From racing the Half Moon Bay School Year 8s to hand feeding keas, this was a great mix of adventures.
Stewart Island had been a popular choice from the get-go this year and the camp certainly didn't disappoint. I had hoped that the Island would allow the boys a little time with each other, away from devices and in their own company. To see the boys pick up rods and ‘go for a fish’ or simply play cards or wrestle one another rather than being glued to their phone or sharing something they’d found online was great to see.
There were certainly a few challenges that pushed some of the lads and each one of them got the job done in their own way, be it the first day of the Rakiura Track, which at eight hours in mud and rain would have tested most or the swell on the ferry that humbled more than a couple of passengers. The boys did themselves proud.
Highlights for me would certainly be the Action Race against Half Moon Bay School, kindly organised by Kath Johnson (Angus Kenny’’s mum), which saw our lads take on some very impressive Year 8 students both in and on the water. Although a John McGlashan team took out the win, Half Moon Bay may well have embarrassed a few of our lads and certainly earned their mana for the day. I think most of the boys would also rank the paua and blue cod fry up as a winner, as well as Sue Graham’s (George Conner’s mum) Kia Cart fish and chip supper after finishing the Rakiura tramp as pretty good feeds as well.
We had planned to spend our last day helping Half Moon Bay on a beach restoration project but advice from the ferry guys saw us come off the island early for fear we wouldn't get off at all. I’ll take this opportunity to offer Half Moon Bay the promise that we will be back hopefully next year to finish the job. A massive thank you to Tony Gomez our Island man who helped make a lot of these things possible and Geoff Avis for stepping in at the last minute. Last but not certainly not least a thank you to Ross Cottier and Justin Wafer who were real get-involved dads from the get-go.