2017 Raincliff Youth Camp, Tikao House

On the 8th of March, 2017, Tikao embarked on an unbelievable adventure at Raincliff Youth Camp. As the bus rounded the final corner of the long two hour trip, our eyes were exposed to the glorious views of the camp: beautiful limestone abseiling cliffs, clear rushing rivers and a large welcoming grass field. This was the beginning of our adventure.

As we walk up the narrow, steep and dusty path we feel the rush of adrenaline and excitement. Dodging a hole we snuck our way into the dark, shallow cave. As the temperature drops so does the brightness of the warm, beautiful day. We were now well into the cave, where the walls were infested with wetas, crawling above us. After reaching the end of the cave, we discussed the carvings on the walls and found the earliest carving: one that went all the way back to the eighteen hundreds!! On the way out we stumbled across some animal bones and discussed how they could have got there.

As the sun begins to set on our first night, Ms Kereama, blows the whistle, the signal for all of Tikao to regroup on the grass just in front of the dining hall. She explained to us that we would be doing a series of challenges, including a flexibility, plank hold and a fear factor challenge, where you had to drink a disgusting smoothie, made by Ms Kereama!

The second night, we played two games, one a game of Birdie and the Perch, and the other Train Wreck. As the sun set we began to get ready to play an exciting game of Spotlight. The bright beams of white light shining from the taggers’ torches light up the darkness of the night sky, sending out a message of warning to all the people hiding. The final whistle ended the fun and it was time for a delicious supper.

One of my personal favorite activities was the Confidence Course. Racing around the obstacles was challenging but very entertaining. There were obstacles like the tightrope with ropes on either side to keep you steady, a log bridge, tyres to climb across, and a type of seesaw you have to walk across the top of. The fastest official time for Tikao was 2 minutes and 5 seconds, but the fastest unofficial time was 1 minute and 48 seconds.

Abseiling, no doubt was the most terrifying activity on camp. It took a long time to get all the instructions in. We all knew there was no room for mistakes. Adrenaline and fear started to kick in as we imagined lowering ourselves down a giant cliff which soon became a reality. Not knowing where to put our feet we bravely ventured on. There were three different cliffs to go down. Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Papa Bear, which was the biggest and definitely the scariest of them all. It took a ginormous amount of courage to take on Papa Bear and it was amazing that so many people were able to tackle the obstacle without any fear. When our feet touched solid ground again a feeling of accomplishment came over us knowing we had just successfully lowered ourselves down the highest cliffs.

During survival skills, we were taught how to tie 3 useful knots. After practising the knots until we were totally confident, we got two thick, long sticks and did our best at making a stretcher. We had a stretcher race which was pretty scary as we were carried across the grass to the playground. We stumbled across the playground trying not to touch the ground.

We left camp with smiles on our faces, sad to leave, but glad to get some well deserved rest. We all knew that we were going to remember our Year 8 camp at Raincliff for a long time. Thank you to all the parents and teachers who made this camp such an awesome experience!

By Sienna, Aliana, Sophia and Sam – Tikao House

By Office @ Heaton