By Richard Mountain and Jennifer Macleod | Posted: Sunday December 3, 2017
This year's camp was split between Ohau and Lake Ruataniwha. In Ohau, the boys were based at Huxley lodge and hiked up the South Temple Valley; at Ruataniwha they engaged in a variety of outdoor activities.
Oliver Bolton (10JCU)
Firstly, I would just like to thank all the amazing parents and staff who gave up their time to make this camp possible. On Friday the 24th of November, while feeling a bit apprehensive, we embarked on our eight-day camp. The first half of the camp included a three-day tramp from the Huxley Lodge which was extremely physically challenging. Along with a 15-kilometre return walk, the tramp involved walking up a 900-metre vertical climb to the top of Mt Mason during the second day of the tramp. At the second half of the camp, we stayed at the Lake Ruataniwha Holiday Park, which was a bit more relaxed. During our time at Lake Ruataniwha, we went fishing, rabbit catching, kayaking and paddle boarding. The scenery was stunning; it was postcard perfect anywhere you looked throughout the camp, especially at Aoraki/Mount Cook. My highlight of the camp would have to be when I overcame my fear of heights by jumping off the old iron bridge in Twizel. This camp was an unforgettable experience, and all the boys came home with a real feeling of achievement with their physical limits being pushed to the maximum.
Chris Denton (10DC)
It was a very warm Friday morning, and all the boys were excited about the adventure that faced them. After what seemed like an eternity sitting on the bus, we arrived at Lake Ruataniwha Holiday Park where we set up the tents and settled into our home for the next three days. The next day was definitely one of the highlights of camp going on a hike to a glacier-fed lake. The walk was relatively easy with great scenic views of Mt Cook and surrounding mountains. When we got to the lake, only a brave few decided to hop in the water as it was so very cold! After another good night's rest, we hopped on Lake Ruataniwha for some kayaking and paddle boarding, which quickly turned into a game of flipping other people over. Later we tried raft building with two teams racing their rafts for the prize of not doing the dinner dishes. Our time was concluded at the holiday park, and we headed to the next half of the camp at Huxley Lodge. All of the boys had heard about the big walk and were anxious to get started. After many river crossings, we arrived at our campsite. We were all in anticipation of the mountain we had to climb, it was tough, but after four hours we were rewarded with some snow and great views. Following a much deserved night's sleep we were eager to get back to the comforts of Huxley Lodge. After a night of relaying stories and experiences, our camp was coming to a conclusion. The bus home was a lot quieter as everyone was tired and, after a short stop to have fish and chips, we arrived back into the familiarity of our own beds.
Cyrus Leung (10DCA; Hong Kong)
On the first day, we tramped below Mount Mason. There were many sand flies around us and even when we were wearing pants, they still wanted to bite us. We cooked dinner by ourselves on camp cookers, which was the first time for some of us. The next day, we woke up at 7 o’clock and we made our breakfast. We took our packed lunch and water up the mountain. It was a sunny day, so we selected another track to go up, which was harder than the main track, but we had a good view from that track. After four hours hiking, we finally climbed up on the top of Mount Mason. We ate some snow beside the top of the mountain. This was my second time to see snow, which was beautiful. After a rest, we headed back down the mountain. We took three hours to go down to our camp. It was an unforgettable experience.
Brian Park (10JCU; South Korea)
I went to Year 10 camp last week. I think it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was my first time fishing. The first day, we went fishing, I always thought fishing was going to be really boring. But it wasn’t at all. It was really exciting. The water was so clear that I could see fish going past my fishing rod. I was fishing right next to Mr Mountain's rod, and he went away. That’s when I saw his rod getting pulled, so I just winded it up, and I caught my first fish! To be honest, I feel a bit sorry for Mr Mountain because it was supposed to be his fish, but he is OK for me to take his fish. We smoked the fish that I caught, and it tasted really good. Year 10 camp, especially the lake Ruataniwha part, was one of the greatest times of 2017 for me and I think I’ll never forget what I saw and experienced in this camp.
Heema Alawfi (10CPR; Saudi Arabia)
On the first day, I went with Mr Mountain to the river beside the camp. We caught a fish in the night, and my teacher was very happy about that because he hadn’t got any fish before I came with him. After that, my friend Caleb took the fish to clean. At that time Mr Mountain thought the fish was a salmon, however, Caleb said it’s not a salmon, but a rainbow trout. However, Mr Mountain was still happy about that. So that's what I did for my first day for fishing, I actually enjoyed it. We smoked the fish the next day and had it for dinner. It was delicious!!