Wall in Turangi we were greeted by Rex, the family dog, from here we began to push our limits as we scaled the walls, abseiling from great heights and bestowing trust in one another to ensure our own safety. After a brief lunch break of delicious chicken sandwiches, we geared up to hit the rapids.
After a mission trying to don the flattering rafting attire, we loaded onto the bus and headed for the open waters. We carried our boat to the clearing and descended into the fast flowing water, venturing into the unknown. Battling the violent current we soldiered through the rough passage and fought to stay aboard, narrowly avoiding being catapulted into the icy depth of the Tongariro river. After a strenuous journey we reached our final destination and headed to the hot pools.
Day three began with an early start for some and a quick turn around as we headed to the mountain, ready to hit the slopes. Geared up and already aching in our boots we began our first ski school lessons, each of us discovering our ability or inability to ski or snowboard.
Happy Valley was the main area for my lessons, however in the afternoon our instructor challenged us with the idea of testing Rock Garden, the next level of difficulty on the Whakapapa ski fields. Following a further two hour lesson, my group and I progressed from slow stroll paced speed runs to a slightly faster jogging pace, which we agreed was progress indeed.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our adventure, and relished the opportunity to experience the challenges at Year 12 camp. With an important year ahead for our cohort, we feel our confidence to collaborate and lead our school has grown immensely. We would like to express our sincere thanks the Sports Department and staff members who accompanied us and organised the trip.
Scarlett Neilson, Year 12