EOTC at Heaton supports the classroom programme and students’ learning. It provides relevant and meaningful learning in an authentic context. Trips are organised for individuals, small groups, classes and house groups.
Highlights of the year include the Year 7 and 8 camps. In 2013 the Year 7 students and teachers travelled to Glentui Meadows. The Year 7 camp is early in the year to allow students to get to know each other in an outdoor environment. Students have the opportunity to try archery, work on team building, learn about healthy rivers from the Department of Conversation and jump off a waterfall. The Year 8 camp is at Raincliff in South Canterbury. In this camp students have more opportunities to challenge themselves by abseiling and trying water-based activities such as rafting and canyoning.
Staff at Heaton are constantly looking for ways to enhance students’ learning through the use of EOTC so the programme does vary year to year depending on the needs of the students, the inquiry topics being studied and the resources available in our community.
Year 7 Camp at Glentui
Year 8 Camp at Raincliff
Otahuna House Camp 2014
On Wednesday the 26th of February, Otahuna House set off on a three-hour bus ride to Raincliff Camp. After a brief stop at Geraldine, we arrived at around 12 o’clock. Soon after, we settled into our bunkrooms and prepared for our first activities.
Group D, my group, had abseiling first. After demonstrations and horizontal trial runs, we put on our harnesses and helmets, and then set off for the rocks. You could choose between three heights: small, medium and large. I had lots of fun challenging myself to something that I had never done before, and it turned out to be my highlight of camp. When we returned, free time awaited, consisting of hectic games of cricket, touch, soccer, and heaps more. Dinner was served: lasagna with ambrosia for dessert. Soon after, the Otahuna Theatre was in full swing, the night full of sidesplitting punch lines and crazy costumes.
The next morning we were roused at seven o’clock to a constant stream of kids entering the hall where the adults were serving a beneficial breakfast of cereal and toast. We kick-started the day with river safety, where we learnt skills such as the survival float, how to flip a raft and avoiding river hazards such as rapids and strainers. After trudging back to camp in our waterlogged wetsuits, we were treated to a meal of toasties, followed by yoghurt, fruit and a muffin. When our post-lunch free time had been and gone, Group D remained at the campsite where Adventure-Based Learning commenced. This included working in teams to complete a series of adventure-based games, putting in 100%, despite the stifling heat. The following evening consisted of more outrageous plays and a delicious meal of chicken drumsticks for dinner.
Before we knew it, it was Friday, and we ate our breakfast with a sense of finality, knowing this was our last day at Raincliff Camp. Soon we were participating in our last activity, a river walk. During that drizzly morning we suited up in our wetsuits and travelled to a didymo-free river on the private property of a charitable farmer. For the safety of our New Zealand rivers, we sprayed our shoes with disinfectant to ensure we did not bring didymo, a fresh water weed, into the river. We walked upstream in an eel infested river (truly!) in water with depth varying from our ankles to our shoulders. Complete with fantails, waterfalls, edible blackberries at our disposal and some magnificent native wildlife, this was truly an activity to remember. When we arrived back at camp, we had a quick sausage sizzle then said our final goodbyes to all of the amazing Peel Forest instructors.
Three hours later, a bus pulled up to Heaton filled with 90 sleepy students. It was a great opportunity to challenge ourselves and to get to know the other people in our house. Raincliff Camp would not have been possible without all the teachers, parents, cooks, and instructors who put in 100% to ensure we had a memorable camp. It was an awesome experience, and all of us thoroughly enjoyed it.