On Wednesday the 30th of January, I had my camping gear all set and packed to go on a 3 day camp to the gorgeous Ponui island. See, I didn’t know what to expect and neither did any of the student body. Some were nervous but, most were excited. We were told it’s going to be one of the highlights of our last year and that it was the beginning of the end.
We set off around 8.00am, heading towards Kawakawa Bay where a barge was waiting to take us to Ponui. Just around 3 hours after leaving school, we all found ourselves on the beachfront of the island, breathing in the clean air, bathing in the terribly hot heat, and smothering ourselves in sunscreen. Nevertheless, the first round of camp activities started right away after we finished setting up our tents.
So, we were all divided into 6 different color groups- Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Red, and Green. That group will be the group we stick with for the entirety of camp and every activity gives your group points. It was quite like the whānau house competition. Every day started with breakfast and sunscreen then, straight into a wide range of activities (with breaks in between of course). We sang, bonded and threw sponges at each other. At the end of it all, Orange took the win (even though Pink should’ve). Despite all the bruises and sunburns we got, we finished with a new outlook on the importance of teamwork and came out with a whole lot of memories.
To keep this short and sweet, we would also like to give the teachers and staff all our thanks. To Mr Holmes for being crazy with us and leading the activities. To Ms Minahan for all the lovely photos. To Mr and Mrs Sheahan for the wonderful food. To Ms Dawson for understanding our struggle with the heat. To Mr Samasei'a for coming along and being such an amazing support person. To Darren and Nick for the memorable evenings and the toothpaste talk. Last but, not least, we give our thanks to Miss Benjamin for organizing the whole thing and running around after us (we know we are quite a handful)- camp wouldn’t have been possible without you.
As for, the year 12s wondering if you should go on the camp or not, the answer is obviously yes. There will be things that are out of your comfort zone but, don’t be scared to try it. You will be showered with support from the teachers, staffs and most likely, your peers. Although be warned- sunshine is not all sunny and shiny. Oh and put on as much sunscreen as possible - trust us.
Matha Thay and Jessica O’Brien