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30 Apr

Year 7 and 8 Camp

Rafting Year 7 and 8 Camp

The Year 7&8 camp this year was based at the Blue Mountain Adventure Centre. With many exciting outdoor activities to challenge our pupils, personal growth was to the fore. Nowhere was this more evident than on the Tongariro Crossing, with all of our intrepid campers achieving this massive personal milestone ... the 19.4km alpine day-long tramp! Enjoy reading a selection of the subsequent pupil reflections, submitted as part of their William Pike Adventure Award journal.

Have you ever had that feeling of total weightlessness? Like a big weight lifted off you that you feel like you could float into outer space? That was how I felt. I felt like I could float up into the sky without a care in the world. Because I had done it. I had made my way to the tippy top of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. My aching feet and sore shoulders didn’t matter anymore, not up here amongst the clouds. Dark red and black swirled across the Red Crater, the Blue and Emerald Lakes shone like shimmering jewels and the playful wind toyed with your hair. With a sigh I looked into the horizon from the top of the world. Gabby Cavan

The walk began at the 0km sign and then I realised we would have to pass 19 of those before we were even close to the end. Did you know that the heather that covers nearly the whole mountain is called Scottish heather and it hasn’t been on the mountain forever? The first set of stairs approached us but we climbed up it with ease as our energy was still zooming through our body. We reached the 3km sign and all I could think was “16.4 km left!” Long drops: Definition: Toilets that carried a strong, atrocious smell with them. Here’s some advice, don’t look down them, and I mean it!

I peeled another layer of clothing off my body as I saw what was next. There are 35, 590 stairs in total throughout the Tongariro Alpine Crossing walk and the largest number of stairs in a group stood in front of us, not planning on showing any mercy to the pain it was about to cause us. We started going up the stairs at a slow pace so that our energy wouldn’t be stolen from our bodies before we even reached halfway. As soon as I started to get out of breath my hand became a magnet, attracted to the forceful power of the lollies in my side pocket.

“Control yourself Sophia!” I thought firmly to myself.
“Don’t eat all of your lollies at once!”

We conquered the Devil’s Staircase, and our reward was an extremely long snack break which we were all very grateful for. We began our journey again and luckily we were greeted by a friendly kilometer of walking on flat ground. But what came after that wasn’t so friendly. A hill that looked a lot worse than the Devil’s Staircase loomed in front of us. Sophia Clapperton

Panting, I continued to trudge up the last few metres of rock and stone. Finally, after what felt like millions of kilometres since we got a break. Sulphur danced up my nostrils, as we stared, awestruck down at the red crater. The crust was a burning red, and the smell of sulphur got stronger in the wind. For a second, a bead of sweat blurred my vision, is Mount Tongariro going to erupt? I slowly turned my head and looked down the steep slope.

Through all the grit and dust from the crater, you could just make out the three emerald lakes shimmering far below. On the horizon, you could barely make out the sparkling blue lake. These four acidic lakes were so beautiful. Just beyond them you could make out the plain dirt track that wove its way through the dry hard ground. There wasn’t even a tussock in sight, just rocks, and these amazing lakes. Sophia Pinkney

That was Camp 2020
Remember when we finally arrived at BMAC and we all quickly jumped out of the car excitingly?
Remember having to climb through small areas in caving?
Remember when our instructor led us straight into a weta nest.
That was Camp 2020.

Remember waking up at 6:30 in the morning and having to get ready for a big day?
Remember rafting down a river and crashing into a wall filled with bugs?
Remember when we all played games and Mati won the skipping competition?
That was Camp 2020.

Remember having the bright lights turned on at 5:45am as a sign to get ready for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing?
Remember carefully crawling down the hill to the craters of the mountain?
Remember running the last 3km of the forest area having so much energy, even though you had already walked 16.4km?
That was Camp 2020.

Remember having to get out of bed at 6:30am and not feeling your feet?
Remember being pulled high up and then swinging back and forth from corner to corner at high ropes on the giant swing?
Do you remember recapping on how fun camp was?
That was Camp 2020. Holly Smyth

Remember When
Remember when we got to school and how we were all hyped for camp. And how we all couldn’t wait to go!
Remember when we got to BMAC and how tired we were from the driving and running around at the park?
Remember how we saw the high ropes and nearly peed ourselves at how high it was?
That was the high ropes.

Remember when we woke up super tired and how I fell over when I got up and how it hurt so much?
Remember our breakfast and how we ate is so fast so that we could go rafting?
Remember when we went down 50/50 and how it hurt when we smashed into the wall and how the water tasted so good?
That was rafting.

Remember when we had breakfast and how it was so good until I was reminded about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing?
Remember how we prepared for it and how nervous we were because we had no idea of what to expect?
Remember how when we thought that we were close to the end then we found out we had 10 more km and how it was heartbreaking?
That was the Tongariro Crossing.

Remember how we could hardly walk when we stood up and how painful it was (It was so painful)?
Remember when we went caving and how I thought we were going to die because it was so tight and dark?
Do you remember how I got my foot stuck and how it was creepy down in those caves?
Remember when we got back to school, remember the joy of being at home, not camp?
That was Camp 2020. Dan Robinson

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