Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Outdoor Education at its Finest!!

It has been a long time since I have added to my blog. Full-time study seems to be taking the most of my time, aghhhhh!!!!! Our first dump of snow has arrived for the winter and the closest I will get to it is looking at it from a distance across Tasman bay. But none the less at Easter time I was privileged enough to go into the Mt Arthur region with a bunch of young folks from schools around the Nelson region. They were doing a Whenua-Iti Trust junior journey. The main purpose for these folks was to have an adventure and positive enjoyable outdoor experience. On our first day the crew walked into the Gridiron Rock shelters just below the Mt Arthur car park. Just quietly, if you want a superb over-niter then a trip into here is well worth the visit. Such as awesome area for students to marvel at great geology and fantastic bush. The following day we greeted with some warm North-westerly rain which put a slight dampener on the spirits of the students. They were very happy to have a hot raro in there mitts at Dry Rock Shelter. Again like many of the shelters in this area this is a natural bivouac that can sleep a lot of people. Lunch taken care of we were soon off with our caving helmets in hand heading into the heart of the tablelands. We took the students into a couple of caves that are very close to Sailsbury Lodge. We just poked our noises in to have a look around and we were all blown away by the beauty that lay in these underground wonderlands. Complete with glow worms, wetas and big columns of limestone. The students did amazing in what were very cold conditions on the tablelands. We made our way back to dry rock shelter where some hot raro and food was well in order. One of the goals of this journey for the students was to promote as much independence as possible. This included looking after themselves while moving as a group, setting up shelter and most importantly cooking food. The following day we had planed to go over Gordons Knob but weather conditions did not allow. We made our way up to Flora Hut where we set up camp for the night. Awesome evening that we combined with a mini solo and then the mandatory roasting the marshmallows over the fire. A gentle stroll out the following day saw the end of a very sucessful journey. The students took away some great personal learnings aswell of having fun, adventure and some tough times. I must admitt that I feel super lucky to be able to take students into these truly wild and magical places. Till next time. G

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