Last year I attended our school’s outdoor education programme. It started off with an eight-day camp and sea kayaking trip to Abel Tasman. Other trips involved river crossings, snow skills such as making your house out of snow, and survival skills: you go out into the bush and sleep under a tarp, sometimes in pouring rain. The idea is that you pretend you are trapped outside and you find huts where food has been left behind for you. This can be really disgusting stuff like lamb tongue, but you have to prepare it as best as you can. It was really fun, freezing cold, but well worth it!
Last year I went on an Aspiring Young Leaders trip to Blumine Island. The course is all based around conservation and leadership. Only seven schools attend, and a boy and a girl from each school get selected. We set up stoat traps, they teach you values and everyone gets a turn at leading the group where you set out the plan for the day, split people into groups and send them off. It was the coolest thing ever and we are so lucky that our school gets to take part in that. It was such an experience.
The most special thing about our school is the interaction and the strong relationships between the teachers and the students. When I was in Year 9 my Learning Advisor encouraged me to start my NCEA courses early, so next year I am planning to enrol at the STAR programme at the university.