Waianakarua has been the senior class camp destination for the last
six years. This year we also included a pre-camp trip to Orokonui
Ecosancturary. These are the students' expereiences.
Ko Moponui te Mauka, by Ruby Harris
Recently, Warrington senior students trekked up Mount Moponui.
Climbing banks, sliding through mud and using trees to hoist
themselves up, 20-plus kids and adults gratefully sat down at the top,
admiring the scenery and learning about Moponui's water catchment
feeding Blueskin Bay. Luckily we had Tahu and Sophie from the Orokonui
Ecosanctuary with us who shared their great knowledge. The view
towards Warrington was magnificent and we could see the bush and
vegetation covering the Orokonui Valley leading to the Waitati
Estuary. Everyone loved the day. Thank you so much Tahu, Sophie and
Orokonui Ecosanctuary - it was an awesome day!
Ancient Artifact Washed Up From the Ocean, by Rammy El Dessouky and Mary Locker
During our class camp beachcombing, finding pretty stones, driftwood
and the occasional piece of rubbish, our teacher Mr P stopped and
picked up a Maori toki (adze). Straightaway Mr P had a strong urge to
throw the toki back into the sea. He also wondered who owned it and
what is the correct thing to do with such a special artifact. A parent
phoned the Moeraki Marae to ask what should be done with it. The toki
was blessed over the phone, someone from the marae would collect it
later in the week and we were given instructions on how to care for it
in the meantime.
The toki was shaped for carving and very smooth. It turned a different
colour after people touched it. The toki was probably very old.
As promised, Moeraki Marae representative Patrick came to collect it.
We took the toki back to the beach where it had been found. We
couldn't reach the spot because the tide was in; we had found the toki
when it was out.
We pointed out into the waves where it was found and Patrick put that
into his GPS. He also took some photos of the area. Patrick said a
karakia to take the tapu off the toki and we replied with our school
The toki was to be registered with the Crown and Patrick hopes that it
will be taken back to the Moeraki Marae. No one knows what will happen
to it now but it sure was cool finding it.
Water Monitoring on Camp, by Naomi Ashby-Ryan and Ashlie Carbines
While at camp Waianakarua, near the river, two OCR water scientists,
Rachel and Dylan, came and taught us about water monitoring. We tested
the temperature, clarity, habitat and PH. All the results were in the
excellent category, good news for us as the day before we had all been
swimming and playing in the river.
We also searched for invertebrates, using a chart to identify the
various creatures we found. Bugs can indicate if the stream is good or
not. We found a big cockabilly fish and lots of mayflies in their
stone houses. We also found a stenoperla (stone-fly) and other
interesting bugs. These bugs and fish only live in high quality
The camp river has a cobbled bed, a 7.5 PH reading and the clarity was
completely clear - the whole metre wide. There was a thin layer of
native algae, which is good for the invertebrates (but not for dogs).
This indicated a great habitat for invertebrates and other creatures.
The stream had excellent results. Yay!!!
Fun in the Great Outdoors, by Elsa Neuman, Indy Darling-Perry and Shea Abbott
At camp Waianakarua there was a camper van parked on the other side of
the playing field. This van is home to Professor Panic who is visiting
from the UK where he owns a circus. The Professor has lots of puppets
and circus gear that he uses to impress crowds and which he shared
with we senior students.
The professor also has a story coat. Inside it has 100 pockets, 50 on
the left and 50 on the right. In each pocket there is a tiny treasure.
With each treasure there is a big story.
At night we got to choose a pocket and the professor told us the story
that went with it. The one I remembered best was about the man that
tricked death twice and lived for 210 years.
One evening Professor Panic made a game where half the class were
fielders and half held the edge of a smallish parachute. A soft toy
frog was placed in the middle of the parachute and the team holding
the parachute laid it down on the grass. The parachute team then said
"ahhhhhhhh" starting from a deep sound and getting higher. At the end
of the "ahhhhhhhh" the parachute would be flicked up, making a sound
like a whip. The frog flew up in the air about 10 metres and the
fielders tried to catch it. If the fielders caught the frog three
times the teams swapped over.
Professor Panic also has a huge parachute and we played games with
that. It didn't flick the frog like the other one but we played a
swapping game where we would change places while it was inflated.
Professor Panic was incredible!
Splash, Dive, Whoosh! by Lichen Sorrel
Flipping and flying off the diving board at the Oamaru indoor swimming
pool! It is a really cool place. It has a hot pool area and a one
metre diving board that goes into a 3.5m deep pool. There is also a
pool about one metre deep. And then there are three little pools that
are 30 centimetres deep. Oh, and I can't forget the lane swimming
pool; it has about 15 lanes! We had such a great time!
Little Protected Creatures from the Ocean, by Lindsay Dowden-Mackay
At Oamaru there were probably 600 little blue penguins that came to
shore and into their little wooden huts. From 8.30 tp 10pm groups of
blue penguins waddled up the rocks to rest after a busy day of
fishing. We had to stand behind the fence. There were fences in the
shape of triangles that the penguins had to walk through. When there
were fewer people around the penguins came up closer because they
weren't quite so scared!
From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
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